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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
PA Ryan Manning celebrates.
# championship matters
Manning on target and Obafemi returns as Swansea down Hull on busy day for Irish
Dara O’Shea was another Irish goal-scorer in the Championship, which John Egan’s Sheffield United lead.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 17th 2022, 10:22 PM

RYAN MANNING WAS on target and Michael Obafemi returned as Swansea scored three times after the break to defeat Hull 3-0 and claim only their third win of the Sky Bet Championship season.

Manning and Luke Cundle struck in quick succession after the hour-mark before Joel Piroe wrapped things up late on as Swansea, who started the day in the relegation zone, picked up the three points.

However, the win came at a cost for Wales manager Rob Page as he saw Joe Allen limp out of the game on the half-hour mark.

Wales are due to complete their World Cup preparations with Nations League clashes with Belgium and Poland next week and Allen is a key figure in Page’s plans.

Allen was hurt in a tackle in the centre circle and left the field to be replaced by Cundle. Up to that point the veteran midfielder had helped the hoe side dominate possession and create a number of chances.

Swansea’s stoppage-time defeat to Sheffield United in midweek had seen them sink to 21st in the table, while Hull fell to their third successive defeat when they went down 3-0 to Stoke.

Swans boss Russell Martin restored disgruntled striker Obafemi to his bench and saw target man Piroe, last season’s top scorer, hit the bar twice in a first half that was totally dominated by his team.

Hull, seeking to end a run of four defeats in their last five games, almost struck the first blow when Jean Michael Seri let fly with a long-range shot in the third minute that forced Steve Benda to dive full stretch to tip over the bar.

Two minutes later Piroe hit the bar for the first time and Ollie Cooper forced Nathan Baxter to save smartly in the Hull goal with a shot from eight yards.

Swansea continued to press forward and, in added time at the end of the first half, Baxter got his fingertips to a thunderous left-footed shot from Piroe that he somehow managed to turn onto the bar and away.

Hull started the second half more brightly and threatened through a strong run from Ozan Tufan and a shot from the edge of the area by Dimitrios Pelkas that went just over the bar.

Swansea hit the frame of the goal for the third time through loanee Cundle in the 52nd minute before the home side finally made their pressure tell when Manning volleyed home at the far post in the 61st minute.

Perhaps the perfect response to his omission from Stephen Kenny’s latest Ireland squad.

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Three minutes later a horrendous mix up between Baxter and Tobias Figueiredo six yards out from the Hull goal handed Cundle the simplest of chances to open his account for Swansea.

Cooper carried into the box, the ball went free and as Figueiredo went to clear his ankle was caught by his goalkeeper to leave Cundle with an open goal.

Figueiredo was also involved in the third goal after he gifted the ball to Piroe in his box to allow the Dutchman to tap home in the 84th minute to complete the rout.

Obafemi, at the centre of a back-and-forth between Kenny and Martin, was introduced late on.

Ireland U19 international Armstrong Oko-Flex was also a late substitute for the Swans.

Elsewhere, Dara O’Shea headed West Brom into an early lead at Norwich City, but the game ultimately finished 1-1.

Baggies boss Steve Bruce remains under pressure after a contentious Norwich equaliser cost his side just a second Championship win of the season.

The former Canaries defender had to endure jeers from his own supporters following defeat to Birmingham in midweek and he was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road despite the visitors being the better side.

O’Shea’s header had set the Baggies on course for victory but a first Norwich goal for Sam Byram rescued a point for the below-par hosts, with West Brom furious the goal stood as they appealed in vain for handball against the full-back.

Norwich had won their last six league games heading into the meeting as they lived up to their billing as one of the promotion favourites.

However, Dean Smith’s side were ragged and sloppy for large parts of a game they were lucky to take anything from.

Jayson Molumby also played for the Baggies, coming close to scoring just before the hour-mark, while Andrew Omobamidele impressed once more for Norwich.

Several other Irish players featured throughout the division including James McClean and Will Keane for Wigan, while John Egan captained table-toppers Sheffield United to a 2-0 win at Irish-heavy Preston North End.

Troy Parrott, Alan Browne, Sean Maguire and Robbie Brady all featured for the Lilywhites, for whom Greg Cunningham was an unused sub.

And there was more Irish involvement in the evening kick-off, where Middlesbrough and Rotherham played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at the Riverside Stadium.

Chiedozie Ogbene played the full game and Georgie Kelly came off the bench for Rotherham. Darragh Lenin was absent for Middlesborough through injury.

The stalemate means Boro will go into the international break in the relegation zone after just two wins from their opening 10 games of the season whilst the newly-promoted Millers sit just outside the play-off places in eighth.

Championship results

Birmingham 0 Coventry 0

Burnley 2 Bristol City 1

Huddersfield 1 Cardiff 0

Luton 2 Blackburn 0

Millwall 2 Blackpool 1

Norwich 1 West Brom 1

Preston 0 Sheffield United 2

QPR 0 Stoke 0

Swansea 3 Reading 0

Watford 2 Sunderland 2

Wigan 0 Reading 1

Middlesbrough 0 Rotherham 0.

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