UCD won the Southside Derby at Belfield on Friday night, beating Cabinteely 4-1.
The Students were never behind, after Gary O’Neill’s ninth minute penalty. Cabo briefly drew level, after a touch of class from Marty Waters. But The Students would take a lead into half-time, following Yoyo Mahdy’s close range finish. Two Jason McClelland goals after the break sealed the victory.
These teams always produce high scoring games. The previous four encounters had seen Friday’s visitors hit twelve goals, while UCD had registered nine in the same matches. Cabo had a good record against The Students, only losing one of those games.
But this is a different UCD team, and the victory maintains their seven point lead at the top of the table with only four games to be played. It also guarantees them a play-off place, at the very worst. The hosts took the lead after Mahdy was taken down.
Referee David Keeler had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and skipper Gary O’Neill stroked the penalty low, and down the middle, with Stephen McGuiness choosing to dive to the left. They were level after thirty minutes.
Karl Byrne’s powerful run was snuffed out on the edge of the UCD box. The ball fell nicely for Waters, and he hit a perfect shot into the far left corner, beating Conor Kearns with the help of the post. The technique for the goal was top drawer.
But the Students would take a lead into half-time. Gary O’Neill’s diving header forced McGuinness into a full-length save, and Mahdy was there to finish the rebound from close range.
UCD made it comfortable on the hour mark. Greg Sloggett laid the ball up for Jason McClelland just inside the box. He showed great composure, taking a touch, before firing across McGuiness and into the bottom right corner.
McClelland had his second in the last five minutes. He smashed an effort towards goal from eight yards, and McGuinness couldn’t hold it, as the ball trickled over the line.