BANDON’S Conor Hourihane was named the man of the match as the Republic of Ireland kicked off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win away against Gibraltar.
The West Cork man’s performance was one of the positives for Mick McCarthy’s men as Hourihane's delivery from set-pieces and his general distribution was impressive. He was also involved in the build-up to Ireland’s goal scored by Jeff Hendrick.
Hourihane told RTE afterwards: 'We are just delighted with the three points. There was a strong wind out there. Playing on astro levels it out a little bit.
'It's a new capaign, a fresh start, I felt I've been playing well this season, I'm delighted with the gaffer to give me the chance tonight.'
Hopefully this will signal the start of a consistent run in the Ireland midfield for the Aston Villa club man who has struggled to show his club form at international level – but we saw this evening how much of an asset Hourihane can be for Ireland.