Late Byrne strike settles Dundalk’s frayed nerves

JASON BYRNE’S late strike helped Dundalk keep up their unbeaten home record against UCD in Oriel Park last night.

The home side had looked like they would comfortably take the three points after Daniel Kearns had made one and scored another to set them on the road to victory in the first-half.

However, a Paul Corry goal on 69 minutes set up a nervy finish with Lilywhites fans fearful of a repeat of last week’s capitulation, which saw them squander a 2-0 lead away to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Belfast-born winger Kearns carved out an opener for Ian Foster’s side in the 42nd minute when his inch-perfect pass across the penalty area was seized on by Ross Gaynor, who slammed a first time effort to the bottom corner.

Kearns then got in on the act himself on the stroke of half-time when he applied the simplest of finishes after a stunning run from Mark Quigley saw him beat three UCD defenders at the end-line to pull the ball back to the former West Ham ace.

The students gave themselves a chance of taking something from the game in the 69th minute when midfielder Paul Corry pulled a goal back from a 25 yard free kick.

However, Jason Byrne made sure of the result for the Lilywhites three minutes later when he latched onto Simon Madden’s ball over the top to rifle past Gerard Barron.

DUNDALK: Cherrie; Madden, Hawkins, Guthrie, N Murphy; Kearns, Ward, McDonnell, Gaynor; Quigley (Griffin, 87 mins); Byrne (Breen, 83 mins).

UCD: Barron; P O’Connor, Boyle, Leahy, Nangle; Meenan, Marshall, Corry, Creevy, Langtry; Rusk.

Referee: P Sutton (Dublin).

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