The Students have one foot firmly planted in the promotion play off final following their comprehensive 3-0 first leg away victory over Treaty United in Limerick last Wednesday night.
They were more than deserving winners of the first leg and will be firm favourites to finish the job when they meet in Belfield this Sunday afternoon.
The winners of this pairing will face either Galway United or Bray Wanderers in the promotion play off final later in November.
Paul Doyle set the tone for the Students in the first leg, opening the scoring with a well struck goal from a free kick in the 34th minute.
They had a number of other chances to widen the gap as the game progressed but had to wait until the final ten minutes to finally kill of the Treaty challenge.
Goal scorer in chief Colm Whelan scored their second in the 79th minute following good work by Liam Kerrigan and Paul Doyle. Whelan put the game out of reach of Tommy Barret’s side with his second and his side’s third goal deep into injury time.
The college team will expect a large home following of fellow students when they take to the field at Belfield on Sunday afternoon and with the home support and a three goal cushion it would be a major shock if they are not in the play-off final.
Three thousand home fans packed into the Markets Field last Wednesday night to spur on Treaty United but unfortunately the team did not respond as they might have been expected to and were well beaten by UCD.
They were still in with a chance while only 1-0 down after 80 minutes but in reality, they were quite poor for most of the match. Their best chance fell to Dean George after a great through ball from Stephen Christopher in the 78th minute, but when his shot went wide the writing was on the wall for the Limerick side - two minutes later they were 2-0 down after Colm Whelan’s goal.
Tommy Barrett put on four attacking substitutes in the final quarter, Sean McSweeney, Joel Coulstrain, William Armshaw and George, but apart from the latter’s 78th minute effort they were unable to test Lorcan Healy in the UCD goal.
Treaty has nothing to lose when they hit Belfield on Sunday afternoon for the 5 pm kick-off but the odds very much favour the Students. The Limerick side will probably have to take fourth place as their final league position for 2021, no mean achievement in itself for a club that was only formed at the start of the year.
Referee: Alan Patchell
UCD have won both of their home fixtures against Treaty United this season, 2-1 and 3-2, perhaps another omen for Sunday’s clash, while United did win their home fixture against the students in July, emerging victorious 2-1.
UCD 2 - 1 Treaty Utd
UCD 7/10; Draw 13/5; Treaty United 16/5
Did you enjoy this article? If so, please consider becoming a patron of extratime.com for just €4 a month to help us cover running costs.