Irish trio exonerated after spot-fixing probe
THREE former Irish underage internationals have been cleared of any wrongdoing in a probe into spot-fixing allegations.
Preston pair Keith Keane and Graham Cummins and Rochdale's Stephen Dawson were arrested last year by the NCA (National Crime Agency) as part of an investigation into offences that influence aspects of a game - such as bookings or red cards - but not the result.
Four other Preston players were under scrutiny in a case that followed on from a previous inquiry arising from experienced lower league player Sam Sodje being caught by an undercover reporter discussing money that was being offered to partake in the practice.
But the NCA have written to Dawson and the six Preston players to inform them that their particular case has been closed with no charges brought.
Dawson's brother Kevin - who plays for Yeovil in League One - expressed his delight at the exoneration, adding that it had put the ex-Barnsley man 'through hell'.
"Delighted he's got through it now and can move forward with family and career," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Rotherham have swooped to land Conor Sammon on loan from Derby for the remainder of the season.
The Irish international was meant to finish the campaign at Ipswich but they allowed him to leave early which alerted Huddersfield but fellow Championship club Rotherham have made a decisive move.
It eases their search for an attacker after two bids for in-form Chesterfield man Eoin Doyle were rejected.
At home, league champions Dundalk began pre-season training yesterday with Richie Towell in their ranks.
Their key midfielder is under contract for 2015 but has been linked with a variety of destinations across the water. But there is a strong chance he will stay in Louth.
Former Lilywhites goalkeeper Peter Cherrie has joined Northern Irish champions Cliftonville. He was released to make way for new recruit Gary Rogers.
Drogheda United look set to keep Mark Quigley in football - the precocious talent was considering his options after a poor year at St Patrick's Athletic.