UCD 1 Cobh Ramblers 2
JAKE Hegarty hit a superb double at Belfield this evening to give Cobh Ramblers a shock win over UCD in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
In their first game to be played in front of spectators in close to a year, the Leesiders stunned the hosts with a quickfire Hegarty brace at the start of the second half. UCD responded with a Colm Whelan spot-kick, but it wasn't enough to deny Cobh the spoils.
Hoping to build on their excellent victory at the expense of rivals Cork City a fortnight ago, Ramblers were agonisingly close to taking the lead in the seventh minute. A cross-field ball was chested perfectly into the path of Killian Cooper and the winger’s powerful drive crept marginally past the right-hand post.
Cobh skipper Ian Turner did have the ball in the net on 35 minutes only for his effort to be immediately ruled out for offside.
The opening period was ultimately a scoreless one, but Ramblers proceeded to completely turn the game on its head after the restart. On the stroke of 50 minutes, Lee Devitt played a precise through-ball to Hegarty that beat the offside trap.
The former Midleton attacker displayed greater composure to fire beyond the reach of UCD’s Lorcan Healy and he repeated the trick just two minutes as he once again got the better of the Students' custodian from a one-on-one situation.
Having struggled to pick up points in the opening block of fixtures, Ramblers suddenly found themselves on the cusp of a major scalp for the second game running. There was always likely to be a sting in the tail, however, and it duly arrived in the 66th-minute.
After Cobh midfielder Darren Murphy was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, Colm Whelan drilled the subsequent penalty to the bottom left-hand corner. This kept Stuart Ashton’s side on their toes, but it took a superb stop from Healy to prevent Devitt from restoring their two-goal cushion.
Ramblers were surprisingly comfortable as the final whistle approached and while UCD did launch a few direct balls into attack, Hegarty’s earlier contribution made all the difference.
Lorcan Healy; Harvey O’Brien (Michael Gallagher 62), Sam Todd, Evan Osam; Eoin Farrell, Adam Verdon (Sean Brennan 45), Donal Higgins (Danu Kinsella Bishop 62), Dara Keane (Adam Lennon 62), Evan Weir (Mark Dignam 53); Liam Kerrigan, Colm Whelan.
Sean Barron; James McCarthy (Pierce Phillips 93), Charlie Lyons, Ben O’Riordan, Darryl Walsh; Dave O’Leary, Lee Devitt, Darren Murphy; Killian Cooper (Conor Drinan 46), Jake Hegarty (Ciaran Griffin 80), Ian Turner.