Friday 15 December 2017

Dunne plays first full game in 15 months

Richard Dunne. Picture: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Richard Dunne. Picture: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

RICHARD DUNNE took a major step towards a full recovery from his injury problems when he started for QPR in last night's League Cup battle with Exeter City, and Kevin Doyle ended his exile from the Wolves set-up with a substitute appearance for Kenny Jackett's side.

But there could be more injury woe on the way for Giovanni Trapattoni as Simon Cox is now a concern ahead of the next three internationals over the coming weeks, Cox stretchered off early in the first half of Nottingham Forest's 3-1 cup win over Hartlepool last night. QPR boss Harry Redknapp rang the changes for his side's 2-0 win away to Exeter, with Waterford lad Brian Murphy handed a rare runout in goal but Dunne was named in the starting XI by Redknapp.

That was Dunne's first taste of club football in 15 months as he missed all of last season with Aston Villa, though he did make an appearance in June for Ireland in their friendly win over Georgia. Doyle - who was left out of the panel for that trip to Wales but may now return due to Cox's injury - came off the bench after 56 minutes to appear in Wolves' 1-0 defeat away to Morecambe. Andy Keogh is another candidate that could be drafted into Trapattoni's plans and the Dubliner made a return to goalscoring action in Millwall's dismissal of AFC Wimbledon.

He was one of a number of Irish players to hit the target last night, with Sean St Ledger grabbing a last-minute winner for Leicester at Wycombe. Irish U-21 internationals Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) and Sean Murray (Watford) struck in victories for their employers while ex-Shels man Kevin Dawson scored the only goal for Yeovil at Southend.

Former 'B' international Lee Frecklington struck for Rotherham in a victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Roy O'Donovan (Northampton) and Michael Doyle (Sheffield United) scored in defeats for their clubs, while Shane Long scored in West Brom's 6-0 friendly win over Cork City.

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