Andrew Dempsey reports from the UCD Bowl
Cabinteely were dealt a major blow in their hunt for a promotion play-off spot as they fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat away to UCD.
Yoyo Mahdy scored twice for the Students, while Colm Whelan, Danu Kinsella Bishop and Liam Kerrigan also scored for the hosts during a lively second half.
Kieran Marty Waters scored what turned out to be a consolation for the visitors in the 74th minute as Cabo saw their play-off destiny slip out of their hands.
There were three changes for Cabinteely from their defeat at home to Longford Town, with Christian Lotefa, Vilius Labutis and Shane Barnes all coming back into the side.
The Students, on the other hand, came into the game making just one change from their 4-2 win over Athlone Town – with the suspended Paul Doyle being replaced by Mark Dignam.
Cabo – who had won their previous two league games away from home – started the better of the two and really should have taken an early lead through Lotefa.
The former Athlone Town defender headed into the ground, and UCD keeper Lorcan Healy was able to claw the ball away from danger.
UCD went close themselves moments later as Mahdy’s glancing header was saved by Cabo shot-stopper Corey Chambers.
The returning Barnes went close once more after latching onto a loose ball, but he was denied by Healy.
Seconds after, Kevin Knight ought to have given Cabo the lead, but he could only steer his free header wide of goal from Paul Fox’s set-piece.
The Students, despite struggling at times, created chances themselves. Mahdy went close in the 21st minute, but he was denied by Chambers in the Cabo goal.
Lotefa – who was enjoying a lively game – was then perhaps fortunate to remain on the pitch, but he was only booked after hauling down Whelan on the halfway line.
Cabo continued to shade the game as the half wore on, and they went close through Fox, but the left winger was denied by the outstretched feet of Healy in the UCD goal.
Labutis also went close for the visitors as the half progressed, but his shot on goal was blocked by a UCD defender.
In the dying embers of the half, Cabo were almost caught napping as Lotefa was caught unawares in possession by Whelan.
Whelan hustled and harried the 26-year-old, who eventually hacked the ball away from danger as both sides went in level at the break.
Following an entertaining first-half, UCD came out quicker in the second period, and they took a 50th minute lead through Mahdy.
Mahdy linked up well with his striking partner Whelan before he slotted the ball home past Chambers in the Cabo goal.
The 22-year-old then went close to scoring a second moments later, but he saw his fiercely struck shot smack off the crossbar following an excellent through ball from Evan Weir.
However, the Students were not be denied a second, and it was Whelan who was on hand to notch his 14th league goal of the season.
The ex-Waterford under-19 star tapped home after he was found by Dignam’s low cross across the face of the six-yard box.
It would get even worse for Cabo in the 67th minute as Kerrigan got in on the act as he shot low into the far left-corner of Chambers’ goal.
Mahdy teed the ball off to the ex-Sligo Rovers winger who scored his fifth league goal of the season with the strike.
Andy Myler’s charges went close to making it four with a quarter of an hour to play, but they were thwarted by some good Cabinteely goalkeeping.
And the Green and White’s were soon handed a lifeline as Kieran Marty Waters poke home in the 78th minute.
However, the lifeline was short lived as sub Danu Kinsella Bishop slotted home past Chambers to all but end the game as a contest.
Mahdy would then score from the spot in the 86th minute to round off a super night at the office for UCD, who move into fourth spot, above Cabinteely in the First Division table.
UCD: Lorcan Healy; Luke Boore, Josh Collins, Michael Gallagher (Evan Farrell 80), Harry McEvoy, Evan Weir (Michael O'Keane 87); Mark Dignam, Jack Keaney (Adam Verdon 87), Liam Kerrigan (Dara Keane 71); Yousef Mahdy, Colm Whelan (Danu Kinsella Bishop 80).
Subs not used: Eoin Farrell (gk), Eoghan O'Sullivan.
Booked: Luke Boore (16), Michael Gallagher (77), Danu Kinsella Bishop (81).
Cabinteely: Corey Chambers; Christian Lotefa (Jack Connolly 59), Kevin Knight, Jonny Carlin, Daniel Blackbyrne; Kieran Marty Waters, Zak O'Neill (Dylan Thornton 74), Eoin Massey, Vilius Labutis (Luke Clucas 59), Paul Fox (Mark Soper 85); Shane Barnes (Mitchell Byrne 74).
Subs not used: Darragh Kenny (gk), Dean Casey.
Booked: Christian Lotefa (24).
Referee: David Keeler
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Liam Kerrigan (UCD).