Conor Hourihane hits the net but injuries could rule Idah and Kelleher out for Ireland

Bandon midfielder has been in a rich vein of form with Swansea City
Conor Hourihane hits the net but injuries could rule Idah and Kelleher out for Ireland

Swansea City's Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring away to Luton. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.

CONOR Hourihane is in the form of his life since his loan move to Swansea City and hit the winner against Luton on Saturday.

The 30-year-old from Bandon native fell out of favour at Aston Villa but his goal-threat from midfield has seen him plunder five goals in the Championship since the switch in January.

Swansea manager Steve Cooper paid tribute to Hourihane after the victory. 

“Yan Dhanda showed great quality and awareness in a tight situation, it was a touch of class and you fancy Conor in those situations,” said Cooper, after the 1-0 victory.

“He is at a level where you expect him to score, we had the one good moment there to get him on the ball and he took it."

Hourihane is likely to be a prominent figure for Stephen Kenny's Ireland in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but Cork duo Adam Idah and Caoimhín Kelleher are major doubts.

Idah has started in four of Kenny's eight matches at the helm but has a hernia problem that could require surgery. He had previously been on the sidelines before Christmas but hit the net on his return for the Canaries last month.

Coventry's Dominic Hyam and Norwich's Adam Idah battle for the ball. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Coventry's Dominic Hyam and Norwich's Adam Idah battle for the ball. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Idah, along with Aaron Connolly, couldn't take part in Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off at the last minute due to sitting within two metres of an FAI employee who returned a positive Covid test, on a flight. To make matters worse, it turned out after the test was a false positive.

With Darren Randolph unavailable, Liverpool number two Kelleher is in line for his competitive debut for Ireland, but he's been absent in recent weeks with a stomach muscle injury. It cost him a start for the Reds when Allison was away on compassionate leave.

Bishopstown's John Egan won't feature due to a dislocated toe, though Leesiders Kevin Long and Alan Browne will be in the squad, which will be announced on Thursday. 

Indeed if Kelleher returns to fitness, he could join fellow Ringmahon Rangers graduate in the starting 11.

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