Sean Maguire fired in a brace on a superb return to action for Preston North End, while Patrick McEleney marked his long-awaited Oldham Athletic debut with a goal. 

Maguire has been out for four months with a hamstring problem, but the Kilkenny man returned in style.

He rose from the bench on 65 minutes in place of Billy Bodin and turned the game. At that point Preston were locked on a goal apiece against Bolton Wanderers, but the former Cork City man only needed 12 minutes to do what he does best, slotting home a predatory finish on 77 minutes before wrapping up with win with an ice-cool finish at the death.

Maguire's return is as timely as it is welcome for the Lilywhites who are now three points off the play-off spots and in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.

Martin O'Neill will name his Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against Turkey on 23 March and it seems implausible that Maguire won't make the cut.

Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne also shone for the visitors, and both will be hopeful of getting the nod from O'Neill this week.

Meanwhile ex-Dundalk playmaker McEleney finally tasted action with Oldham in a 2-0 League One win over Scunthorpe United.

He arrived at the Latics in January but has been struggling with an injury that's delayed his debut.

Dubliner Jack Byrne's goalbound effort went in off McEleney's back but they all count and he'll savour a winning start.

Former Shels, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers frontman Eoin Doyle got the second to wrap up victory for the Latics, a brilliant run and finish that sealed the three points and moved Oldham out of the relegation zone.