Former Cork City striker Graham Cummins, who now plays in Scotland, believes the club can't afford to see Seanie Maguire depart between here and October.
ALL good things must come to an end and after watching Cork City claim another victory over their bitter rivals last weekend, it would appear that Dundalk’s days as the dominant force in the league are numbered.
From the start of the game City showed a hunger and willingness to win every battle that Dundalk could not match, typified by Gearoid Morrissey’s challenge in the opening few seconds of the game, that set the tone for the 90 minutes ahead.
City looked comfortable throughout the game with the exception of the last few minutes which is expected of a team that a trying to maintain their lead but I was so disappointed with Dundalk’s performance especially for a team that have won the title for the past three seasons. Credit must go to the way John Caulfield set up his City side because they nullified Dundalk from causing City any problems.
Patrick McEleney has been one of the standout performers this season for Dundalk but he was well marshalled by Conor McCormack, who was excellent, showing composure and calmness on the ball, as well as putting a foot into challenges.
Dundalk are aiming for fourth consecutive title but they lacked any real creativity and I don’t envision Stephen O’Donnell lifting the trophy at the end of the season. It seems that the departures of Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Ronan Finn have just been too many losses to try and replace.
Dundalk have managed to cope with the departure of Richie Towel and Patrick Hoban in the past but a team cannot keep losing its best players and expect to maintain the same levels that they have been producing. Horgan in particular gave Dundalk that little bit extra last season and the Louth club appear to be suffering from his absence.
After making it six wins from six, City are now rightfully favourites for the league but the big test for the Rebel Army will come in the summer and whether they will be able to keep hold of their prized asset, Sean Maguire.
The former West Ham United player already has six goals for City in the league this season and although he did not score on Saturday, he did manage to assist Karl Shephard for his two goals and his all-round game was excellent. Every time Maguire got the ball I felt like something was going to happen. He was always positive with the ball, driving at the Dundalk defence and in particular, caused a number of problems for the Lilywhites’ centre-backs.
If City are to win their first Premier Division title in 12 years then it is crucial that they keep hold of Maguire.