McCabe on the double as Hoops find swagger
UCD 1 Shamrock Rovers 4
In many ways, this night was a microcosm of Shamrock Rovers' season – occasional brilliance was mixed with mediocrity.
But when the mood takes them, as it did for the opening quarter of this game, they are some side to watch, patient in possession, sharp in their movement, tactically astute.
What they've lacked for most of the year has been a penetrative edge. That was something Mark Quigley was meant to provide them with but Quigley didn't even make the squad last night, absent for an internal disciplinary matter.
In his place, Tommy Stewart continued his recent fine run of form and was unfortunate not to get his name on the scoresheet in the first half, when he had a goal disallowed for offside, before his patience was rewarded with a strike in the second half.
By then, the game was over. And for the 453 watching, it looked over after just 11 minutes when Shane Robinson slammed the ball home for the first goal, before Stewart's clever footwork won a penalty which Gary McCabe converted to double the lead two minutes later.
To their credit, UCD grew as the game wore on, and got a goal back on 64 minutes when Robbie Benson smashed home Sean Russell's corner.
That suggested a comeback was on the cards. But five minutes later, McCabe killed off that idea, scoring his second with a low shot. Stewart followed that up with the fourth in the 71st minute.
UCD – C O'Connor; Coyne (O'Halloran 46), Langtry, Leahy, D O'Connor; Benson, Creevy, McCabe, Russell, Walsh (Kavanagh 46); Clarke
Shamrock Rovers – Brush; Sullivan, McGuinness, Foran, Powell; McCabe, Finn, Robinson, Ryan (Rice 46), O'Connor; Stewart.
Ref – K O'Regan (Kerry)