Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook Road
UCD secured their first away league win since August 2018 when they defeated Cabinteely at Stradbrook on Friday evening.
The Students eased to all three points with goals from Colm Whelan and Yoyo Mahdy setting them on their way.
Mahdy scored in second half injury time to make it three for the visitors, as they rose into 4th position in the First Division table.
On the other hand, the result saw Cabo's lead at the top of the table cut to just two points following Drogheda United’s win away to Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park.
Cabinteely made one change from their sweeping 3-1 away win against Longford Town on Monday evening – as Corey Chambers made his home league debut for Cabo in place of the injured Mick Kelly.
For UCD, they were forced into making a couple of alterations themselves, as both Jack Keaney and Michael Gallagher missed out through suspension – but highly-rated midfielder Dara Keane returned to starting side for Andy Myler’s charges.
Pat Devlin’s charges – heading into the game five points clear at the top of the table – knew that a win or draw would maintain their unbeaten home league record.
The last time the Green and White’s suffered defeat at Stradbrook was in August of last year, while the Students had not won an away league outing since August 2018.
And while their recent form away from home was far from ideal, it was the Students who began the game the better of the two.
Dara Keane found himself free on the by-line, before he pulled his pass back to Yoyo Mahdy. Mahdy however could not convert as his goal-bound effort was blocked on the line by Kevin Knight.
However, just minutes later, UCD took the lead through Colm Whelan. Whelan slotted home after some superb play from Mahdy fed in the ex-Waterford forward.
While appearing on the ropes for the opening quarter of the game, Cabinteely produced a great opportunity to level through Paul Fox.
Fox rose highest at the back post to direct Kieran Marty Waters’ cross onto Lorcan Healy’s crossbar as UCD held firm. Seconds later, Keith Dalton fired his rebound wide of goal.
Moments afterwards, UCD almost doubled their lead through Keane, but he saw his header from Paul Doyle’s free-kick routine just go over the bar.
And as Cabo were beginning to grow back into the game, they were dealt a hammer blow as Kevin Knight saw a straight red card following a collision with UCD’s Paul Doyle.
The Students continued to press and probe – and they went close to extending the host’s deficit, but Chambers was on hand to beat away Mahdy’s fiercely struck free-kick effort.
Just minutes after the action began in the second half, UCD doubled their advantage through Mahdy just seconds after Whelan ought to have scored.
Mahdy got on the end of Eoin Farrell’s cross into the box, but his first header was saved by Chambers. However, the ball fell back into his path and he made no mistake at the second time of asking.
Marty Waters went close minutes later to halving the deficit, but Healy was on hand to deny the ex-Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers forward.
Shortly after the hour mark, Cabo thought they had the ball in the back of the UCD net, but Shane Barnes was adjudged to have been offside following Conor Keeley’s shot across the penalty area.
Eoin Farrell continued to impress down the right-flank as the half wore on, and he went close to scoring but was denied by Chambers in the Cabo goal.
Chambers was once again called into action, saving well one-on-one with Kerrigan as it looked like the Students would extend their lead to three.
Kerrigan once again went close to make it three, but was once again thwarted by the Cabo shot-stopper.
But they were not to be denied a third, as Mahdy raced through after a ball from the UCD defence.
The Limerick native made no mistake, latching onto Evan Farrell’s pass – and he fired home under Chambers who was finally beaten in the second half to ensure a dismal night at the office for the hosts.
Cabinteely: Corey Chambers; Kevin Knight, Paul Fox (Alex Aspil 70), Daniel Blackbyrne (Jack Connolly 70), Conor Keeley; Zak O'Neill (Steven Kinsella 66), Vilius Labutis (Jonny Carlin 37), Mitchell Byrne; Keith Dalton, Shane Barnes (Robert Dunne 66), Kieran Marty Waters.
Subs not used: Benjamin Clark , Dean Casey.
Booked: Conor Keeley (44), Shane Barnes (21), Jack Connolly (84),
Sent off: Kevin Knight (31),
UCD: Lorcan Healy; Mark Dignam, Josh Collins, Evan Farrell, Evan Osam; Paul Doyle, Eoin Farrell (Evan Weir 72), Dara Keane, Liam Kerrigan; Yousef Mahdy, Colm Whelan.
Subs not used: Isaac Akinsete, Luke Boore, Danu Kinsella Bishop, Harry McEvoy, Michael O'Keane, Eoghan O'Sullivan.
Booked: Eoin Farrell (61) ,Yousef Mahdy (62)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Adriano Reale
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Yoyo Mahdy (UCD).