Shamrock Rovers, still back in seventh place in the table, wasted a plethora of chances, with all the pressure on the College goal throughout the 90 minutes. But a failure to convert those opportunities proved costly for Trevor Croly’s team.
Early chances from James Chambers, Gary McCabe and Karl Sheppard signalled the intent of the visitors. However, the Students’ goalkeeper McGinley was largely untroubled.
It wasn’t until just before the half-time break that McGinley was called on to deny Sheppard, who tried to lob him.
It was a routine stop, but gave his team a big confidence boost.
Upon returning in the second period, Barron took over in goal for UCD, and was even better. He got down to deny Chambers from a free-kick and saved with his feet from McCabe.
UCD took the lead on 76 minutes when Douglas got forward to head in Russell’s free-kick, conceded by Chambers.
Croly’s men didn’t give up the fight and steamed forward in injury-time searching for an equalisier. But it worked against them as keeper Barry Murphy was caught out and Russell added the second goal
The away supporters vented their fury at the final whistle and Croly knows that he needs to address his team’s finishing if they are to bounce back and reignite their title bid.
For UCD, it is three valuable points that gives them hope of keeping away from the bottom of the table.
UCD: McGinley (Barron h-t); Douglas, Boyle, O’Connor, Langtry; Walsh; Burke (Clarke 56), Creevy (Kavanagh 69), Russell; Benson; McMillan.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Rice, Elebert, Foran (McCormack h-t), Ledwith; McCabe, Chambers, Finn, Dennehy; Robinson (Kilduff 78); Sheppard.
Referee: R Rogers (Dublin).