Cobh Ramblers 0 UCD 4
HUGE disappointment for Cobh Ramblers in their first home game of the season, after being hammered 4-0 by UCD.
The Students showcased their quality at St Colman's Park, taking their chances clinically and also comfortably dealing with any threat which came their way from the Ramblers attack.
UCD were vastly superior in the final third and that was duly reflected on the scoreboard.
The opening stages of the contest were generally quite even, with little to separate either side. Ian Turner had a half-chance with a low driving effort, which UCD keeper Lorcan Healy dealt with comfortably.
Although Cobh were building well during spells in the opening quarter, they were unable to make it count in the attacking third of the pitch.
Ciarán Griffin, who scored on the opening night against rivals Cork City, was running hard but he was to be marshalled well by the UCD backline.
Just shy of the half-hour mark, UCD went into the lead. A quick move from the Students saw Colm Whelan pick out Liam Kerrigan, who found the bottom corner of the net with a crisp strike.
The visitors were starting to get on top in proceedings towards the break and doubled their lead in the 41st minute.
Following a great ball into the box from Eoin Farrell, Kerrigan got in ahead of his Cobh marker and headed the ball home.
UCD could have had a third goal on the stroke of halftime, as Whelan blasted an effort off the crossbar.
Still the Dublin outfit went in with a firm advantage, leaving Cobh needing an improved effort after the break to have any chance of a comeback.
Cobh returned with plenty of effort, but the Students dealt with their threat comfortably.
Ian Turner broke away well around the 70-minute mark for a half-chance, but the visiting backline were to react well to avert the danger.
In fact the away side looked the more likely to score, as Paul Doyle went close with an effort inside the box.
UCD eventually got a deserved third goal midway through the second half.
Jack Keaney rattled the net with a brilliant curling free-kick from all of 25 yards out. It was an inch-perfect effort and summed up an excellent outing for the away outfit.
As the second half progressed, Cobh continued to struggle to land any meaningful blows, with the UCD shot-stopper rarely forced into action.
Whelan, a very potent scorer for UCD last term, went close with a close-range effort in the box, though Sean Barron reacted well in the Cobh goal to make the stop.
The game drifted out to an inevitable conclusion, with UCD being well organised to nullify any hopes of a Ramblers revival.
UCD capped off a fine night at the office, with Whelan finding the back of the net with a deft finish in the 90th minute courtesy of a mazing run.
Next up for Ramblers is a Munster derby encounter against Treaty United next Friday night at the Markets Field in Limerick.
Former Ringmahon Rangers man Anto O’Donnell was on target for the Limerick side this weekend, as they defeated Wexford 1-0.
Ramblers will be looking for a much-improved display there, in what is looking to be an ultra-competitive First Division.
Sean Barron; Pierce Phillips, John Kavanagh, Charlie Lyons Darryl Walsh; Darren Murphy, David O’Leary: Ian Turner, Conor Drinan Lee Devitt; Ciaran Griffin.
Jake Hegarty for Griffin, Killian Cooper for Drinan (both 61), Chris O’Reilly for O’Leary (77).
Lorcan Healy; Eoin Farrell, Evan Weir, Luke Boore, Jack Keaney, Sam Todd, Sean Brennan, Mark Dignam, Paul Doyle, Colm Whelan, Liam Kerrigan.
Dara Keane for Dignam (67), Adam Lennon for Doyle (85).