Leinster Senior Cup Report: UCD 1 -3 St Patrick's Athletic
Rory Merriman reports from the UCD bowl
St Patrick's Athletic saw off UCD in their Leinster Senior Cup Group D clash on Saturday morning in Belfield to dump the Students out of the competition.
A brace from new Saints recruit Ruairi Keating proved decisive as Brandon Kavanagh's late hit from distance sealed the victory.
Daniel Norris netted a mere consolation for Willie O'Connor's side.
Off the back of a one nil victory over Usher Celtic last week, UCD rushed the Saints’ defence into action early on.
Debutant Luke Turner slipped on the rain-sodden surface to allow the hosts race in on goal - but their off-target effort whistled past the post.
The Sky Blues roused again when defender Harvey O’Brien saw a headed effort punched over the upright by Saint’s keeper Pitaluga.
Watching on from the stands was former Ireland boss Brian Kerr, as the Dublin 8 outfit struggled to find an opening in the home side defence.
Former Drogheda man Sean Brennan and League of Ireland veteran Ronan Finn posed as formidable playmakers for UCD and lobbed a number of balls into the forward line.
But they were tidily dealt with by St Pats skipper Joe Redmond.
Saints still held a threat however, with striker Keating heading over the bar as the first half drew to a close - while Kavanagh whistled an effort the upright in the final act before the interval.
But St Pat's opened the scoring early on in the second period after a positive start.
An effort from Jamie Lennon ricocheted off of the post to leave Keating with the simplest of tap ins to put the Saints ahead.
And they doubled their lead moments later when a deft pass from the boot of Chris Forrester met the path of Keating once again.
The former Cork City striker made no mistake to pass the ball home past goalkeeper Kian Moore.
Running away with the game at this point, a lapse in concentration from Jon Daly’s men in the 70th minute gave UCD a way back into the game.
And Norris was the man to pounce on the mistake as he placed his effort home to keep the Students afloat.
But Kavanagh put the game to bed in the 89th minute with an excellent strike that darted past an outstretched Moore to hit the back of the net and make it 3-1 for the Dublin 8 side.
UCD: Kian Moore; Alex Dunne (Luke O'Regan, 33), Adam Wells (Niall Holohan, 63), Harvey O’Brien, Harry Curtis (Ciaran Behan, 63); Adam Verdon, Donal Higgins, Ronan Finn (Danu Kinsella Bishop, 76); Jake Doyle (Mikey McCullagh, 76), Sean Brennan, Daniel Norris
Subs not used: Dara Kavanagh, Matthew Alonge
Booked: Adam Verdon (65), Harvey O’Brien (68).
St Patricks Athletic: Marcelo Pitaluga; Ryan McLaughlin, Anto Breslin, Luke Turner, Joe Redmond (Sam Steward, 89); Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester, Kian Leavy; Jake Mulraney, Brandon Kavanagh; Ruairi Keating (Michael Noonan, 76)
Subs not used: Adam Banim, Matthew O’Hara.
Attendance: 250 (Estimate).
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Ruairi Keating (St Patrick's Athletic).
It’s all over in Belfield, a Ruairi Keating double & Brandon Kavanagh’s first goal for the club helps us to a 3-1 win against UCD AFC in the Leinster Senior Cup— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) February 3, 2024
Next up, it’s our second match of the day away to St Mochtas, KO at Porterstown Road is at 3pm
Matthew Lysaght pic.twitter.com/Y0dx3IM9q9