Rovers in cruise control as UCD edge towards relegation
Shamrock Rovers 3 UCD 0
Shamrock Rovers warmed up for Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final against Derry City with a straight-forward win over UCD.
The Students have now not won in 10 league games and are just one point ahead of Athlone who prop up the Premier League table.
Ryan Brennan, back in the Rovers line-up after missing Friday’s draw at St Patrick’s Athletic, ran the show in this facile triumph.
The midfielder had UCD stretched from the fourth minute when his header forced Conor O’Donnell into a tip-over.
On seven minutes, Brennan grabbed his third goal of the campaign by ghosting in to steer Luke Byrne’s left-wing cross home from six yards.
While Gary McCabe was wasteful with the next chance, Sean O’Connor was deadly accurate with his on 19 minutes.
When the winger cut in from the right past Colm Crowe, he looked up and curled a delightful shot from 25 yards high into the far corner of the net.
Brennan forced Conor O’Donnell into another splendid stop after he shot on the turn while McCabe blazed over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy after the goalkeeper had spilled Simon Madden’s floated cross.
Despite Robbie Benson rattling the Rovers post with a free-kick on the stroke of half-time, normal service resumed 10 minutes after the restart when Rovers were awarded a spot-kick for a handball by Hugh Douglas. Up stepped McCabe to rifle the penalty into the top left corner.
Rovers missed a hatful of chances thereafter as they dominated.
SHAMROCK ROVERS – Hyland; Madden, Kenna, D O’Connor, L Byrne; Cregg (Bayly 21 inj), Robinson; S O’Connor, Brennan, McCabe (C Kavanagh 75); Kilduff (Kelly 67).
UCD – O’Donnell; Matthews, Douglas, Ryan, Coyne; Crowe (Simon 43), Creevy, Mohamed; Cannon (J Kavanagh 74), Benson, Mulhall (Belhout 69).
ref – D Tomney (Dublin)