Galway United 1 UCD 4
Keith Ward scored a hat-trick as UCD all but secured their Premier Division status for next season with an emphatic win over troubled Galway who slumped to a fourth defeat in five games.
Martin Russell's side are now seven points clear of the relegation play-off places with three games to play.
Ward gave UCD the perfect start with the lead goal on 10 minutes when his right-foot drive beat Daire Geraghty.
Paul Corry added a second six minutes before half-time. The midfielder swept a pass out to Chris Mulhall who beat full-back Seamus Conneely to cross for Corry to arrive and fire home.
Ward got his second on 51 minutes when deceiving the Galway defence, and keeper Geraghty, to score directly from a free-kick.
Stephen O'Donnell got a consolation goal back for Galway from a 62nd-minute penalty after Karl Sheppard was tripped inside the area by College skipper Evan McMillan.
But Ward responded within a minute when tapping home his hat-trick from Mulhall's cross.