Byrne on fire for Bray in thriller
UCD 4, BRAY WDS 5
EVERGREEN Jason Byrne helped himself to four goals as Bray Wanderers secured a nerve-jangling victory over UCD at Belfield.
The Students had a dream start with a goal from Cillian Morrison after five minutes, but Ismahil Akinade restored parity nine minutes later.
Byrne pounced on an error by UCD 'keeper Mark McGinley to put Bray ahead in the 42nd minute and his second, minutes later, showed his predatory instincts as he found the net after Kieran 'Marty' Waters' effort rebounded.
His hat-trick was completed on the hour mark as he slid a glorious finish beyond McGinley after a probing pass by John Mulroy.
The Students were handed a lifeline in the 65th minute when David McMillan converted from the penalty spot and then David O'Connor nodded home from close range in the 77th minute.
Byrne struck again six minutes later, availing of a defence-splitting pass by Gary Dempsey, with Robbie Creevy's injury-time goal arriving too late to alter the outcome.
UCD – McGinley; Douglas, Kavanagh, O'Connor; Traynor, McCabe (Walsh, 61), Creevy, Burke (Clarke, 61), O'Halloran (Belhout, 79); McMillan, Morrison.
Bray Wds – Quigley; Doyle, S O'Connor, Webster, Early; Akinade (Knight, 83), Dempsey (K O'Connor 90+1), Zambra, Waters; Mulroy, Byrne.
Ref – S Grant (Wexford)