Both teams had early chances. First, a cross from College winger Daniel Ledwith was volleyed over by striker Dean Clarke. Then John Mulroy wasted a clear opening for Bray, after Sean Houston had set up the chance.
The Seagulls went close to breaking the deadlock on six minutes when Dean Marshall robbed defender Ciaran Nangle. When his cross was not cleared, a first-time effort by Marty Waters rebounded off the upright to safety.
College had a chance when Robert Benson played in David McMillan but his touch took him too wide and keeper Mark McGinley was able to save.
But the Students had their noses in front on 15 minutes when Bray defender Sean Houston fouled Hugh Douglas in the box. McMillan made no mistake with the resulting penalty.
UCD might have stretched their lead when Ledwith cut inside to hit a piledriver that keeper Darren Quigley did well to push out, only for Clarke to fire the rebound against the upright.
Bray were level on 62 minutes when a Waters corner was flicked on by defender Dane Massey to enable Houston nod home at the far post, despite the efforts of Nangle to clear on the line.
Waters went close to giving the Seagulls the lead on 75 minutes when shooting just wide of the target after Massey had played him through.
The Students then had that dramatic late flourish when, first, a Ledwith corner was only partially cleared by the Bray defence on 83 minutes and midfielder Paul O’Conor unleashed a powerful 20 yard volley that Quigley could only parry into his own net.
Three minutes later Ledwith combined with McMillan to beat the offside trap and square the ball for substitute Chris Lyons to roll the ball into the unguarded net.
UCD: McGinley 7; Douglas 6, David O’Connor 6, Leahy 6; Ledwith 7, O’Conor 6, McCabe 6 (Kavanagh 60), Benson 6, Nangle 6; Clarke 6 (Lyons 66) 6, McMillan 6. BRAY WANDERERS: Quigley 7; Webster 6 (Akinade 85), Danny O’Connor 6, S. O’Connor 6, Massey 6; Marshall 6 (Hanlon 62) 6, K.O’Connnor 6 (Mulhall 89), Zambra 6, Houston 6, Waters 7; Mulroy 6.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).