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Top three Irish performers from the weekend

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Everton's Seamus Coleman (left) and Southampton's Sekou Mara battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Everton's Seamus Coleman (left) and Southampton's Sekou Mara battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Everton's Seamus Coleman (left) and Southampton's Sekou Mara battle for the ball during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Some Irish players hit the ground running with their clubs after the international break - and there was also a stellar performer in the Women's National League.

Séamus Coleman (Everton)

The Ireland captain didn’t start either game against Scotland and Armenia last month, but put the disappointment behind him with a terrific display in his first Premier League start of the season on Saturday, as the Toffees defeated Gavin Bazunu’s Southampton 2-1.

The Donegal man replaced the injured Nathan Patterson to play his first 90 minutes in the top-flight since May, as Everton made it back-to-back wins, with Coleman making five recoveries and three clearances.

“Seamus hasn’t been able to get game minutes, so I’m delighted for him,” Everton boss Frank Lampard told the Liverpool Echo, after Coleman missed pre-season with a groin injury.

“There were balls being chipped in at the back post and he was dealing with things with his experience and quality. I am really pleased for him, he’ll be so much better for having those 90 minutes.”

Michael Obafemi (Swansea City)

Obafemi was left out of two matchday squads last month after Swansea boss Russell Martin deemed him not to be “in the right frame of mind” to play, after Burnley tried to sign the forward on deadline day.

The 22-year-old seems to have put the situation to bed now, after striking a late winner in the Swans' 3-2 win at Dara O’Shea’s West Brom to make it back-to-back wins.

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Ireland's Michael Obafemi celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Ireland's Michael Obafemi celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Ireland's Michael Obafemi celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

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Obafemi also netted his second goal for Ireland in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Armenia with an excellent long range effort.

“It would have done Michael the world of good,” said Martin, as Obafemi was cheered by the travelling support at full-time.

“With Michael, it’s just consistent behaviour, it’s really simple. I hope the week he’s had with Ireland and Saturday will be the catalyst for him to get back to that regularly."

“Because of what’s happened in the past, maybe it was a bigger goal,” Obafemi added.

“I’m a Swansea player and I’m happy to be here. It’s only onwards and upwards from here.”

Megan Smyth-Lynch (Shelbourne)

Smyth-Lynch netted an 87th minute wondergoal to lift Shelbourne to within one point of leaders Wexford Youths with three games remaining.

Cork opened the scoring at Tolka Park through Becky Cassin’s penalty, before the midfielder gifted Shels an equaliser with an own goal.

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Megan Smyth-Lynch of Shelbourne. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Megan Smyth-Lynch of Shelbourne. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Megan Smyth-Lynch of Shelbourne. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

The Reds piled on the pressure for a late winner, which came through Smyth-Lynch’s incredible 35-yard strike, to secure a crucial three points as Shels look to retain the Women’s National League.

Youths’ 2-1 loss to Athlone has blown the title race wide open, with Peamount and Athlone each three points off the top too.


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