UCD's first half blitz enough to secure semi-final place with victory over Waterford
UCD 2 Waterford 1
With their aspirations of playing in the top flight next season but a point away from being realised, UCD got a flavour of what they may expect in the Premier Division next season.
On the evidence of this, it appears it would be very much to their taste.
First-half goals from Conor Davis and Timmy Molloy put Collie O’Neill’s side through to their first FAI Cup semi-final in 11 years at the expense of their disjointed Premier Division opponents at the UCD Bowl.
Unbeaten in nine games in all competitions going into the game, top of the First Division UCD took a 20th-minute lead from the first incisive attack of the game.
Greg Sloggett was the Students’ architect and his cross was toe-poked home by the in-form Davis for his fifth goal in four games.
Clearly rattled, Blues conceded again six minutes later.
Skipper Gary O’Neill’s deflected shot won a corner which Jay McClelland duly delivered.
Waterford failed to deal with it, allowing Molloy time and space to pick up the loose ball and rifle a right-footed drive to the far corner.
A rash challenge by O’Neill on Rory Feely, in conceding a 78th-minute penalty, allowed Waterford an avenue back into the game as Stanley Aborah sent Kearns the wrong way from the spot, but it was too little too late.
UCD – Kearns; Tobin, Collins, Scales, Osam; Farrugia (O’Connor 84), O’Neill, Molloy (Doyle 81), McClelland; Sloggett; Davis (Mahdy 88).
Waterford – Corbet; Barnett, Browne, Webster, Comerford; Hutchinson (Aborah h-t), Keegan (Feely 59), Hery; Holohan; Akinade (Duffus 37), O’Halloran.
REF – John McLoughlin (Roscommon).