UCD too strong

Division one’s supremacy in the promotion/relegation playoff continues as UCD got the better of Suttonians, denying the north Dublin side for a second time in this shoot-out. It was far less fraught than the extra-time battle of a couple of years ago, though, as UCD overcame a couple of early jitters – including a disallowed Sutton corner strike to run out comfortable winners.

That effort was hit high into the net inside the opening ten minutes and the Belfielders did not look back once they hit the front at Serpentine Avenue via Irish international Shane O’Donoghue.

It came from their first corner, cleanly striking a reverse into the backboard from a rebound. Patrick Shanahan made it 2-0 at the second time of asking with a neat reverse-stick flick after his initial shot was saved.

Into the second half, David Watkins made it three with a touch to Ben Dobson’s crash ball after Rob Anderson turned over possession and the result was complete with a quarter still to play as skipper Shane Nolan guided home an O’Donoghue effort.

For UCD, it concluded a season which saw Intervarsities and Colours annexed as well as reaching a first ever cup final – December’s Neville Cup decider – but the ninth place student hoodoo continued for another year but they had too much quality to see their top tier status remain.