Wednesday 26 July 2017

Doyle kills off Gypsies' title dreams


Garry Doyle

They came into this game harbouring genuine title ambitions but exited it knowing that the dream is over.

While the FAI Cup still provides Bohemians with some hope that this season won't be a complete write-off, the league is gone; that's for certain.

Bohs committed the cardinal sin of failing to take advantage of their first-half chances when the game was there to be won, before falling apart completely after the break when Stephen Doyle and Darren Meenan scored the goals which sealed the win for UCD.

Ultimately Doyle's opening goal proved the difference because from then until the final whistle, UCD's confidence soared. Until them, they were treading water, content to be in the game without ever looking like they would take a grip of it.

Indeed, had Bohs had a little more luck in the first half, when Robert Bayly's lob just veered wide -- and Killian Brennan had a goal disallowed for offside -- then this may have been a different game.

As it was, Mark Rossiter and Glenn Cronin's enforced withdrawal through injury within five minutes of the restart proved crucial. After that, the wind went out of Bohs' sails -- and sensing their opportunity, UCD grabbed the initiative.

After 57 minutes Doyle latched onto Graham Rusk's lay-off before striking a fine right-footed-shot which took a wicked deflection off Aidan Price before ending up in the back of Barry Murphy's net.

The 'keeper could do nothing about Meenan's-83rd minute strike -- a superb, curling effort which finished in the top left-hand corner.

Cue panic stations in the Bohs dug-out. Their manager Pat Fenlon pushed his full-backs forward and moved Brennan into central midfield as they went for broke.

Yet it was not to be. UCD sat deep to provide safety in numbers and for all their huff and puff, Bohs had little invention.

UCD -- McGinley; Douglas, Leahy, Boyle, D O'Connor; P O'Conor, Creevy (Marshall, 31), Corry, Meenan; Doyle (Belhout 76), Rusk.

Bohemians -- Murphy; Rossiter (Lopez ht), O'Brien, Price, Cahill; Flood, Hurley (Fagan 68), Cronin (Dixon 49), Bayly, Brennan; Downes.

Ref -- D Hancock (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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