Football news in brief: Ryan McGowan returns to Hearts from Partick

MIDFIELDER Ryan McGowan has returned to Hearts after his two-month loan spell with Partick Thistle expired.

The Australian was wanted by Jags manager Ian McCall on an extended temporary deal for the remainder of the season but the 21-year-old is now back with his parent club.

McGowan, who was farmed out to Ayr United last term, made seven appearances for the Firhill club.

Scotland U16s face Irish at Palmerston

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SCOTLAND host the Republic of Ireland in the Centenary Shield at Palmerston Park tonight (7pm), hoping to atone for their recent defeat to England.

The Scotland School's under-16 side go into their third game of the five-team tournament in second place having taken four points from away games against Wales and Northern Ireland. Admission fees are 5 for adults and 2 for children.

Airdrie sign former Tannadice defender

AIRDRIE United have signed former Dundee United youngster David Shaw until the end of the season.

The centre-half was listed as a substitute in Airdrie's 2-1 win at Forfar on Tuesday. Manager Jimmy Boyle said: "We needed cover for injuries and possible suspensions so I was delighted to bring David in to bolster the numbers in our squad."

Cowdenbeath snap up Shinnie on loan

COWDENBEATH last night signed young Rangers player Andrew Shinnie on loan until the end of the season - and he goes straight into their squad for their Fife derby at home to Dunfermline tomorrow.

Midfielder Shinnie, 21, has recently returned to fitness following a metatarsal injury and joins Ibrox striker Archie Campbell who is also on loan for the rest of this campaign.

Knill departs Bury for Scunthorpe role

BURY have announced the departure of manager Alan Knill and revealed a compensation package had been agreed for him to take over at npower Championship strugglers Scunthorpe.

Knill, who spent four years of his playing career with the Iron between 1993 and 1997, is set to be unveiled at Scunthorpe following his departure from Bury, where he was appointed in February 2008 and who lie fourth in League Two.