Sunday 18 March 2018

Griffin bags debut brace to sink UCD

It was a second visit to the capital in six days for the Lilywhites, but they enjoyed an altogether different outcome this time around.

Mark Griffin stepped into the breach left by the injured Jason Byrne, and the 19-year-old made it a first league start to remember when he bagged both goals in a deserved win.

After Daniel Kearns had twice come close in the early stages Griffin's lively showing up front was almost rewarded in the 34th minute, but Ger Barron got down well to deny him after Michael Hector had played the final pass.

Samir Belhout managed a rare first-half shot for the Students in the 38th minute, but it never troubled Peter Cherrie, and five minutes later his opposite number Barron made a stunning save, denying Griffin a headed goal by tipping onto the underside of the crossbar.

Griffin wasn't to be denied though, and he latched onto Ross Gaynor's square pass to fire beyond Barron for the opener with 18 minutes left.

That one looked enough, but the youngster made absolutely sure four minutes into injury-time, as he forced the ball over the line after Keith Ward had rattled the crossbar from a free-kick.

UCD -- Barron; Harding, Leahy, O'Connor (Boyle 72), Nangle; Meenan, O'Conor, Corry, Russell (Benson 61); Marshall, Belhout (Doyle 78).

Dundalk -- Cherrie; Madden, Hector, Hawkins, N Murphy; Kearns, Bennett (Ward 63), Bolger, Gaynor; Griffin, Quigley.

Ref -- A Buttimer (Cork).

Irish Independent

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