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Monday 14 Mar 2022
NI Player Watch: weekend review

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept his 15th clean sheet of the season as Sheffield Wednesday cruised to a 6-0 victory over Cambridge United in League One at the weekend.

The 25-year-old netminder, who is on a season-long loan at Hillsborough from Premier League outfit Burnley, had a comfortable afternoon as the Owls moved to within a point of the play-off positions with 12 games remaining.

Peacock-Farrell did pull off an excellent stop in the latter stages of the contest and it was a stop that did not go unnoticed by Wednesday boss Darren Moore.

“I was pleased to see Bailey make that save at the end,” said Moore, “because it showed the importance of the concentration levels from front to back.”

Meanwhile, in the Premier League, there was a welcome victory for Stuart Dallas’ Leeds United who scored late into injury time to secure all three points against fellow strugglers Norwich City at Elland Road. 

“The emotion at the end; this is why you play football, for moments like this,” stated Dallas. “Hopefully we can use that to build on now.

“We’ve another huge game away at Wolves on Friday night and it would be nice to get a result there going in to the international break.”

Defender Craig Cathcart came off the bench for Watford in the dying moments of their surprise 2-1 victory at Southampton, though they remain in the bottom three level on points with Frank Lampard’s Everton who are just above the drop zone.  

In the Championship, Daniel Ballard recovered from his midweek groin injury to start alongside George Saville in Millwall’s scoreless draw at home to Middlesbrough for whom Paddy McNair was again immense at the heart of their defence.

In the last eight of the Scottish Cup, Liam Boyce was in the Hearts team that made it through to the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory at home to Jordan Jones’ St Mirren, however Steven Davis was again missing because of injury as Rangers won 3-0 at Dundee, though Northern Ireland’s latest recruit, Charlie McCann, did come on as a second half substitute.

On the goalscoring front Billy McKay scored his 14th of the campaign as Inverness dented Arbroath’s automatic promotion hopes in the Scottish Championship with a 3-0 win at the Caledonian stadium.

Northern Ireland Under-21 international Paul O’Neill scored twice after coming on as a substitute for Cliftonville who came from two goals down to defeat Coleraine 4-2 in the League Cup final at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Sunday.

Teenager Conor Bradley opened the scoring for Liverpool as they put seven past Spurs in the U23 Premier League, while Dale Taylor was on target for Nottingham Forest U18s whose game with Leeds United ended in a dramatic 4-4 draw.

Elsewhere, defender Jack Scott, who is currently on loan at St Patrick’s Athletic from Wolves, was among the scorers as the Airtricity League side defeated Finn Harps 2-0 at Ballbofey.

In the SWPL Megan Bell and Demi Vance were in the Rangers starting XI which defeated Hamilton 4-0 to keep them just a point behind leaders Glasgow City.

Speaking to after the game, Vance said: “We’re working hard and focusing on one game at a time. We are unbeaten in the league this year and we’d like to continue that run right through to the end of the season.

“Glasgow City are in good form as well so it will be an exciting end to the league.” 

Finally, Kyle Lafferty provided an assist and got Kilmarnock’s second goal in the 3-1 success at Ayr United last Friday, a victory which put them top of the Scottish Championship - two points ahead of their nearest rivals Arbroath.