McCabe double helps Shamrock Rovers past UCD

College could yet be pulled into relegation play-off

Shane Robinson opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers against UCD at The UCD Bowl. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Shane Robinson opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers against UCD at The UCD Bowl. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

UCD 1 Shamrock Rovers 4: Shamrock Rovers kept alive their outside hopes of finishing fourth in the Premier Division with what proved in the end a comfortable victory over a young UCD side at a wet and windswept Belfield Bowl.

College, away to relegated Shelbourne in their final game, could yet be involved in the promotion/relegation game against Mervue United or Longford Town although Bray Wanderers or even Bohemians also come into that category.

The Hoops had the best possible of starts when Gary McCabe burst down the right on seven minutes and sent over a low cross to skipper Shane Robinson to fire home from close range at the far post.

And it got even better for Trevor Croly’s men two minutes later when College ‘keeper Conor O’Donnell brought down striker Thomas Stewart inside the box. The resulting penalty was hammered into the corner of the net by McCabe.

O’Donnell came to the students’ rescue on 36 minutes when getting down well to save a snap shot from Ronan Finn from 25 yards.

Then on the stroke of half time Rovers’ keeper Richard Brush did well to block a Robbie Benson effort from the edge of the box after Dean Clarke had created the opening.

Early in the second half College wasted a chance of narrowing the deficit when a Sean Russell free on the left was headed just over the bar by the unmarked Robbie Creevy bursting through the visitors’ defence.

Rovers might have stretched their lead on 62 minutes when O’Donnell got down well to save a Stewart effort from the edge of the box after Finn had set up the chance.

They were to regret that miss with College pulling pack a goal two minutes later when Dave O’Connor shot home from close range in a crowded Hoops goalmouth.

But Rovers hit back on 68 minutes when McCabe swept past two defenders on the left before cutting to shoot past O’Donnell, And the match was all over as a contest on 71 minutes when Stewart followed up to tap home a rebound after Robinson’s effort was only half blocked by the keeper.
UCD: O’Donnell; Langtry, O’Connor, Leahy, Coyne (O’Halloran 45); McCabe, Creevy, Walsh (Kavanagh 45), Benson, Russell; Clarke.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Brush, Sullivan, McGuinness, Foran, Powell; Ryan (Rice 45), McCabe, Finn, O’Connor, Robinson, Stewart.
Referee: Kevin O’Regan (Kerry).