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Former Reading forward nets hat-trick as UCD take one step closer to First Division title

There were big wins for UCD and Finn Harps on a busy night in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.

UCD forward Conor Davis scored three against Drogheda United on Friday.
UCD forward Conor Davis scored three against Drogheda United on Friday.

UCD CAN WRAP up the SSE Airtricity League First Division title in a fortnight’s time following a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Drogheda United on Friday night.

On an important night for promotion hopes in the second tier, Drogheda suffered a major blow in their aspirations to secure a play-off position, with the Louth club knowing that Longford can now leapfrog them into fourth spot with a win against Cabinteely tomorrow.

A brilliant hat-trick from former Reading forward Conor Davis handed The Students an important three points, with Friday’s victory maintaining their five point lead at the top of the table ahead of a crucial meeting with Finn Harps on 14 September when they can secure the title.

Sean Brennan was sent off just before half-time, leaving Tim Clancy’s side with a mountain too climb after the break. All three of Davis’s goals came after the break, taking Collie O’Neill’s side one step closer to Premier Division football for 2019.

Elsewhere, Friday saw Shelbourne throw away a two goal lead at home to Athlone Town on a night when a win for Owen Heary’s side would have clinched a play-off position.

Davy O’Sullivan notched his 15th goal of the season to overtake Georgie Kelly in the goalscoring charts from the penalty spot, before strike partner James English doubled the Reds’ advantage before the break.

A second half collapse saw goals from Ian Fletcher and Oliver Hamzat see the visitors secure a share of the spoils during the 2-2 draw, with Shelbourne’s woe only aided by Drogheda’s defeat at home to UCD, as both sides battle for play-off spots.

Finn Harps held onto second place with a 2-0 victory over Galway United in Ballybofey. Goals from Michael Place and Mark Timlin saw Ollie Horgan’s men secure their 15th win from 25 games this season, with the Donegal club now four points clear of Shelbourne.

Meanwhile, Cobh Ramblers defeated Wexford 2-1 at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday. Quick-fire goals from David Hurley and Chris Hull saw Stephen Henderson’s men race into a two goal lead, with Adham Masood’s strike with half an hour remaining only halving the deficit, as the hosts suffered their 18th defeat of the campaign. 

SSE Airtricity League First Division results:

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

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