Wednesday 16th March 2005, 11:39 pm
16th March 2005
Stuart Byrne 85 pen
Damien Dupuy 63
A controversial late penalty spared some of Shelbourne's blushes at Tolka Park tonight but they still had to settle for a 1-1 draw with newly promoted UCD.
The Shelbourne starting line-up included all four of their big close season signings.
Damien Dupuy was possibly UCD's biggest signing during the winter and the striker didn't stand on ceremony as he flew into a number of tough tackles, particularly on Colin Hawkins. The youngster was booked in the second half for an over robust challenge.
Hawkins' reputation is only going to get him so much further in the game and at times his defending was comical. At one stage in the second half, deceived by the wind, he missed his header completely and landed face first on the ball.
The first half was relatively uneventful and neither side made much progress. UCD keeper Darren Quigley took the ball around the advancing Glen Crowe in one of the rare highlights.
The Students lost Stephen Murphy to a head injury after just ten minutes but it didn't have much effect on the side.
Owen Heary flashed a header just wide from a 15th minute corner but that was it as far as first half incidents went.
It will be interesting to see if officials take any action against Shels' assistant manager Eamonn Collins who appeared in the dugout despite a two game ban from the technical area.
Heary again went close with a deflected low drive just minutes into the second period and Shels began to take the game to their unfancied visitors.
There were more signs of indecision in the Shels back four when Jamie Harris clobbered Heary's head as the two aimed to send the ball in either direction.
Shels changed things around on the hour, withdrawing Gary O'Neill and pushing Alan Moore up front.
Within three minutes UCD were ahead, Dupuy flashed a glancing header across goal and past the stranded Steve Williams to make it 1-0.
UCD went negative after the goal and it eventually cost them. Jamie Harris was pushed up front as Pat Fenlon tried to avert as one fan put it "the shock of the season so far".
Bobby Ryan was left unmarked at the back post as the defending champions created chance after chance. The winger couldn't manage an effort on goal, only mis-kicking into the air. Crowe fouled Quigley while the ball was in the air and the chance was gone.
Crowe was booked minutes later after he left the boot in and caught the advancing Quigley.
The night threatened to turn to farce for the former Bohs striker, somehow heading clear of the area when left alone in the six yard box.
However, it was a "foul" on Crowe which prompted referee Paul Tuite to repeatedly point to the spot in the exaggerated style he has learned somewhere.
Stuart Byrne made no mistake from the penalty spot but it was clear a point wasn't good enough for Shels.
They chased but couldn't find any more fortune in front of goal. It's arguable but at least for showing some bravery, UCD deservedly left with something.
Shelbourne : Williams, Heary, Rogers, Hawkins, Harris, Ryan (Cawley 86), S Byrne, Moore, Cahill (Baker 70), Crowe, O'Neill (Hoolahan 60).
UCD : Quigley, Mahon, McNally, Kenna, Shortall, McWalter, S Murphy (Kierans 10), Dicker, Martin (Foley 88), Dupuy (A Murphy 67), O'Donnell.