Cork City’s seemingly unstoppable march towards the Premier Division title continued in June, including a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Dundalk in their own back yard.
Stephen Kenny’s side had been in a good run of form before that (and have been since), but that loss would have been really hard to take for the reigning champions.
At the bottom, meanwhile, Bohemians pulled away from relegation danger leaving it looking very much now like five teams battling it out to avoid taking a spot in one of those three relegation places come the end of the season.
But which individuals impressed in a month that also incorporated the annual summer break?
Conor O’Malley (St. Patrick’s Athletic)
The 22-year-old continues to exude the confidence and ability of a much older and more experienced goalkeeper, who through no fault of his own finds himself in a relegation battle. O’Malley has conceded more goals than he did last month as St. Patrick’s Athletic continue to fight against the drop, but it could have been much worse but for his performances in June.
Jimmy Keohane (Cork City)
Roberto Lopes (Shamrock Rovers)
Dane Massey (Dundalk)
Keohane has become something of a utility man for Cork City, finding himself at right-back for the time being in the injury absence of captain John Dunleavy. Capped his month with a superb strike against Limerick, but marred slightly by a red card against Derry City.
Lopes, meanwhile, has been a rock at the heart of Shamrock Rovers’ defence as they looked to finally kick-start their season, while over at Oriel Park, Massey recovered well from a goal-causing error against Cork City to play a key role in Dundalk’s winning run since.
Gearoid Morrissey (Cork City)
Keith Ward (Bohemians)
Robbie Benson (Dundalk)
Patrick McEleney (Dundalk)
Gearoid Morrissey continued his fine form at the heart of the Cork City midfield, occasionally popping up with the odd screamer and already matching his best-ever season for goals. Benson was a major player in Dundalk’s strong run of form last month (City result aside), topped off with three goals in the last two games, while Ward has been a creative force in Bohs’ mid-season revival.
McEleney, meanwhile, has been outstanding since the summer break. The 24-year-old was at his electric best throughout, scoring four goals that could nearly all be goal of the season contenders.
Chiedozie Ogbene (Limerick)
Dinny Corcoran (Bohemians)
Sean Maguire (Cork City)
Maguire was in this team the minute he scored a hat-trick against Dundalk (a feat he repeated in the Europa League this week), though the brace against Limerick a week later didn’t hurt. Aside from the goals, the striker’s overall play has been exceptional throughout this campaign and he will be a huge loss to City.
Limerick are still learning to adapt to their new manager’s style of play, but Ogbene was phenomenal at times in June. Causing defences untold problems with his pace, the former Cork City man scored three times in the month for Neil McDonald’s side.
That Corcoran’s return has coincided with Bohemians shooting up the table is no coincidence. The forward showed has shown tremendous finishing ability all season and his two goals in three games were both fine examples of that.
On this week’s edition of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast we dissected Bray Wanderers’ perilous financial situation with Cormac Byrne of the Irish Mirror, and caught up with Bohemians’ Keith Ward to discuss both his and his team’s fine league form.