UCD into last 16 of Intermediate Cup

First half goals from Timmy Molloy and Mark Boland saw UCD advance to the last 16 of the FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup for the second time in three years in blustery conditions in Cork on Saturday.FAI Intermediate Cup

UCD's last visit to Cork in the competition was two years ago in the final in Turners Cross against intermediate heavyweights Avondale, and they were determined to set the tone from the kick off and get their first victory in four visits to Cork in the competition.

Dominating the early exchanges, UCD looked to pile on the pressure. Mark Boland went down under a strong tackle as he looked to break down the line, however as the referee waved play on Joe Keohane continued his run before cutting the ball back inside to the recovering Mark Boland who was fouled just outside the box. Timmy Molloy looked to try his luck, however his free kick was well saved by the Leeside goalkeeper after it took an awkward bounce in front of him.

UCD were finally rewarded for their brilliant start after 16 minutes when Ronan Crean beat his man down the right wing before a brilliant cross picked out Mark Boland only for his shot to be saved. The rebound fell to Joe Keohane who also saw his shot blocked and the ball fell to the unmarked Timmy Molloy who calmly finished to give the students the lead.

It wasn't long before UCD doubled the lead, after Timmy Molloy stepped up to take a deep free kick, and his perfect ball found Mark Boland unmarked six yards out to head past the stranded keeper.

UCD had settled into the game brilliantly with Fran Moran, Robbie Murray and Timmy Molloy combining brilliantly in midfield on a number of occasions, and the trio combined again before picking out Mark Boland on the edge of the box and he was fouled from behind by the Leeside centre back. Timmy Molloy stepped up to try his luck again, but this time his free kick just found its way past the top corner.

UCD continued to dominate the first half and were unlucky not to extend their lead further when Joe Keohane's corner was headed back across the goal to Mark Boland only for his goal bound shot to be cleared off the line.

As the half time whistle drew closer Leeside began to come back into the game, however on the stroke of half time Mark Boland thought he had extended UCD's lead further as his shot was deflected over the keeper only for him to make a brilliant recovery to tip it over the bar at full stretch.

After a brilliant first half performance, UCD were forced into a change at half time as Derek Swan replaced the influential Mark Boland after he was forced off with a shin injury.

Just as UCD started in the first half, Leeside looked to use the advantage of the strong breeze as they piled on the pressure early in the second half. UCD's captain Steve Dillon led by example as he headed clear corner after corner. However on the hour mark, Leeside pulled themselves back into the game as a mix up in the UCD defence saw, Leeside gifted an opportunity, and an attempted block on the shot saw the ball loop over Sean Coffey to leave him with no chance.

Leeside then looked sure to grab the equaliser as a great ball in from the right wing found their centre back unmarked inside the six yard box but he couldn't keep his header down. A couple of minutes later, it looked as if they had scored the equaliser in a similar fashion to Mark Boland's first half goal only for the header to come back off the bar.

That looked to spur UCD back into life as Fran Moran looked to grab a hold of the game once more and a great pass to Ronan Crean down the right put Crean through however his shot was well saved by the Leeside keeper. Fran was UCD's orchestrator once more a few minutes later as this time he switched the ball out left to Joe Keohane who looked to beat his man before cutting back inside only to see his shot blocked and go out for a corner.

UCD's next chance came in a similar fashion as Fran Moran switched the ball out left to Keohane who this time had the beating of his man only to see his shot just go over the bar. Minutes later a poor kick out from the Leeside keeper found Joe Keohane unmarked and looked to catch him out with a spectacular first time volley only to see it just go past the post.

As the half wore on, Leeside once again came back into the game and a cross from their right wing after some great work picked out a man unmarked at the back post only for his header to just go wide of the post.

UCD looked to close out the game, and Fran Moran and Joe Keohane once again combined brilliantly and Joe released Derek Swan who was unlucky as he looked destined to score only for the ground to give way beneath him just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Deep into injury time Sean Coffey came to UCD's rescue as in a crowded box he made a brilliant catch on a cross to relieve the pressure.

The win puts UCD into the last 16 of the competition for the second time in three years with the game likely to take place in late January.

UCD Team: Sean Coffey, Ciaran Quinn, Kieran Bowers, Oscar Brennan, Steve Dillon, Robbie Murray, Ronan Crean, Fran Moran, Mark Boland, Timmy Molloy, Joe Keohane

UCD Sub: Derek Swan on for Mark Boland at H/T

Man of the Match: Timmy Molloy