TEENAGER Conor Murphy was the hero for Bray as his dramatic last-minute goal got them back on the winning track after a tense clash at the Carlisle Grounds last night.
For striker Murphy, also on target after just eight minutes, it was the perfect send-off before he links up with Paul Doolin’s Republic of Ireland U19 squad for next week’s UEFA Championship Elite Squad qualifiers against Poland, Ukraine and Italy in Poland.
The Seagulls were ahead after eight minutes when a neat interchange of passes between defender Dane Massey and winger Jake Kelly on the left laid on the chance for Murphy to shoot home from close range after the College defender Sean Russell failed to clear.
The home side might then have stretched their lead when a corner on the left by skipper Gary Dempsey allowed the unmarked Danny O’Connor to get in a header at the far post just over the bar.
The Students were level on 20 minutes after a foul by Dempsey on winger Dean Marshall inside the box. Marshall took the penalty himself and although keeper Matt Gregg got his fingertips to the ball, he could not prevent it entering the net.
Bray went close to grabbing the lead again on 47 minutes when a free by Jake Kelly on the right was headed wide by Mitchell with keeper Ger Barron out of position. Kelly then had a shot just off target after a Shane O’Connor throw-in had been flicked on.
Then Barron came to College’s rescue when diving at the feet of Shane O’Neill to grab the ball after Murphy had carved open the visitors’ defence with a precise pass through the middle.
Kelly, O’Neill and Dempsey all went close went close as Bray went all out for a winner in the closing stages. Barron then performed further heroics for the visitors when blocking three late efforts from Kelly, Murphy and Dempsey.
But it was youngster Murphy who was to have the final say when he slotted the ball home in the last minute with a superb finish from 12 yards, after substitute Daire Doyle had set up the chance.
BRAY WANDERERS: Gregg; S O’Connor, Mitchell, Prendergast . Massey (Kendrick 66); Zambra, Dempsey, Danny O’Connor (D Doyle 45), J Kelly; Murphy, O’Neill (McGuinness 74).
UCD: Barron; P O’Conor, David O’Connor, Colton, Russell (Kavanagh 82); Marshall, Corry, Ledwith, Rusk (Nangle 51); Belhout (S Doyle 64), Meenan.
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).