UCD AFC 4-0 Bray Wanderers


Airtricity League Premier Division


UCD                     (0)     4                 BRAY WANDERERS     (0)     0

Kilduff 51, 54, 72, Bolger 77


UCD Bowl, Friday 16 July 2010 ko 1945


By Brian de Salvo


“Normal Service has been resumed” – or so it would seem from the score line.   Indeed, it was, eventually, a comfortable home win but it would be simplistic to make judgement on the stats alone.   For a start, UCD’s two opening goals were justifiably disputed and, although the Students were moving into cruise control at that stage of the game, conceding two goals within three minutes in such circumstances would be enough to deflate most defences, less alone that with the worst record in the division.   Add to this that the Seagulls dominated the first twenty minutes with a corner count of seven to nil and you will realise that there was more to this entertaining game than the result might suggest.


But Bray didn’t score during that early purple patch.   The corners provided some anxious moments for keeper Barron in a crowded goalmouth but when Shane O’Neill seized the opportunity to hit a fierce rising drive on target the big UCD keeper was alert and turned it over.   There was nothing he could do, however, about Webster’s cross that the diving O’Neill just failed to get his head to.

Click here to see Ed Scannel's photos of last night's match

That was in the 34th minute and the UCD midfield, with Ward a delight to watch and O’Conor a massive presence, was beginning to grab hold of the game.   Indeed, even in the earlier stages, the home side looked the more likely to score.   Brian Kane made several saves of distinction, the first as early as the 5th minute when he flung himself to his right to parry in what was to become a personal dual with Ciaran Kilduff.   He repeated his heroics in the 18th and 42nd minutes as the visitors steadily lost their grip on proceedings.


So it was no surprise when UCD took the lead five minutes into the second period although the legality of the goal was questioned and Bray keeper Kane’s protest earned him a yellow card.   Paul O’Conor’s low drive from the edge of the penalty area came back off Kilduff’s ankle.   Ward teed up O’Conor a second time and this time Kane turned his blistering drive on to the underside of the bar from whence it rebounded for Kilduff to head into the empty net from four yards.   Offside?   Certainly the big striker was goal side of the keeper when he scored.   It all depends of where he came from when O’Conor’s second effort was struck.   If you think about it he was unlikely to be standing where he ended up when he headed home; anyway Assistant Rhona Daly ruled it kosher.


Three minutes later, more outrage for the visiting fans.   Michael Kelly put in another great stint at right back but, despite what you may read in your paper, it was Evan McMillan who put in the angled cross from the right which Kane dropped under pressure from Kilduff who then flicked the loose ball home.   Foul on the keeper?   Possibly.   For the key to identifying the provider I am indebted to the skipper’s sibling.   Rumours that he has become his brother’s agent are unfounded but I plan to sit closer to David McMillan on match days, so he could join the match reporting team!   Watch this space.


Shane O’Neill (who else?) provided a moment’s respite for the Seagulls a minute later but his 25 yard shot came back off the UCD bar and it was Kilduff who completed his hat trick instead, fastening onto Robbie Creevy’s through ball to leave a trail of disconsolate defenders in his wake and slip the ball past the advancing Kane.   Boyle might have got a fourth but it was ruled out for offside and the late drama featured sub Greg Bolger who, returning after injury, was on the score sheet within a minute of coming off the bench, thanks to neat one-two with Kilduff.   The downside was his retaliation to a dangerous foul on him by Chris Shields in the 89th minute which earned both participants red cards.


Despite the score there were positives for Bray Wanderers but they are what circumstances have combined to make them since they were dumped back into the Premier Division at the last minute this season, a second tier side playing in the top flight.   Referee Padraig Sutton, I am sorry to report, was simply second rate.   Thirty one free kicks and so many yellow cards that I lost count indicate poor man management skills on the night.   Without these, the application of the laws of the game are likely to reflect the frustration of the players at the expense of the beautiful game.


UCD: Ger Barron; Michael Kelly (Greg Matthews 66), Evan McMillan, Andy Boyle, Ciaran Nangle; Robbie Creevy (Greg Bolger 75 s/o 89), Paul O’Conor, Keith Ward; Dwayne Wilson (Paul Corry 85), Ciaran Kilduff, Graham Rusk.


BRAY WANDERERS: Brian Kane; Shane O’Connor, Danny O’Connor, Derek Prendergast, Dane Massey; Shane O’Neill (Daire Doyle 82), David Webster (James Kavanagh 77), Chris Shields s/o 89, John Mulroy, Jake Kelly; Robbie Doyle (Ian Tuohy 77).


Referee: Mr P. Sutton