League Preview: Dundalk -v- UCD

Greg Sloggett on the ball for Dundalk at the UCD Bowl last September

Greg Sloggett on the ball for Dundalk at the UCD Bowl last September Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)


The Lilywhites ended last season strongly, with back-to-back victories over Bohemians and Derry City to close out the 2022 campaign on a high and achieve European qualification.

However, the close season saw a number of first team departures due to loans expiring (Runar Hauge, Lewis Macari and Steven Bradley), players moving on (Sam Bone, David McMillan and Joe Adams) and retirement (Brian Gartland).

With the now departed Macari and Bone playing regularly in defence throughout the last campaign and John Mountney suffering another injury, it's likely that at least two debutants will be in the starting Dundalk defence. 

Former Aldershot right back Archie Davies will probably debut in the full back position while one of Hayden Muller (ex Millwall) and Gibraltar international Louis Annesley (ex Blackburn Rovers) will partner Andy Boyle in the centre of the defence.

Further up the field, changes may be more sparse, with recent arrival Connor Malley - formerly of Rochdale - the only new signing likely to trouble the starting births in attack.

Former East Kilbride forward Cameron Elliott may see some game time but Pat Hoban, who has been prolific against UCD in his Dundalk career with 13 goals from 11 starts, will lead the line for the Lilywhites.


Whilst Dundalk's last performance in front of their home fans was a friendly against Wexford on February 7th, their opponents this weekend come fresh from Collingwood Cup victory on Wednesday afternoon - a full eight days later.

Having played games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Students will arrive at the Carrick Road venue less than 48 hours after many of the squad had departed Inver Park in Larne - the scene of their dramatic late win over University of Limerick.

Up to six of the starters in the final are in serious contention to be part of Andy Myler's opening season XI with goalkeeper Lorcan Healy, defenders Michael Gallagher and Jack Keaney and midfielders Dara Keane and Donal Higgins all playing regularly for the Belfield outfit in 2022.

Forwards Ciarán Behan and Danu Kinsella Bishop were in imperious form throughout the Collingwood Cup campaign and one of whom could be in the mix for starting in the Students' attack.


Referee: Arnold Hunter


Dundalk's 3-2 loss to UCD at Belfield was their first league defeat to the Students since 2013, also a 3-2 loss. All three goalscorers that evening featured for Dundalk last season - Robbie Benson and David McMillan (x2) netted for the victors while Pat Hoban scored what turned out to be a consolation brace.

Dundalk currently have four former UCD players in their squad - defender Andy Boyle and a midfield trio of Paul Doyle, Greg Sloggett and Keith Ward.


Dundalk 3-0 UCD 


Injured: John Mountney, Robbie McCourt 

Suspended: Robbie McCourt 


Injured: Mikey Raggett 

Suspended: None