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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 17 March, 2018

Sean Maguire returns from four month injury layoff to score dramatic late brace for Preston

The 23-year-old Ireland striker scored two goals off the bench in his first appearance since October.

Maguire scored twice for Preston on Saturday.
Maguire scored twice for Preston on Saturday.
Image: Preston North End Twitter

Updated at 8.00pm

SEAN MAGUIRE MADE a stunning return from injury on Saturday afternoon, as the Preston striker sprung from the bench to score two late goals in a dramatic turnaround against Bolton.

The 23-year-old has not featured in a competitive game for the Championship side since suffering a serious hamstring injury at the end of October, but marked his comeback with two goals in 15 minutes at the Macron Stadium.

Maguire enjoyed a standout year in 2017 which saw him named PFAI Player of the Year and make his Ireland debut, before the year ended on a bum note with an injury setback which saw him sidelined.

The striker came on for Martin O’Neill’s side against Moldova back in October for his international bow, but was subsequently ruled out of Ireland’s World Cup play-off against Denmark weeks later.

The forward has enjoyed an impressive start for Alex Neil’s Lilywhites since joining from Cork City last year and marked his return with a sublime second-half substitute appearance on Saturday.

He replaced team-mate Billy Bodin with the game finely balanced at 1-1 with 25 minutes to go, before two goals in succession saw the tie swing in his side’s favour, with Preston departing with all three points.

The win leaves the side three points off a play-off position in ninth place in the Championship table, with Maguire netting his third and fourth goals in 13 league appearances so far this season.

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Sean Maguire targeting comeback in early 2018 from a serious hamstring injury

‘I felt like I wanted to give up… I rang my ma and told her I was done with football’

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