Welsh Stars Shine: Brooks Returns, Forest Secure Survival, And Barclays WSL Battles Heat Up

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

David Brooks made his long-awaited return to the pitch for Bournemouth after a grueling 598-day absence, having successfully battled Hodgkin Lymphoma since his diagnosis in October 2021.

Following 18 months of treatment, Brooks received the all-clear in May 2022. Despite Bournemouth’s 1-0 defeat against Manchester United in the Premier League, the Welsh midfielder put on an impressive display during his 55 minutes on the field, creating scoring opportunities for Ryan Christie and Dominic Solanke.

Nottingham Forest had a fantastic day, as Steve Cooper, Brennan Johnson, and Wayne Hennessey all helped to secure the club’s Premier League survival with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

Cooper, who previously led Forest back to the topflight, further secured their future by moving them six points clear of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Johnson, in his debut Premier League season, made a significant impact, contributing eight goals and three assists to Forest’s fight for survival.

The victory was sealed by Taiwo Awoniyi’s 19th-minute goal, and Hennessey, with his 108 international caps for Wales, made a surprise appearance as a substitute.

In another Premier League encounter, Harry Wilson played a crucial role in Fulham’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, helping his team secure a respectable 10th position. Wilson won a penalty just before halftime, resulting in Aleksandar Mitrovic converting from the spot.

The 26-year-old Welshman continued to create chances for Mitrovic before the Sebian striker gave Fulham a 2-1 lead from a Willian freekick. Wilson was then substituted in the 80th minute. However, a late goal from Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward ensured the points were shared at Craven Cottage.

In the WSL, Sophie Ingle’s Chelsea side moved closer to the title with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal, maintaining a perfect home record for the season. The win puts Chelsea two points ahead of Manchester United heading into the final weekend.

Meanwhile, Hayley Ladd’s Manchester United secured a crucial 2-1 victory against Manchester City, with Ladd scoring a sensational goal that also secured Champions League qualification for her team. Angharad James’ Tottenham side also emerged victorious in a 4-1 win over Gemma Evans’ Reading.