It was all about Cork City’s Seanie Maguire last weekend in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division. During the week there were calls for him to be called up for the Irish National Squad and then under the watchful eyes of both Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane he scored a hat-trick in the top of the table clash between Cork and Dundalk in Oriel Park. That means that Cork even at the midway point are effectively champions elect in the Premier Division as they are 18 points clear at the top. It was announced after the game that Maguire will sign for Preston North End come the end of July, the fee is believed to be €150,000. This will mean that he will get to play in Cork’s Europa League qualifying round fixture.
Simon Grayson has obviously made the SSE Airtricity League his shopping market following on from his double swoop for Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle from Dundalk. What this means as well is that he will soon get his international call-up. It’s O’Neill’s form, he will take about calling up players from the League but won’t until they sign for teams in England, he needs them to have that validation despite the boost it would give to domestic football if he capped a SSE Airtricity League player. For Maguire his hard work has paid off. He was with West Ham before and had a loan spell with Accrington Stanley but after being released, he signed for Dundalk where he struggled to get into the side before finding his feet with Cork.
Speaking of which they have already targeted a replacement for their top scorer. They had a bid turned down over the weekend for Sligo Rovers player Kieran Sadlier but are believed to be planning a second offer. Sadlier played as his side drew 0-0 with Finn Harps. A move to Cork has to be tempting as he would go to a title chasing side leaving a relegation battle behind him. That result means that Rovers haven’t beaten Harps in the League since October 2008. It also finished goal-less in the meeting of Bohemian FC and Drogheda United. Derry City are up to third after they beat Galway United 2-1 in McGinn Park. Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle got their goals, Gary Shanahan pulled a goal back for Galway. Bray Wanderers dropped to fourth as they lost 5-3 against Limerick in the Markets Field. Chiedozie Ogbene scored two with Rodrigo Tosi, Bastien Hery and Dean Clarke all getting one each. Ryan Brennan, Aaron Greene and Gary McCabe scored for Bray who are starting to fade away after a great start to the season.
Shamrock Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic played out a 1-1 draw in the Tallaght Stadium. Graham Burke gave the home side the lead with Christy Fagan equalising for St. Pat’s Burke was sent off with twelve minutes to go. In the First Division Waterford remain top as they beat Athlone Town 6-1. Cabinteely and UCD played out a 3-3 draw, Cobh Ramblers beat Wexford 1-0 and Shelbourne and Longford Town drew 0-0. The League is now on a mid season break for a couple of weeks with action resuming on the 16th June.