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Seanie Maguire works his magic, Dundalk's fixture headache gets worse

Four of the major talking points from the weekend’s domestic football action.

Ronan Cutis celebrates scoring their second goal of the game with Conor McDermott Ronan Curtis celebrates the equaliser which earned Derry a 2-2 draw against Dundalk. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1. Another fixture headache for Dundalk

SOME MAY FEEL Stephen Kenny took a risk by making eight changes to his team line-up for this game. But with league concerns taking precedence and qualification for the latter stages of the Europa League now a real possibility, the FAI Cup is having to make do with the second string, for now.

It remains to be seen what kind of team Kenny will pick for Tuesday’s replay at the Brandywell but this is one game he will not have wanted to facilitate. Having squandered a two-goal lead, the Dundalk boss will be even more perplexed. His stars, Daryl Horgan especially, need rest time.

Even Kenny Shiels doesn’t want to play tomorrow. “Players cannot play Sunday and then Tuesday. Definitely not. If we are forced to play it Tuesday, we should call it off,” he said.

- Barry Landy 

2. Magic Maguire prevails for Cork

Cork City showed their fighting qualities and mental strength to make it through to another cup final after eventually wearing down St Pat’s.

Sean Maguire and Sean Hoare were called up the Irish U21 squad this week and they went head-to-head in a key battle. Maguire had too much for his international counterpart as he demonstrated why he is part of Noel King’s set-up with his pace and top class finishing too much for the Pat’s back line to handle.

Sean Maguire Maguire: Cork striker in red-hot form. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

While the Saints grew into the game and scored an excellent equaliser, they couldn’t get to grips with City who regrouped well after the concession of the leveller.

And Maguire was to the fore as he scored a majestic header to help them regain the lead and then guaranteed their place in the final next month with the third.

- Sean O’Neill

Tempers flare in the closing stages Tempers flared in the closing stages at the Carlisle Grounds. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

3. Bohs’ woes point to bigger problem

Bohemians only had six substitutes on the bench at the Carlisle Grounds. The most shocking thing about this is that it was not shocking. Nobody seemed concerned, nobody queried why. It was just accepted. But it shouldn’t be.

It is an all too common occurrence in this league, and the lack of a reserve league plays a major part in this. All sides have U19 teams but not all U19 players will be ready for first-team football so that means that they must be exceptionally good or not yet good enough.

And if they’re not yet good enough, they’ll be discarded on the reject pile. Why is there no reserve league? Many, many youngsters will see their League of Ireland careers over at 19 because they’re not good enough for first team football. That is ludicrous. No footballer will be fully developed at 19.

But if those youngsters, full of hunger and enthusiasm, got to remain at the club for another year or two and play with experienced players on the fringe of the first team, they’ll learn. They’ll develop. If they’re still not good enough that’s fine, but they deserve that chance.

- Dan Gorman

4. Galway v Finn Harps

A morale boosting win over their north-western rivals was just what Galway United needed after such a turbulent week in the club.

The departure of Tommy Dunne was the last thing they needed at this stage of the season, but with Leo Tierney in temporary charge, the club rallied well and claimed a vital three points.

Tommy Dunne dejected Dunne: Poor run of results ended his time in Galway Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Perhaps it came as no surprise that Harps staged a comeback and United almost coughed up a three-goal lead on the Dyke Road, but holding on for all three points bodes well for their run in to the season.

With so much still to play for, don’t be surprised to see the Tribesmen ride the crest of the wave that a new management team brings.

- Declan Rooney

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