Date: 3 p.m. Aug. 7, 2011
Venue: Richmond Park
It the end it was probably a fair result, in what was a thoroughly enjoyable game, packed with drama and controversy, with three players being shown red cards despite the good spirit of the contest.
St Pat’s didn’t begin like a team suffering from a European hang-over, and it took only five minutes for them to open the scoring. Down the left flank, Jake Carroll made good work to cross excellently for Sean O’Connor, who found space at the back post to slot left-footed past Barron in the UCD goal. The goal was a fine way to cap his return to St Pat’s following his move from Limerick last week.
UCD were not too upset by the early concession and began to get in their stride, looking comfortable in possession.
It was Pat’s however that had the next real opportunity, as David McMillan collected the loose ball inside the UCD half, took a step into space and hit a sweet right footed shot from 25 yards out which struck the base of the post and went out to safety.
UCD took control of the half from that point, dominating possession and cutting open the home side with amazing regularity.
On 22 minutes the Students should have equalized when a fine through ball from Robbie Creevy found Darren Meenan on the right hand side. He centred for Rusk, but with the goal at his mercy, he fluffed his shot from no more than four yards, allowing Rogers to clear.
Rusk was on the end of UCD’s neat play twice more before the half time whistle, first heading narrowly wide and then his goal-bound shot was taken off the line by Derek Pender.
With 36 minutes gone more slick football from the Students saw the ball fall to Paul O’Connor in the Saints box and his volley brought out a top-class save from Gary Rogers, who tipped the ball over for a corner.
Totally against the run of play St Pat’s doubled their lead with a genuine goal of the season contender. With a minute left until the break David McMillan picked up the ball after Sean Harding was dispossessed and fully 30 yards out he hit a swerving right foot shot into the top corner of the net, leaving Barron stranded.
So despite being out played for most of the first half the Saints went in at the break two goals to the good.
The second period opened in a quieter fashion than the pulsating 45 minutes that preceded it, but Pat’s did have half chances, with both Derek Doyle and David McMillan going close.
The match re-awakened in dramatic fashion with 68 minutes gone, as UCD came back into the match with the award of a penalty. A bad back-pass by Conor Kenna was intercepted by Meenan, who was taken down by Rogers inside the box. Referee Derek Tomney was left with little choice but to award a penalty and send Rogers off.
The resulting penalty was calmly scored by Dean Marshall, who sent substitute goalkeeper Chris Bennion the wrong way.
St Pat’s were still reeling from the sending off and the concession of the goal when UCD struck five minutes later to equalize. Sean Harding produced another pin-point cross from the right and Rusk was in the right place to nod home from eight yards.
St Pat’s almost found a winner, when with seven minutes remaining, Paul Crowley latched onto David McMillan’s ball over the top but with Barron out quickly, his lob landed agonizingly wide.
It was UCD however that looked more likely to get a winner with Michael Leahy and Graham Rusk going close to netting a third goal in the last ten minutes.
There was much more drama to come in added time, as Darren Meenan received two quick-fire yellow cards, the second for sarcastically applauding his first caution.
A third red card came in the fifth minute of added time when substitute Shane McFaul received a second yellow card for taking a free kick too quickly for Derek Tomney’s liking.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers, Derek Pender, Conor Kenna (c), Evan McMillan, Jake Carroll, Sean O’Connor (Chris Bennion, 69), Stephen Bradley (Paul Crowley, 40), David Mulcahy, Derek Doyle, Daryl Kavanagh (Shane McFaul, Half-time), David McMillan.
Subs not used: Ian Bermingham, Shane Guthrie, Anthony Murphy, Ian Daly.
UCD: Gerard Barron, Sean Harding, David O’Connor, Michael Leahy, Ciaran Nangle, Darren Meenan, Paul Corry (Danny Ledwith, 84), Robbie Creevy (Sean Russell, 64), Dean Marshall, Graham Rusk, Paul O’Connor.
Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Thomas Boyle, James Kavanagh, Stephen Doyle, Cillian Morrison.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Sean Harding. Found plenty to joy down the right hand side but was found wanting for pats two goals.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Official Attendance: 699