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Five-star Dundalk demolish UCD

Daniel Cleary struck twice as the Louth club maintained their lead at the summit.

Dundalk players celebrate with goal scorer Daniel Cleary.
Dundalk players celebrate with goal scorer Daniel Cleary.
Image: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

UCD 0

Dundalk 5

DANIEL CLEARY SCORED twice as Dundalk put a callow UCD side to the sword for the second time in five days in Belfield on Friday night.

Sean Hoare, Michael Duffy and former Student Georgie Kelly were also on target to maintain the visitors’ four-point lead at the top of the Premier Division.

It could yet to turn out to a costly night for Vinny Perth’s side, who lost Jamie McGrath and Sean Murray to injury, though a 60-minute cameo for Robbie Benson may ease those worries.

Dundalk were dominant throughout without looking like delivering a repeat of the 10-1 defeat to Bohemians that cost Collie O’Neill his job.

O’Neill’s replacement, Maciej Tarnogrodzki, was able to welcome back goalkeeper Conor Kearns following his six-game ban for incitement in the win over Bohemians.

His absence coincided with UCD losing all five of their league games, conceding 25 goals, and tumbling six points behind Finn Harps in the relegation scrap.

Any hope that the Templeogue man would prove a winning talisman for the Students were extinguished by two early set-piece goals.

The first saw the lively Sean Murray swing in a corner from the right to find the head of Cleary, who rose high above the mass of bodies to power home.

After Kearns had denied Murray one-on-one, at the concession of a corner, the midfielder repeated the trick, this time putting it on the head of Sean Hoare to double the lead.

sean-murray-and-liam-kerrigan Sean Murray and Liam Kerrigan of UCD Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

UCD only had two clear chances during the game and the first of them, a clever turn and shot from Jason McClelland, wasn’t far off picking out the corner of Gary Rogers’ net.

As it happened, a Dundalk side featuring six changes from Monday night’s win over the same opposition at Oriel Park eased off rather than going for the jugular.

The introduction of Michael Duffy and top scorer Patrick Hoban injected some impetus, and Duffy notched a third – and his third against UCD this week – 20 minutes from time.

The winger shrugged off the challenge of Liam Scales and blasted a low shot in at Kearns’ near post, the power of the shot leaving the keeper with little chance.

georgie-kelly-and-liam-scales Dundalk's Georgie Kelly and Liam Scales of UCD. Source: Ciaran Culligan/INPHO

Georgie Kelly added a fourth a minute from time, an outstanding angled header to turn home Cameron Dummigan’s cross, before Cleary headed home his second in injury time.

UCD: Kearns; McEvoy, Scales, Boore, Farrell; Keaney, Keane (O’Farrell 81), Kerrigan; McClelland, Byrne, Mahdy (Behan 76).

Dundalk: Rogers; Dummigan, Hoare, Gartland, Massey; Shields, Murray (Duffy 66), McEleney; D Kelly (Hoban 76), McGrath (Benson 40), G Kelly.

Referee: Ray Matthews (Mullingar).

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