Dylan O’Connell reports from St Colman’s Park
A brace from Liam Kerrigan combined with a smashing free kick from Jack Keaney and a late strike from Colm Whelan gave UCD a 4-0 win over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park.
The College, who drew 2-2 at home to Athlone Town last week, dominated this First Division clash in East Cork.
Cobh, who were seeking redemption after losing 2-1 in the Cork derby last week, stared bright but failed to force a meaningful chance.
Darryl Walsh tried to burst through the UCD back three, but the trio held firm and the Cobh forward ran wide, into no man’s land.
Minutes later the Rams were given a free kick, which saw Walsh set up Ian Turner, who fired low into the area. The ball failed to find a foot inside the crowded penalty box and Lorcan Healy scoop up the ball with ease.
Slowly the college began to assert themselves on the game. Andy Myler chose to play five in the centre, and this allowed them to enjoy much of the possession in the first half.
Kerrigan, who scored on his last visit to St Coleman’s Park, bust free and fired from the tightest of angels to give UCD a 1-0 lead on the half hour mark.
The College should have doubled their lead when Evan Weir squared the ball a free Whelan. Ahead of the striker was a congested Cobh back four, who cleared the ball to safety.
Kerrigan got his second of the after he flicked a header across goal, well out of the reach of goal-keeper Sean Barron.
The Students closed out of the half with a superb strike from Whelan, which beat Barron and blasted off the crossbar.
The second half began with a charge from the Cobh midfield to support of striker Conor Drinan, which pushed UCD back into their penalty area. This led to a flurry of changes, but each was dealt with by a strong Luke Boore.
UCD captain Kearney led by example for the college’s third goal, by curling an inch perfect free-kick into the top corner of the Cobh goal from twenty-five yards.
In an attempt to rescue the game, Cobh started launching balls forward to James Hegarty, who was brought on in place of Ciaran Griffin. If the college’s back three could not deal with these, Healy came out to help his side, by catching and clearing the ball.
With three minutes remaining, UCD completed their rout when Whelan fired from close range, after an impressive run through the centre of the pitch.
Cobh Ramblers: Sean Barron (gk), John Kavanagh, Darryl Walsh, Lee Devitt, Charlie Lyons, Ian Turner, Pierce Philips, Conor Drinan (Killian Cooper 61), David O’Leary (Chris O’Leary 76), Darren Murphy, Ciaran Griffin (Jake Hegarty 61).
Subs not used: Naythan Coleman, Stephen O’Leary, Cian Murphy, Martin Coleman, Kevin Williams, Corey Chambers.
Booked: John Kavanagh.
UCD: Lorcan Healy (gk), Eoin Farrell (Isaal Akinsete 85), Paul Doyle (Donal Higgins 85), Jack Keaney, Colm Whelan, Sam Todd, Liam Kerrigan, Evan Weir (Ciaran Beehan 87), Mark Dignam (Dara Keane 70), Sean Brennan, Luke Boore.
Subs not used: Carl Williams, Michael McHugh, Harvey O’Brien, Adam Lennon, and Adam Verdon.
Referee: Robert Dowling.
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Liam Kerrigan (UCD).