After every round of weekend fixtures, find the details of how Irish players overseas performed for their respective clubsANALYSIS
By Ronan Murphy
Joe Mason became the first Irishman to score in the League Cup final since David Kelly in 2000, while a lot of other Irishmen found the net up and down the leagues in England and Scotland.
Current Irish under-21 striker Joe Mason started the game for Cardiff, and opened the scoring with a lovely finish from close range. Despite a dramatic comeback in extra time from the Championship side, it was not to be their day, and Kenny Daglish's men lifted the cup.
New Wolves boss Terry Connor gave Stephen Ward the captain's armband for his first game in charge, with all four Irishmen getting a run out against Newcastle. Two down at half-time, striker Kevin Doyle led the charge after the break assisting Matt Jarvis's goal, and then scoring himself to win a valuable point.
Robbie Keane's last game for Aston Villa was a dull affair with neither Wigan nor Villa creating many chances. Keane was the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes, but had a quiet outing in the second half, especially after Darren Bent was forced off injured. Shay Given was rarely tested, while James McCarthy was taken off after an anonymous display in midfield.
Reading increased their playoff chances with an away win over Middlesbrough thanks to goals from two Irishmen. Noel Hunt opened the scoring with a close range effort after seventeen minutes, while defender Ian Harte curled in a beautiful 25 yard free-kick with ten minutes to go to ensure the victory.
Paddy McCarthy and Paul McShane kept another clean sheet at the back for Crystal Palace away to West Ham, which is more impressive considering that the Hammers had scored in all of their last ten games.
Coventry City gained a much needed win against Barnsley to move them just three points from safety. Joe Murphy was rarely tested in the Sky Blues' goal, while Richard Keogh, Gary Deegan, and David Bell all played well for the Championship strugglers.
Andy Keogh found the net again for Millwall, his second goal in five games , helping them to a 3-1 win over Burnley. Clarets captain Chris McCann was forced off injured just before half-time, and his early departure left Burnley with little chance of getting anything from the game.
Former Bohemians and Shelbourne striker Paddy Madden found the net for Carlisle as they beat Yeovil 3-2 to move into a playoff spot. It's Madden's first goal since returning from a six week injury.
Clinton Morrison was left on the bench in the Steel City Derby as Sheffield Wednesday beat Sheffield United by a single Chris O'Grady goal. Michael Doyle and Stephen Quinn started for the visitors, but neither player could make his mark on the game.
Former Ireland international Gary Doherty made an instant impact for new club Wycombe Wanderers, heading home a corner after just 11 minutes to help the relegation candidates to a 5-0 win over Hartlepool.
Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche kept a clean sheet against Southend, keeping the promotion contenders at bay in windy conditions at the Globe Arena.
Pat Fenlon's good start to his SPL career continued on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock. On-loan Stoke midfielder Tom Soares scored twice for Hibernian with former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan finding the net once again.
Goals at the end of each half from Irishmen Jon Daly and Gavin Gunning gave Dundee United a 2-0 away win over Hearts, keeping the Terrors within two points of Europe.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Defenders: Stephen Ward (Wolves), Gavin Gunning (Dundee Utd), Gary Doherty (Wycombe), Ian Harte (Reading)
Midfielders: Joe Mason (Cardiff), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Willo Flood (Dundee Utd) Andy Keogh (Millwall)
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Paddy Madden (Carlisle)