By Ronan Murphy
Former Ireland international goalkeeper Paddy Kenny pulled off a string of saves against Tottenham Hotspur to help Queens Park Rangers to a 1-0 win over Spurs in Saturday's other London derby. The 33-year-old did well to repel efforts from Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, keeping QPR three points above Blackburn Rovers in the relegation zone.
James McClean once again impressed on the wing for Sunderland, causing trouble to the Aston Villa defence at Villa Park. The former Derry City star put in a couple of nice crosses, one which Nicklas Bendtner should have done better with. Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner was sent off against his old club, which could pave the way for David Meyler to start in his absence when Gardner serves his suspension.
Leon Best returned to the Newcastle United squad for their game against Stoke City. With the Magpies winning 3-0, Best was left on the bench, as Alan Pardew decided not to risk the Ireland international, who has been out since January with a knee injury.
Millwall recorded their fifth consecutive Championship victory on Saturday, beating Ipswich Town 3-0 at Portman Road. Unfortunately their form comes too late to push for promotion, but Andy Keogh's double for the Lions could set him up the April Player of the Month Award. Keogh has four goals in five games during April, and could continue that run of form against Blackpool this Saturday.
Cardiff City striker Joe Mason also increased his April tally, with a lofted goal in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Mason now has three goals in his last four appearances, bringing him to nine league goals this season.
March's Young Player of the Month Sean Murray showed his skill at set pieces once again, rifling a free kick into the bottom corner for Watford's second against Peterborough United. Murray also set up Watford's opener in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
There was disappointment for Joe Murphy and Richard Keogh, whose Coventry City side were relegated with a 2-0 loss against Doncaster. Keogh's afternoon was made worse by a late dismissal, picking up a straight red card for a lunge on James Hayter in the penalty area.
James Berrett looked to grab a late equaliser for Carlisle United against Sheffield Wednesday, but saw the Owls grab a 90th minute winner to leave the Cumbrians three points shy of the playoffs. The 23-year-old midfielder now has nine league goals this season, and even if Carlisle miss out on promotion, he could find himself playing at a higher level in 2012-13.
MK Dons consolidated their playoff place with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United, leaving the Blades just one point ahead of bitter rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the battle for second. Former Drogheda United and Sporting Fingal midfielder Shaun Williams impressed for the Dons, tracking back well to help out when his side were down to 10 men.
Stuttering Scunthorpe United suffered a late defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Town, but held out well against the promotion chasers with Dublin-born defender Cliff Byrne putting in a number of key blocks and tackles for the Iron.
Alan McCormack scored only his second goal of the season for Swindon Town against Gillingham in his side's 3-1 loss against the playoff chasers. Despite the loss, Swindon remain four points clear at the top of the League Two table, with McCormack guaranteed a return to League One football, where he has previously played with Southend and Charlton.
Shrewsbury Town also look set for promotion with a 1-1 draw against Accrington Stanley. Top scorer James Collins failed to find the net, but the step up should prove a good challenge for the former Aston Villa youngster. On-loan Ireland under-21 defender Michael Liddle impressed for Accrington, the left back has greatly improved since his temporary move from Sunderland.
A lovely pass from defender David Van Zanten set-up St Mirren striker Steven Thompson for his hat-trick goal in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Dunfermline. Former Bohemians and Celtic midfielder Graham Carey set up Thompson's second, but the Buddies could not hold onto their 4-2 lead.
Dundee United edged out St Johnstone for a Europa League place with a 2-0 win at McDiarmad Park. Cillian Sheridan hit the post for the hosts, before top scorer Jon Daly was involved in Dundee United's opener. Sean Dillon and Gavin Gunning did well again for the overachieving side.
Robbie Keane notched up his second assist of the season at the weekend, setting up LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan with a through ball for the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Colorado Rapids.
Aiden McGeady admitted his side were wasteful after Spartak Moscow's 3-0 loss to Samuel Eto'o's Anzhi Makhachkala. The winger played all 90 minutes in the loss, which sees Spartak overtaken by city rivals Dinamo Moscow in the RPL table.
Liam Miller's Perth Glory suffered a devastating stoppage time loss in the Australian A-League Grand Final, going down 2-1 to a 97th-minute penalty in a dramatic finish to the season.
|IRISH XI OF THE WEEKEND
Defenders: Sean Dillon (Dundee United), Cliff Byrne (Scunthorpe), Michael Spillane (Dag & Red), Michael Liddle (Accrington)
Midfielders: Sean Murray (Watford), James Berrett (Carlisle), Shaun Williams (MK Dons), Graham Carey (St Mirren)
Forwards: Andy Keogh (Millwall), Joe Mason (Cardiff)