around the grounds

Irish duo start as Swansea go third in the Championship and Sunderland promotion hopes dented

Another win for Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning tonight.

SWANSEA CLIMBED TO third in the Championship tonight after they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at Hillsborough.

millwall-v-swansea-city-sky-bet-championship-the-den Ryan Manning in action for Swansea (file photo). PA PA

Ireland internationals Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning both started for Swansea as they took a step closer to securing a play-off place. They are seven points behind Watford in second with five regular games left.

Goals from Jamal Lowe and Jay Fulton saw Steve Cooper’s side triumph while the Owls remain 23rd and nine points adrift of safety.

Wednesday manager Darren Moore, returning to the touchline, made three changes to the side that lost to QPR at the weekend with Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood getting the nod to start.

Lowe broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with his third goal in two games. Ayew muscled Julian Borner off the ball and squared a pass across the face of goal for Lowe to tap in his 13th goal of the season.

The Swans ended the first half on the front foot as Hourihane picked out Manning with a low cross and he curled the ball over the crossbar.

swansea-city-v-preston-north-end-sky-bet-championship-liberty-stadium Swansea's Conor Hourihane. PA PA

Wednesday’s Josh Windass was denied by a last-gasp tackle from Ryan Bennett shortly after the restart, while at the other end, Andre Ayew was denied by Westwood after dinking the ball neatly over his marker.

Cooper made his first substitution in the 73rd minute as Connor Roberts replaced Routledge and it proved to be an inspired move as Roberts created the second goal for Fulton, who steered a bullet header past Westwood 60 seconds later.

The Welshman raced onto a through ball and picked out Fulton, who sealed a second consecutive away victory for Swansea.

Elsewhere in the same division, Bournemouth boosted their hopes of a play-off place with a 2-1 win away to Huddersfield as they move to fifth while Rotherham United provided hope for their efforts to beat the drop with a 3-1 success against QPR.

wigan-athletic-v-sunderland-sky-bet-league-one-dw-stadium Aiden McGeady in action for Sunderland against Wigan. PA PA

In League One, Aiden McGeady set up Sunderland’s goal that put them ahead but they lost out 2-1 away to Wigan. That loss is a setback in their hopes to get automatically promoted, they now sit in third and are five points behind second-placed Peterborough United.

There was better news for bottom of the table Rochdale in their fight against relegation with Brian Barry-Murphy’s team winning 2-1 against fellow strugglers Swindon Town.

Ex-Cork City player Jimmy Keohane gave them a first-half lead before Dubliner Conor Grant doubled the lead in the 64th minute and they held on for a victory despite the concession of a late goal.

- Additional reporting by PA

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