UCD were crowned SSE Airtricity League First Division champions on Friday night after a 1-1 draw with Finn Harps at Belfield.
The visitors were the better team for large parts of the game, but chances were few and far between. They led briefly inside the final ten minutes, before Conor Davis scored his fifth goal in three games to earn a share of the spoils for College.
Ollie Horgan packed his midfield, which prevented UCD from playing their usual passing game. And the visitors were on top before the break. Jese Deevers put in a deep cross from the left in the fifteenth minute.
John O’Flynn was at the back post, and he did well to head it back across goal. It took Conor Kearns two attempts to gather the ball. Five minutes later it was Deevers getting on the end of a cross, but Kearns was able to claim the effort with ease.
Jason McClelland and Liams Scales both missed the target with headers for the hosts, but they weren’t clear cut chances. The closest UCD got in the opening forty-five was a shot from skipper Gary O’Neill on the stroke of half-time.
He didn’t hit it cleanly, but the effort from the edge of the box still had Ciaran Gallagher worried as it went just wide of the right post. Harps continued in the ascendancy in the second-half, but just as it looked like they were going to have to settle for a draw, the game burst into life.
Keith Cowan got on the end of a Gareth Harkin corner to give them the lead. But the supporters who had made the long journey from the north-west had barely stopped celebrating when UCD drew level. Conor Davis was put through, and he showed his class to smash the ball into the bottom left corner.
Harps pushed for a winner, but the chance never came. UCD will be playing Premier Division football in 2019, while Harps are guaranteed second place, and will be heading for the promotion play-offs