The league’s hottest property, Seanie Maguire brought his goals haul to 16 for the season when his glorious hat-trick gave league leaders Cork City a huge 3-0 away win over the defending champions, Dundalk in this televised SSE Airtricity League clash at Oriel Park tonight, writes Noel Spillane.
Maguire who is due to move to Preston North End at the end of July was in the right place twice to net the all-important goals in the 19th, 70th and 93rd minutes.
Karl Sheppard’s low cross set up the first for a tap-in and then he glanced home a header from Johnny Dunleavy’s cross after the Donegal man played a quick throw-in off Jimmy Keohane’s back.
Maguire completed his hat-trick in added time to give Cork a seventh win in the last eight meetings between the teams.
Gearoid Morrissey, Karl Sheppard and Maguire, with a first time volley from Keohane’s cross, were close to adding to the Leesiders’ lead before half-time in what was the 80th meeting of the league’s two biggest rivals.
City came into this TV clash, unbeaten in 16 games since the start of the season and with a massive 15-point advantage over the three in-a-row champions but Stephen Kenny’s side s struggled to cope and contain an exuberant Cork City team.
Cork had created all the best chances in the first half and goalkeeper Mark McNulty didn’t have a save to make though the Lilywhites could have been level by the break.
Michael Duffy’s free just off the penalty arc was deflected over off the defensive wall and then in added time in the first half Dane Massey had a ‘free’ header go wide from Duffy’s subsequent corner.
Maguire sealed the deal with his 70th minute second goal to stretch Cork’s lead at the top of the table to an unassailable 18 points and bagged the match ball with an added time third as he rounded the keeper to score again.
It ended 1-1 between Shamrock Rovers and St Pat's at Tallaght tonight.
Graham Burke's fifth goal of the season put Rovers ahead before Chris Fagan equalised for Pat's.
Derry City move into the top three tonight after they beat now bottom side Galway United 2-1 at home.
The Candystripes were two goals up within 10 minutes of the start thanks to goals from Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle.
Gary Shanahan got one back for Galway on 25 minutes but Derry held out for three points.
It was scoreless between Bohemians and Drogheda at Dalymount Park at the Showgrounds while the north-west derby between Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps also ended without a goal.
It is now five games without a win for Bray after they suffered a 5-3 defeat to Limerick at Market's Field.
Teenager John Martin scored a hat-trick for Waterford as they won 6-1 away to Athlone to move four-points clear at the top of the First Division.
Ian Mylod got the winners as Cobh beat Wexford 1-0 while it was scoreless between Shelbourne and Longford.