UCD continued their Collingwood Cup/Premier Division preparations with a hard-fought nil-nil draw with free spending Shelbourne at the UCD Bowl.
Both sides enjoyed lots of possession, but the finishing touch was often lacking at the sparsely populated Belfield venue.
This was the sides first meeting since July, where UCD held the Reds to a one-one draw with Yoyo Mahdy’s opener being cancelled out by Derek Prendergast late on at the Belfield venue.
UCD went on to win the First Division crown soon after, with Shelbourne being left behind in the First Division following their semi-final Playoff defeat to Drogheda United via a penalty shootout at Tolka Park.
This was Shels most recent test of their pre-season preparations having drawn with Northside rivals Bohemians 2-2 at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbottstown.
Collie O’Neill’s Students came into the game off the back of a two-nil win over Mary Immaculate College in the Collingwood Cup on Wednesday afternoon. The Students’ most recent friendly was a defeat to South Dublin rivals Cabinteely last weekend.
UCD had the first chance of the game with Richie O’Farrell’s headed effort just escaping the goal of Dean Delany after a sublime ball in from the ever-dependable Gary O’Neill.
Shels went close next with Shane Farrell bursting clean through on goal after a Daniel Tobin mistake. Recent Ireland Under-21 call up Conor Kearns stood tall to prevent the Reds taking an early lead at the Belfield venue.
League of Ireland royalty watched on as the pair of Dublin rivals struggled to get any real rhythm going in a rather dull first half with Stephen O’Donnell, Paul Osam, Eddie Gormley and Pat Devlin all in attendance at the Bowl.
Shane Farrell once again missed a guilt-edge opportunity, blazing the ball high and wide over the bar in the process before Conor Davis went close before the break.
Shels emerged with a brand-new side for the second half while UCD also made changes. However, shortly after coming on, Paul Doyle was forcibly withdrawn from the action, with Darragh Corcoran taking the place of the ex-Sligo Rovers youngster shortly afterwards.
Shelbourne had the first real opening of the half as the recently introduced Dayle Rooney saw his one-on-one effort with Kearns brilliantly saved by the Republic of Ireland Under-21 shot stopper. Gary O’Neill cleared the resulting knock-on off the line.
Paul Zimmaring went closest next for the Reds before Greg Moorehouse missed the opportunity of the night as he skewed his effort well over the relieved Sheridan in the Students goal.
English had the last real opening of the game for the Reds with a low drive that was well collected by Gavin Sheridan before Yoyo Mahdy’s cross-turned shot hit the post of Imrich Toth’s goal for the Drumcondra based side.
UCD: Conor Kearns; Daniel Tobin, Liam Scales, Josh Collins, Evan Osam; Richie O’Farrell, Neil Farrugia, Gary O’Neill, Timmy Molloy; Conor Davis, Yoyo Mahdy.
Subs: Gavin Sheridan, Mark Dignam, Darragh Corcoran, Luke Boore, Conor Crowley, Jack Ryan, Paul Doyle, Evan Farrell.
Yellow Cards: Liam Scales (11).
Shelbourne first half: Dean Delany; John Ross Wilson, Oscar Brennan, Chris Giles, Ciaran Kilduff, Paul Zimmaring, Karl Moore, Daniel McKenna, Shane Farrell, Derek Prendergast, Flavio Marku.
Shelbourne second half: Imrich Toth; Lorcan Fitzgerald, Alex O’Hanlon, Luke Byrne, James English, Paul Zimmaring, Dayle Rooney, Sean Quinn, Michael McHugh, Greg Moorehouse, Derek Prendergast.
Referee: Mark Houlihan.
Attendance: 250 (Estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Richie O’Farrell (UCD).