UCD is in pole position to reach the Premier League promotion playoff final after a 3-0 victory over Treaty United at Markets Field.
A goal from Paul Doyle in the first half and a brace from Colm Whelan put Andy Myler’s men in an excellent position ahead of Sunday’s second leg.
Treaty United scored the opening goal in a tense first half when Marc Ludden’s left-wing cross was not dealt with by the UCD defense, but Matt Keane’s shot was deflected far from danger.
The home side were limited to long-range shots for the remainder of the half, with Clyde O’Connell coming closest to 25 yards.
The stalemate was broken in the 34th minute when Doyle’s free kick to the right was misjudged by Ryan and went all the way to the net to give UCD the lead.
Treaty almost equalized in the 78th minute when Stephen Cristopher set up Dean George, however, he shot right next to Lorcan Healy’s goal.
A punch came moments later as Whelan found space in the home penalty area and curled a shot into the corner and added a third late to seal the comfortable victory.
United Treaty – Ryan; Fleming, O’Donnell, Guerins, Ludden; O’Connell, Lynch, Walsh (McSweeney 64); Keane (Armshaw 78), Hanlon (George 64), Cristopher (Coustrain 78).
UCD – Healy; Farrell, O’Brien, Todd, Osam; Brennan (Verdon 72), Keaney, Keane, Kerrigan (Dignam 89), Whelan, Doyle (Caffrey 89).
Referee – R Dowling
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Bray Wanderers 0 Galway United 0
The timid Bray Wanderers failed to make their possession pay off as they couldn’t break Galway United at the Carlisle Grounds.
The advantage now shifts the path of John Caulfield’s favorites ahead of Sunday’s second leg of this Premier League playoff semi-final.
Gary Cronin’s Wanderers may have few complaints as, despite having a good chunk of the ball, they failed to shoot on target for the 90 minutes and do it all in the west.
Denying that they ended the season in bad shape, with just one win in eight games, Bray passed the ball well with Conor Clifford orchestrating their game in the middle of the park.
Despite all their promising approach play, the Wanderers lacked a decisive advantage in the final third as Galway defended effectively.
More direct as they advanced, Galway perhaps had the only clear chance in the first half in the 32nd minute, with Ruairi Keating planting a clean header directly on Brian Maher on a Conor O’Keeffe cross.
Although Bray continued to dominate the ball in the second half, it was Galway who looked most likely to score, Joe Gorman shooting wide after a corner kick while Maher saved with his feet from Wilson Waweru after Stephen Walsh played him. to goal.
Bray Wanderers: Maher; Byrne, Quinn, Barry, Jones (Lovic, 56); Clifford, O’Farrell; Doyle, Kavanagh, Graydon; Shaw (Craven, 72).
Galway United: Kearns; O’Keeffe, Nugent, Gorman, Walsh; McCormack, Boylan (Doherty, 76); Rowe, Hurley, Keating; Waweru (Cunningham, 76).
Referee: Gavin Colfer (Wicklow).