Date Time League Season
19 November 2021 7:45 pm First Division 2021

Match Report

UCD one step away from promotion

UCD have beat Bray 2-0 at Dalymount tonight to progress to the promotion/relegation final, where Waterford now await them after the closing events of the Premier Division.

Young striker Colm Whelan has been the star of this UCD team all season and this evening was no different when the stakes were at their highest.

He threatened all game and eventually found the net with a brilliant free kick in the 68th minute. Bray put in a commendable performance but ultimately lacked end product on the big night.

Paul Doyle added a second late on, also set up by Whelan.

Andy Myler’s team are past one showdown, but now comes the real test. A game next week against Waterford will be tough, who picked up a respectable draw with St.Pats tonight but finish 9th only for a Finn Harps thrashing over Longford.

Take nothing away from the achievement at hand though, the Students won comfortably in the end to win this First division play off. Myler will be pleased as his team stuck to their renowned attacking game plan through difficult periods of the game.

His good friend and Bray Wanderers manager Gary Cronin will struggle to hide his disappointment, as he did so well to get this Bray team here after they slipped up in last year’s play-offs too. His Seagulls were no mismatch and had fair spells of possession, but off days for some of their forwards led to a lack of incision.

The Dubliners may not be in the Premier Division yet but they will certainly celebrate this one. Star striker Colm Whelan was predicted to be Bray’s main problem and that was the case. Not only did he give his side the lead with a quality free kick that rooted his international team mate Brian Maher to the spot, but his touch was crisp and in general he was unplayable.

Sean Brennan formerly of Southampton was tonight’s rendition of what stats don’t show you. His break-up play got UCD through this affair just as much as Whelan and Liam Kerrigan’s attacking prowess.  Paul Doyle worked hard all night so there could be no complaints when he scored their second with three minutes left.

The game was there for the Seagulls really, but they seemed to play the occasion. Brandon Kavanagh and Ryan Graydon looked lively but simply ran out of ideas. It also can’t be denied that the Wicklow outfit suffered the absence of Conor Clifford.

  • Full-time in Phibsborough. 2-0 to the Students and they now advance to play Waterford in the big one

  • 87'

    2-0 UCD! Whelan clips it nicely over the defence to meet Doyle's excellent run, and Doyle finished into the corner.

  • 80'

    The Wanderers have switched things up tactically and continue to push for an equaliser. They still lack any real incision though as they look to force extra-time.

  • 75'

    Sam Verdon replaces Darren Craven as Gary Cronin's side chases an equaliser

  • 68'

    GOAL! Star man Whelan could be the hero again tonight for UCD. He wins a hard-fought free kick and dispatches it brilliantly rooting his international colleague Maher to the spot

  • 63'

    Maher keeps the Wicklow outfit in it again saving a Keane shot after Whelan did well to pull it back on the byline

  • 57'

    Booking for Paul Doyle for a challenge on Graydon

  • 55'

    A miscommunication at the back from the Wanderers gave Whelan his second chance but Maher saved well

  • 54'

    A more positive start from Bray in the second half. Brandon Kavanagh and Ryan Graydon finding their spark but still no end product yet.

  • Half-Time at Dalymount, 0-0

  • 43'

    Sean Brennan has arguably been the player of the half as we approach the interval. The young midfielder has plugged the gaps brilliantly and has allowed UCD to maintain periods of pressure on the Wicklow side

  • 37'

    The first big opportunity comes from a lovely piece of play from the Dubliners as Dara Keane controlled a difficult pass and set up Whelan in the box who struck the post with venom

  • 33'

    It might be scrappy but starlet Liam Kerrigan is working very hard on the press for the Students and as a result they have been able to keep Bray pinned in numerous times in the last 10 minutes

  • 26'

    Very much a stop start affair so far and it appears final fever has kicked in slightly for these young teams. Both playing with nerves and reluctant to push too high

  • 19'

    Bray slightly in control as we approach the 20 minute mark. Retaining the possession well but lacking on the end product side, with a few poor balls from Brandon Kavanagh particularly

  • 10'

    Nothing of note so far in terms of chances. UCD danger man Colm Whelan is looking sharp early on though with some good hold up play

  • 1'

    The students get us underway in Phibsborough

  • The promising Brian Maher starts for Bray having returned from U21 international games against Italy and Sweden last week.

  • Sean Brennan is back in for UCD in midfield and Adam Verdon is out despite his goal against Treaty sending them through on aggregate.

  • As the Premier division finishes up tonight too, we will also find out whether the winner takes on Waterford or Finn Harps in the promotion/relegation final

  • Con Sheehan here reporting live as Bray clash with UCD at Dalymount Park in the First Division play-off final. Kick off in a few minutes

Bray Wanderers

1Brian Maher Goalkeeper
3Dylan Barnett Defender
4Andrew Quinn Defender
5Aaron Barry Defender
7Ryan Graydon Forward
8Mark Byrne Midfielder
9Joe Doyle Forward
11Brandon Kavanagh Midfielder
14Richie O’Farrell Midfielder
16Darren Craven 10 Midfielder
17Luka Lovic Midfielder
25Kian Clarke Goalkeeper
10Sam Verdon 16 Forward
15Daniel Jones
18Sean Callan Defender
19Darragh Lynch Forward
20Ryan Dowden
22Steven Kinsella Forward
30Jack Ross Goalkeeper


1Lorcan Healy Goalkeeper
2Michael Gallagher Defender
3Evan Osam Defender
6Jack Keaney Midfielder
10Colm Whelan Forward 68'
14Liam Kerrigan Midfielder
17Dara Keane Midfielder
21Paul Doyle Midfielder 87'
22Sam Todd Defender
24Harvey O’Brien Midfielder
27Sean Brennan Midfielder
16Carl Williams Goalkeeper
5Luke Boore Defender
8Mark Dignam Defender
11Ciaran Behan Midfielder
12Adam Lennon Midfielder
14Eoin Farrell Forward
15Adam Verdon Midfielder
30Evan Caffrey Forward
Lennon Gill Forward


 57' 21. Paul Doyle
 68' 10. Colm Whelan
Darren Craven
Sam Verdon
 87' 21. Paul Doyle

Past Meetings

(Series 21)
4 - 3
First Division
Belfield Bowl

University College Dublin AFC v Bray Wanderers

(Series 12)
4 - 0
First Division
Carlisle Grounds

Bray Wanderers v University College Dublin AFC

(Series 3)
0 - 0
First Division
Belfield Bowl

University College Dublin AFC v Bray Wanderers

(Series 15)
1 - 3
First Division
Belfield Bowl

University College Dublin AFC v Bray Wanderers

(Series 6)
2 - 0
First Division
Carlisle Grounds

Bray Wanderers v University College Dublin AFC


Dalymount Park
Dalymount Park, Connaught Street, Phibsborough, Cabra East A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, D07 XH2D, Ireland

20 year old Undergraduate sports journalist at Dublin City University