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Fingal cement Euro spot

SPORTING FINGAL secured their place in the Europa League after an emphatic victory over UCD thanks to a brace of goals each from Glen Crowe and Gary O'Neill.

Liam Buckley's side got off to a spectacular start with two goals in the opening six minutes. Crowe headed home from a Conan Byrne corner after just two minutes to give Fingal an early lead.

Referee Anthony Buttimer played a good advantage in the build-up to the second goal. Byrne appeared to be fouled by Chris Mulhall but Ronan Finn crossed the loose ball and O'Neill's header found the net.

O'Neill then forced the ball home from close range in the 25th minute for the third when he connected with a low cross by Finn.

UCD got back in the game in the 60th minute when Michael Leahy headed home after Evan McMillan had flicked on a Paul Corry corner.

But Crowe's stunning strike restored Fingal's advantage seven minutes later after Alan Kirby nodded on a right-wing cross from Byrne.

SPORTING FINGAL -- Clarke; Browne, Hawkins, Williams, Fitzgerald, Byrne, Finn, McFaul, Kirby (Quinn 89), Crowe, O'Neill.

UCD -- Brennan; Harding, Leahy, E McMillan, Shortall, Creevy, Bolger (Rusk 46), Corry, Mulhall, D McMillan, Kilduff.

ReF -- A Buttimer (Cork).

Irish Independent