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Leaders UCD suffer surprise defeat while Paddy McCourt gets on the scoresheet for Harps

UCD’s lead at the top of the table was reduced on a busy night of action in the First Division.

Paddy McCourt scored for Finn Harps on Friday (file pic).
Paddy McCourt scored for Finn Harps on Friday (file pic).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

LEAGUE OF IRELAND First Division leaders UCD were handed a surprise defeat on Friday night, suffering their third loss of the season after going down 2-0 to Cabinteely.

The result sees the Students’ lead at the top of the table cut to two points, as goals from Jack Watson and Luke Clucas handed Pat Devlin’s side an important three points.

The defeat will come as welcome news to Drogheda United as they make the long trip back from Eamonn Deacy Park, where Galway were handed a 1-0 defeat.

Sean Brennan’s second-half strike with 13 minutes left on the clock saw United roll away with all three points — a win made all the more significant when combined with UCD’s defeat.

Further down the table Shelbourne were rewarded for their own long trip down to Cobh with an impressive 3-0 victory at St Colman’s Park.

A brace from striker James English put Owen Heary’s side firmly in the lead, before James Brown made sure of the points with a third in the second half.

The Tolka Park side remain in the play-off positions thanks to the away win, while Finn Harps dropped down into fifth place with a 1-1 draw away to Wexford FC.

Paddy McCourt’s second-half penalty looked to have earned the Ballybofey club all three points, before an 80th minute Dean Kelly strike snatched a share of the spoils for Damien Locke’s men.

Elsewhere Longford Town were frustrated away to bottom-placed Athlone Town on Friday. Aaron Brilly gave the hosts the lead after 21 minutes, before Chris Mulhall equalised just past the hour mark.

The forward was then shown a red card with minutes remaining, meaning Neale Fenn’s side ended the game with ten men.

SSE Airtricity League First Division results:

  • Athlone Town 1-1 Longford Town
  • Cabinteely 2-0 UCD
  • Cobh Ramblers 0-3 Shelbourne
  • Galway United 0-1 Drogheda United
  • Wexford 1-1 Finn Harps

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