Saturday 24 March 2018

Meenan ends Pat's faint hopes


David O'Connor and Darren Meenan last night administered the last rites to St Pat's already faltering title challenge.

Pat's now have just three games remaining and five points to claw back on both Shamrock Rovers and Sligo.

The manner of their defeat here will leave a bitter taste for quite some time. Firstly, because it was a game they were in complete control of, and secondly, because UCD's initial goal was so avoidable.

Unmarked from Paul Corry's corner, O'Connor was allowed to linger in the six-yard box as Meenan's shot made its way goalwards and got a crucial touch which took the ball past Gary Rogers.

And so the College had an unlikely lead, one which certainly hadn't looked like arriving when Mark McGinley was busily producing fingertip saves to deny Derek Doyle in the 32nd minute and Sean O'Connor in the 33rd.

They didn't stay there for long, though, David McMillan scoring from six yards after Anto Murphy supplied the cross just two minutes into the new half.

That equaliser suggested a Pat's victory was on the cards. However, UCD proved mature in their decision-making and defended resolutely and, more to the point, counter-attacked impressively.

Rogers had the measure of Meenan's 65th-minute shot but there was absolutely nothing the goalkeeper could do about the winger's curling, powerful effort in the 90th minute, which nestled in the corner of the Pat's net.

UCD -- McKinley; Douglas, D O'Connor, Leahy, Ledwith; Marshall (Clarke 77), Corry, P O'Connor, Belhout (Benson 59), Meenan; Rusk.

St Pat's Athletic -- Rogers; Shortall (Pender 73), Kenna, E McMillan, Bermingham; Doyle, Crowley, Daly (Bradley 78), S O'Connor, Murphy; D McMillan (J O'Connor 88).

Ref -- N Doyle (Dublin).

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport