St Patrick's Athletic bounced back from a disappointing defeat last time out against Cork City as Liam Buckley's side overcame The College with three well taken goals on Friday night. Goals by Keith Fahey, Conan Byrne and Ian Birmingham would seal the victory amid a late flurry by UCD meant that once again the Saints would emerge as 3-2 victors.
Pats came into this game hoping to make it nine wins on the trot in Richmond Park but they knew that UCD's youngsters would be more than up for this Friday night clash that was also chosen by Setanta Sports as their live game of the week.
The previous two games between these two had ended with Pats scrapping a comeback 3-2 victory in the same venue at the start of the season followed by an impressive performance by the Students in Belfield that would earn them a share of the spoils on that occasion.
Therefore it was hardly surprising that this game started in lively fashion as Colm Crowe took less than five minutes to register his sides first shot of the game although he did little to worry Brendan Clarke.
This early glimpse of Student pressure didn't last long as The Saints began to stamp their authority on the game. First Fahey forced O'Donnell into a top save before Chris Forrester forced the former Ipswich youth player into an almost identical save just four minutes later.
It was just shy of the twenty minute mark when the usually composed Keith Fahey spurned a glorious chance. Chris Forrester orchestrated a beautiful passing move that saw the Irish International presented with the simplest of chances, however he could only direct the effort into the side netting.
Just on the brink of half time UCD led to their own downfall as Colm Crowe was disposed 30 yards from goal, leaving Fahey to simply knick in, glide past a lunging challenge and then lift the ball over an onrushing Conor O'Donnell.
The injury list has been growing at UCD with Dean Clarke, Thomas Boyle and recent injury victim Mark Langtry all in the treatment centre in Belfield. On the positive side Conor O'Donnell made a return from a broken finger on Friday and made sure that everyone in Inchicore knew exactly why he is the current number one with a flurry of top quality saves either side of the half time interval.
Less than fifteen minutes into the second half things turned ugly as former UCD man Greg Bolger was shown a red card by referee Harvey after he deemed the Pats midfielder to have shown too much of his studs when he went into a challenge with Colm Crowe.
Pats doubled their lead through Conan Byrne after 69 minutes. Byrne, who has been one of the current league champions main goal threats this season, applied the perfect finish to cap off a thinly timed through ball by Chris Forrester.
Not long after it was three as the game was well and truly but beyond the reach of Aaron Callaghan's side. Ian Birmingham had no problems converting Killian Brennan's cross field ball with a confidently taken left footed volley thundering under the diving body of Conor O'Donnell.
The drama was not done there as The Students would grab a solitary goal back to ruin Brendan Clarke's clean sheet. Hugh Douglas smashed home from just inside the area demonstrating his attributes and worth all over the pitch.
Robbie Benson would then cause some nerves among the Pats supporters in the final few seconds as he thundered home a sweetly taken free kick from just outside the box to add even more respectability to the final score line from the Student's perspective.
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Conor McCormack, Derek Foran, Sean Hoare, Ian Birmingham; Killian Brennan (Aaron Greene 79), Greg Bolger, Keith Fahey, Chris Forrester (Ger O'Brien 85); Christy Fagan (Lorcan Fitzgerald 87), Conan Byrne
Subs Not Used: Rene Gilmartin, Kenny Browne, Sam Verdon, Jack Bayly
Booked: Derek Foran (29)
Sent Off: Greg Bolger (57)
UCD: Conor O'Donnell, Gareth Matthews (Ayman Ben Mohamed 64), Hugh Douglas, James Kavanagh, Ian Ryan; Tom O'Halloran, Colm Crowe (Timmy Molloy 64), Robbie Benson, Robbie Creevy, Chris Mulhall (Conor Cannon 73); Samir Belhout
Subs Not Used: Niall Corbet, Sean Coyne, Gary Burke, Greg Sloggett
Booked: Colm Crowe (60)
Referee: Robert Harvey
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Conan Byrne (St Patrick's Athletic)