How the Irish fared: Conor Hourihane keeps Villa on track for big dance

Aston Villa owner Dr Tony Xia has challenged their Cork-born midfielder Conor Hourihane to perform his Irish dance party-piece if Villa secure promotion back to the Premier League.

How the Irish fared: Conor Hourihane keeps Villa on track for big dance

The Chinese billionaire was hoping to see Hourihane’s proposed goal celebration on Saturday when his ninth of the season gave Villa a crucial 3-2 stoppage-time lead at Sheffield Wednesday. Their 4-2 win, consolidated by a late Robert Snodgrass penalty, keeps the midlands club four point behind second-placed Cardiff City, who beat fellow promotion chasers Bristol City 1-0 yesterday, Kenneth Zohore netting in the 82nd minute.

Pressure on Hourihane to display those dancefloor moves was exerted on social media by his former Ireland underage teammate Jack Grealish.

“Apologies I got lost in the moment because it was a big win,” Hourihane tweeted in reply to Xia expressing disappointment at the dance being omitted from the celebration.

Also on target at Villa’s comeback victory was Glenn Whelan.

Elsewhere in the Championship, former Ireland U21 midfielder Liam Kelly drew praise from his manager Jaap Stam for netting a stunner in Reading’s 3-3 draw against Derby County. “Liam is a quality player; his passing and his technique are world class,” said the Dutchman. “He scored a fantastic goal against Derby. We’re always telling him to shoot when he gets into those positions.”

Richard Keogh also rattled the net in that game for the Rams.

In Scotland, Conor Sammon’s prolific streak continued. He bagged an eighth goal in as many games from the penalty spot for Partick in his side’s defeat to Hamilton.

Luton Town skipper Alan Sheehan earned a point for the League Two leaders by scoring an injury-time equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Cheltenham Town.

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