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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 21 April, 2019
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UCD late show stuns Cork City

A last-gasp Gary O’Neill penalty won it for the Students.

Gary O’Neill celebrates (file pic).
Gary O’Neill celebrates (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

UCD 2

Cork City 1

Dave Donnelly reporting at the UCD Bowl

GARY O’NEILL WAS the star once more for UCD as the captain kept his nerve to net a last-minute winner from the spot at the UCD Bowl.

The skipper won the penalty himself after he was clipped in the box by Sean McLoughlin, who had earlier given a first-half lead they just about deserved on merit.

The game turned in the space of ten dramatic second half minutes as Garry Comerford was shown a straight red card for an awful challenge on Ireland under-21 star Neil Farrugia.

Yoyo Mahdy levelled for the Students thanks to a generous error from City keeper Mark McNulty before O’Neill snatched all three points with virtually the last kick of the game.

A dire first half was lit up only by the crowd’s reaction to a request from the stadium announcer for the driver of the Cork City team bus to report to the main gate.

That prompted giggles and chants of ‘park the bus’ from the home crowd, but those smiles were quickly wiped from their faces as City took the lead.

An inswinging corner from Shane Griffin was misjudged by UCD keeper Conor Kearns and McLoughlin was on the spot to stab home.

It was the third set-piece goal UCD had conceded in a week after Derry City scored both of their goals in a 2-0 win on Friday from dead balls.

UCD had struggled with the vagaries of a pitch suffering from the end-of-season rugby calendar, but as the rain poured down they managed to impose their style.

They needed a huge slice of luck in the form of Comerford, who was sent off for a crazy tackle having been lucky to only see yellow for a lunge on Gary O’Neill.

The opening finally game five minutes from time as Mahdy, reunited with Conor Davis after he returned from injury for the final minutes, beat McNulty from 20 yards.

And there was time for more drama still as, despite a low-sounding two minutes added time being signalled, O’Neill drew the foul from McLoughlin and kept his nerve from 12 yards.

UCD: Kearns; Tobin, Scales, Collins, Dignam (Davis 82); O’Neill, Doyle, Molloy (O’Farrell 72); Farrugia, McClelland (McDonald 46), Mahdy.

Cork City: McNulty; Boylan (Crowley 46), McLoughlin, Casey, McCarthy, Griffin; Comerford, Morrissey Buckley; Tilley (Smith 89), Cummins (Gillam 54).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).

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