Daryl Horgan made a huge impression on his first start for Preston as the Lilywhites recorded a 2-0 win at Deepdale in the Championship to end Brighton’s 17-match unbeaten run.
Horgan was one of four Irish men in Preston’s starting line-up, with Greg Cunningham, Aiden McGeady and man-of-the-match Alan Browne also in action in front of a crowd that included Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane.
The Seagulls hadn’t suffered a defeat in the Championship since September, but goals in either half from Paul Huntington and Callum Robinson earned the hosts a deserved victory.
Chances were few and far between during what proved to be a scrappy opening 45 minutes.
Preston grabbed the lead with a set-piece effort in the 13th minute when defender Huntington charged in to score his first goal in almost two years. He bundled home Paul Gallagher's free-kick from close range.
Before that, Robinson went close for the hosts, while the Seagulls responded when Oliver Norwood drove a shot just past the post from 20 yards.
Glenn Murray was heavily involved as the visitors sought to claw their way back into the game in the lead up to the interval.
The 15-goal striker volleyed narrowly wide after racing on to meet Bruno's knockdown.
Murray then robbed Preston full-back Marnick Vermijl before lashing in a shot which Chris Maxwell saved well.
As the game entered first-half stoppage time, Murray came agonisingly close to an equaliser.
He headed a whisker wide after meeting a neat out-swinging cross from league debutant Sam Adekugbe.
Albion opened the second period with renewed vigour, but Anthony Knockaert wasted a decent chance when he blazed over from the edge of the box.
The Seagulls were punished in the 53rd minute when Preston doubled their lead as Horgan displayed remarkable vision from deep in his own half to unleash Robinson with a sublime through ball, which the striker drilled clinically past David Stockdale.
Cork native Browne twice went close before the hour-mark was up, firstly when his shot was blocked by Huntington, and then when heading over the top from eight yards.
Minutes later, Horgan left three opponents behind him before curling a terrific strike inches past the far post.
Brighton and Ireland defender Shane Duffy then saw a late header hacked off the line by Greg Cunningham.
The final act of the game saw Preston keeper Chris Maxwell save Tomer Hemed’s stoppage-time penalty as the Lancashire club climbed to ninth in the table.