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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
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O'Donnell's first game in charge at Richmond Park ends all square between Pat's and UCD

The former Dundalk skipper’s side had the better chances tonight.

St Pat's Glen McAuley with Harry McEvoy of UCD.
St Pat's Glen McAuley with Harry McEvoy of UCD.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

St Pat’s 0

UCD 0

Brendan Graham reports from Richmond Park

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC and UCD shared the points in a battling performance from both sides in front of a crowd of 1,318 at Richmond Park this evening

Following his recent appointment as the new manager of St Patrick’s Athletic, Stephen O’Donnell took his place on the side line for the first time in the home dugout this evening with his first league fixture at home against UCD.

O’Donnell would have been very encouraged by the start his side made as they settled well into the game setting a quick pace and passing the ball around confidently in midfield early on.

Midfielders Darragh Markey and Glen McAuley looked dangerous any time they got their foot on the ball in central areas but the build-up was slow and they were struggling to find that final ball close to goal.

UCD came into the game adrift at the foot of the table by six points and having lost their last six league games in-a-row. Their goals against column has made for pretty grim reading in recent weeks having conceded thirty goals in those six matches.

The lack of confidence was clear to see from early on with the Students struggling to get out of their own half for large parts of the opening 45 minutes. On the rare occasions that they managed to steal away possession from the home side, they conceded it just as quick with panicked passes and uncertainty on the ball.

With 10 minutes on the clock, St Pat’s had the ball in the net through Ronan Hale only to have their celebrations cut short by the linesman’s offside flag.  A perfectly-weighted through ball from Dean Clarke found Hale on the edge of the box who slotted calmly past Kearns in the UCD goal but the striker had strayed just offside.

St Pat’s continued to enjoy plenty of the ball, stringing together plenty of passes across midfield but without ever causing too much worry for the UCD rearguard.

darragh-markey-after-the-game St Pat's Darragh Markey after the game. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Paul Doyle had a good chance for the Students after 34 minutes with the ball falling nicely to him after the initial shot from Mahdy was well blocked by Dave Webster, but he couldn’t keep his shot on target.

The second half began much the same as the first half had ended with the home side pushing for the opener but with little success.

On 52 minutes the home side had the ball in the net again, this time from Glen McAuley but for the second time on the night, the goal was ruled out with an offside flag and ensure the wait for that elusive first goal went on.

Second-half substitute Chris Forrester showed great vision to spot the early run of McAuley before threading a ball straight to the feet of the striker who finished past Kearns but not before the offside flag made another unpopular appearance

The Students were always going to get another chance or two before the night was out and both Jason McClelland and Mahdy had fantastic chances against the run of play to give their side the lead well into the second half.

McClelland was first to go close with a rasping low effort across goal from the edge of the box before a stunning effort from Mahdy inched just clear of Murphy’s crossbar after looking like it was heading straight for the top corner for so long.

Substitute Gary Shaw should have put his side in front with just 10 minutes remaining connecting well with a McCabe cross right in front of Kearns in the UCD goal but he couldn’t get enough power on the header giving Kearns an easy save in the end.

glen-mcauley-with-harry-mcevoy St Pat's Glen McAuley with Harry McEvoy of UCD. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The last chance of a more entertaining second half fell to UCD substitute Ciaran Behan well into injury time on the edge of the box but his rushed shot cleared well over the crossbar seconds before the final whistle.

The result sees both sides remain in the positions they occupied prior to kick-off with the point moving St Pat’s level with Derry City but remaining in fifth on goal difference while UCD narrow the gap with Finn Harps to five points as they look to avoid relegation.

St Pat’s: Barry Murphy; David Webster, Ian Bermingham, Simon Madden (Gary Shaw 74), Lee Desmond (Jake Walker 87); Kevin Toner, Darragh Markey, Rhys McCabe, Glen McAuley; Dean Clarke, Ronan Hale (Chris Forrester 62)

UCD: Conor Kearns; Daniel Tobin, Liam Scales, Harry McEvoy, Evan Farrell; Paul Doyle (Ciaran Behan 77), Dara Keane, Mark Dignam, Richie O’Farrell; Yousef Mahdy (Sam Byrne 90), Jason McClelland.

With the warm-up games out of the way, Murray, Bernard and Gavan discuss the renewed cause for optimism, impressive individual player form, and a potential quarter-final versus either South Africa or New Zealand.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Brendan Graham

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