Sunday 19 November 2017

In brief: Walters spoils Toon ton bid

Jon Walters dampened Newcastle's Championship title celebrations with an equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage-time as Roy Keane's Ipswich recorded their 20th draw of the league campaign.

The result left Newcastle on 99 points, needing to avoid defeat at QPR next week to become only the fourth side in Championship history to reach 100 points. The Magpies, though, had the consolation of ending the season with an unbeaten home record in the league

Midfielder Walters struck with seconds remaining to cancel out substitute Shola Ameobi's 84th-minute penalty. That was the second time Town had levelled -- teenager Connor Wickham netted three minutes before the break after Andy Carroll had headed the champions in front.

Blackpool into play-off zone

DJ Campbell's first-half goal at Peterborough gave Blackpool a 1-0 win and enabled them to climb above Swansea and into the final play-off place with one round of Championship fixtures remaining.

With Swansea losing 2-0 at Sheffield United, Ian Holloway's men will seal a berth if they match the Welshmen's result next Sunday -- Blackpool host Bristol City, while Swansea entertain Doncaster.

Owls teetering on the brink

Sheffield Wednesday will be relegated to League One tomorrow night if Crystal Palace beat West Brom, following the Owls' 3-2 defeat at Cardiff yesterday.

Jay Bothroyd's double plunged Wednesday deeper into the mire -- they are a point behind Palace, the only other side in danger of the drop. However, the Yorkshire club can earn themselves a reprieve if Palace do not win tomorrow: they host the Eagles in the final round of games next week.

Yesterday, Wednesday took the lead through Jermaine Johnson but Peter Whittingham levelled with a free-kick just 67 seconds later.

Bothroyd then handed play-off-bound Cardiff the lead after the break and, although Marcus Tudgay levelled 12 minutes from time, the former Wolves striker quickly restored City's advantage.

Andrews can't save Ireland

The Republic of Ireland Juniors finished runners-up in the Umbro Quadrangular Tournament in Northern Ireland after Scotland secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory yesterday.

Scotland took the lead in the seventh minute in Banbridge through Graham McLaren, and it was 2-0 on the half-hour, the Scots netting from the penalty spot after Brian Buckley's hand-ball.

Buoyed by the introduction of Ross Cosgrove and Conor Dillon, Ireland improved after the break, but their hopes faded when Paul Breen was red-carded for an off-the-ball incident seven minutes from time. They kept battling and Evergreen's Niall Andrews pulled a goal back on 86 minutes but despite some late pressure Ireland could not find an equaliser.

Ireland -- D Conroy, S O'Mahoney (C Dillon h/t), J Walsh, P Breen, B Buckley (E Hanrahan 80), M Coady, N Andrews, W Fitzgerald (K Hartnett 87), G McCarthy (T Scully 60), T Fitzgerald (R Cosgrove h/t), D Lacey

Leeds remain in driving seat

Leeds United took a step towards the Championship with a 4-1 home win over MK Dons yesterday.

However, Millwall beat Leyton Orient 2-1, so Leeds remain just a point clear of their promotion rivals in second place, with two matches remaining. Luciano Becchio and Max-Alain Gradel had them 2-1 ahead at the break, and Jermaine Beckford's double sealed it.

Norwich were confirmed as champions after beating Gillingham 2-0.

Late own-goal foils Aberdeen

Aberdeen made certain of Scottish Premier League survival with a 1-1 draw at St Johnstone, despite conceding a last-minute equaliser through an own-goal from keeper Stuart Nelson -- Andy Jackson's effort came back off the post, hit Nelson and went in.

Falkirk slipped closer towards the drop following a 1-0 home defeat to Hamilton. However, the Bairns remain just a point adrift of safety with three games remaining, as Kilmarnock also lost, 1-0 at St Mirren.

Cris crisis for Lyon defence

Lyon's defensive problems are mounting ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich, with centre-back Cris a major doubt.

Sunday Independent

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