Date Time League Season
21 May 2021 7:45 pm LOI Men's First Division 2021

Match Report

Shels push further ahead

Shelbourne go five points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity First Division, following a solid performance against title rivals UCD at Tolka Park tonight.

The hosts were ruthlessly efficient in the opening half, and then using good game management on the restart, simply didn't allow the students in the match.

Dominating the first half, Shels imposed their style of play on a young UCD side who did not seem to have an answer. They passed the ball with a tempo that really disjointed the visitors defence. 

In the first half, Shelbourne put great pressure on UCD and did not give them any space to play their normal style. Shels were in control of the game, maintaining possession and playing with real intensity. Ryan Brennan was at the heart of a lot of their best play. The home side were by far the more aggressive team and they frustrated UCD. This was beginning to show in their game-play, and it was a rash challenge by Evan Weir which conceded the free-kick, from which JR Wilson scored in the 22nd minute. 

Ryan Brennan scored his sixth goal of the season two minutes later, after yet another brilliant cross from Kev O’Connor. Shelbourne were excellent in snuffing out any opportunities for Colm Whelan, who had only one dangerous dribble into the box in the first half, on the half hour mark.

Shelbourne were clearly in the ascendancy, and in truth, the result was never really in doubt after Brennan’s goal. Indeed, silky skills shown by YoYo Mahdy two minutes later when he slipped in Brennan, who finished to the net, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.

Five minutes before the break, a UCD free-kick into the Shelbourne area which was poorly defended, the ball spilled to Harvey O’Brien who showed great technique to swivel and shoot, rifling a shot into the roof of the net.

Shelbourne responded really well. A Ryan Brennan header just a minute before the break gave them a 3-1 interval lead, which was probably an accurate reflection of the play. 

In the second half, despite sustained possession from UCD, Shelbourne controlled the tempo and neither side really threatened to add to the scoreline. Shane Farrell was instrumental in breaking up play and almost slipped in Brennan for a hat-trick. Shelbourne were happy to sit back and ultimately take home the three points.

  • 93'

    The ref blows the final whistle and Shelbourne claim all three points.3-1 win for Shelbourne.

  • 93'

    Brendan Clarke has been very composed tonight in goal for Shelbourne.

  • 85'

    Shelbourne have had many standout performers here tonight. They are solid and composed as the game nears the end.

  • 83'

    UCD are frustrated here. Kerrigan loses possession, falls over, and his trailing leg trips over a Shelbourne defender.

  • 80'

    Ten minutes to play here, and Shelbourne look comfortable. They have not been troubled too much by the UCD attack.

  • 70'

    UCD are making substitutions to try to get back into the game now.

  • 67'

    Shane Farrell's slight interception breaks up UCD's rhythm in their own half and stops UCD coming forward. He has played well so far in midfield.

  • 67'

    Shane Farrell's slight interception breaks up UCD's rhythm in their own half and stops UCD coming forward. He has played well so far in midfield.

  • 59'

    Shane Farrell plays a brilliant through ball which almost finds Brennan running into the area but Healy is alert. So close for Shels.

  • 54'

    UCD again have a sustained period of pressure which ends up in a cross from deep on the right wing but that is an easy save. UCD need more creativity to work their way back into this game.

  • 51'

    Sam Todd has a yellow card.Shane Farrell went down under a challenge from Todd. He was the last man in defence O'Connor's free-kick is deflected out for a corner. He may consider himself to be a lucky boy.

  • 50'

    UCD have started the second half stronger and won two corner-kicks in a row, but Shelbourne defend stoutly.

  • Half-Time at Tolka. The home side have dominated the first half, imposing their style of play on a young UCD side who did not seem to have an answer. Let's see in 15 minutes if they can create any or if Shelbourne can continue this impressive performance.

  • 44'

    Shelbourne have responded really well. Ryan Brennan heads home for Shelbourne from a corner. After a bit of confusion of whether it was a goal or a free-kick, the referee points to the half-way line. 3-1 to Shelbourne.

  • 41'

    Five minutes to go in this first half. UCD win a free-kick on their right wing. The cross into the box is poorly defended by Shelbourne and it spilled on the ground in the penalty area to Harvey O'Brien who seemed to have time to pick his spot and fires it into the top right corner of Shelbourne's net. 2-1.

  • 37'

    Shelbourne have started to sit back a bit, confident in their two goal lead and perhaps just looking for a through ball, one of which almost finds Brennan through on goal

  • 35'

    UCD enjoy a sustained passage of possession for the first time in the game, really. However they cannot threaten Shelbourne in any real way.

  • 31'

    After good play from Kerrigan in pushing UCD up the pitch, Whelan gets some space and dribbles into the box but his shot is closed down.

  • 28'

    Great play from YoYo Mahdy slips in Ryan Brennan into the box and he finishes it to the back of the net, only for the linesman to wave his flag for offside. Shelbourne are well in control of this game.

  • 24'

    Kevin O'Connor yet again delivers a fantastic ball into the area for Brennan to finish to the back of the net. A fifth goal of the season fro Brennan. 2-0.

  • 22'

    From the free-kick, a great cross from Kev O'Connor is attacked well by JR Wilson at the back. 1-0 Shels.

  • 22'

    Evan Weir was a bit lucky not to receive a yellow card for a rash challenge. Free-Kick to Shelbourne.

  • 20'

    Shelbourne have been by far the more aggressive team, in and out of possession and they have stifled UCD so far. While in possession, playing from one side to other, Shelbourne have been able to disjoint UCD.

  • 17'

    Shelbourne again are posing UCD problems. An early inswinger from the right hand side is met with a scissor kick from Ryan Brennan who forces a brilliant save out of Lorcan Healy. It has been all Shels so far.

  • 10'

    As we reach the ten minute mark, Shelbourne have been in control of this game so far, controlling possession and playing with a real intensity in the early passages.

  • 5'

    Shane Farrell goes down in the box, a bit too easily according to the referee who has booked Farrell for simulation.

  • 4'

    Noticeably, Shelbourne are playing very high up the pitch, looking to press UCD when in possession.

  • 1'

    YoYo Mahdy is looking dangerous already as he whips in a very dangerous ball in the first minute from the left wing.

  • This will be an interesting contest between two teams with aspirations to win promotion

  • You can read our preview of the game as you look forward to our coverage of the match tonight.

  • Welcome to coverage of Shebourne v UCD as the top two teams in the first division meet at Tolka Park.


1Brendan Clarke Goalkeeper
3Kevin O’Connor Defender
4Ally Gilchrist Defender
16John Ross Wilson Defender 22'
23Luke Byrne Defender
6JJ Lunney Midfielder
10Ryan Brennan Midfielder 24', 44'
14Brian McManus 19 Midfielder
11Yousef Mahdy 18 Forward
9Michael O’Connor 26 Forward
17Shane Farrell Forward 5'
7Glen McAuley Forward
15Maxim Kouogan Defender
19Sean Quinn 14 Midfielder
21Alex Cetiner Forward
25Jack Brady Goalkeeper
26George Poynton 9 Midfielder
2Michael Barker Defender
18Dayle Rooney 11 Midfielder


1Lorcan Healy Goalkeeper
25Evan Weir Defender
8Mark Dignam 3 Defender 46'
22Sam Todd Defender
24Harvey O’Brien Midfielder 41'
7Liam Kerrigan Midfielder
17Dara Keane Midfielder
21Paul Doyle Midfielder
27Sean Brennan 15 Midfielder
30Michael McHugh 12 Midfielder
10Colm Whelan Forward
2Michael Gallagher Defender
3Evan Osam 8 Defender
5Luke Boore Defender
9Danu Kinsella Bishop Forward
11Ciaran Behan Midfielder
12Adam Lennon 30 Midfielder
15Adam Verdon 27 Midfielder
16Carl Williams Goalkeeper
18Donal Higgins Midfielder


Tolka Park
Tolka Park (Shelbourne FC), Drumcondra South A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

A sports nut who has coached at underage level in the League of Ireland. Passionate about domestic football.