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Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Students Shock Shamrock Rovers

Last night UCD brought a shock upset to the league when they took a two -  nil victory at home following an 87 minute onslaught of pressure from a Rovers side that lacked any flair or confidence.

UCD AFC, have started the season very poorly following the loss of a group of crucial first team starters during pre-season.  Some of who have ended up at the opposition side such as left midfielder turned left back Danny Ledwith.

Similarly, Shamrock Rovers also lost key players come the end of the previous season. Such as talisman Gary Twigg. However, being one of, if not the most supported and successful club in the league of Ireland they had the resources to bring in some firepower to try and stunt the success of the 'bit o red' Sligo Rovers.

And they did a good job. Bringing in a one, Mark Quigley directly from their western rivals. The top scorer last season has not preformed under the bright lights of Tallaght stadium.

Shamrock Rovers came into the game 5/2 on. They were clear favourites and for good reason. UCD had only obtained one point coming from an away two - two with Bray Wanderers. And were situated at the dubious dead last position on the league table.

Rovers also have started slowly for their standards but expected to pick up their complementary three points when they come with the crowd to the Belfield bowl. A heavenly ground for an on form team to score a few goals.

The college did a good job at the back all game with only a few near bloopers from the inexperienced students. Ball after ball came in over the top and nearly every time it was dealt with by Mick Leahy who put in an inspired performance with the help of right back, the red machine, Hugh Douglas.

Rovers hit the post from a poorly struck free kick that wasn't dealt with by substitute keeper Ger Barron.  After Mark McGinley injured his ankle early on in the first half.

This game was tough to watch from a devoted Rovers fans perspective because of their inability to score the goal that would've sent them on their way to a comfortable win.

So when UCD took the lead late into the second half from a free kick crossed in by Midfielder Sean Russell headed into the net by Hugh Douglas things couldn't get much worse. Ten minutes of pressure followed.

And it all came down to a corner from Danny Ledwith. Who had been floating in crosses from left back all night. One - nil at this stage in the  92nd minute, the goal keeper made the 90 yard run to add his physical presence in the box. And may prove to be the extra man.

Unfortunately for him, the ball was headed clear by David O'Connor and was hacked to Dean Clarke an important impact sub who ran with the ball instead of shooting into the goal from thirty yards. A three on one in the penalty area occurred with just the keeper to beat who did well to get back.

The ball fell to Sean Russell who eventually coolly finessed the ball into the back of the net with the last kick of the game for a two - nil victory that will spark the College's season and send shock waves through the Rovers management set up.

The discipline was poor with four UCD players picking up yellows in the first halfIt was a shock to see no one sent walking.

It can't get much worse for Shamrock Rovers after this defeat as they are now in a terrible position to hold up a title challenge.

Edward Kennedy

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