Treaty United succumbed to their first defeat of the season at the hands of UCD on Friday night in a 3-2 defeat at Belfield Bowl. Treaty raced in to a 0-2 lead through a Sean McSweeney penalty and an audacious lob from Kieran Hanlon but 3 quickfire goals over a ten minute period of play from Dara Keane, Sean Brennan and Harvey O’Brien gave the Students the victory.
Similarly to every away game so far this season, Treaty were fast out of the tracks and dominated possession and territory in the opening ten minutes. They were rewarded when a clever run by Dean George on the left wing caused panic in the home defence and Hanlon was bundled over in the penalty area by Harvey O’Brien. McSweeney netted the spot-kick to give the away side the lead.
Shortly afterwards, UCD had a big chance to equalise when dangerman Colm Whelan was allowed take a Mark Dignam cross into his path in the box but his shot was wayward. With 37 minutes played, Tommy Barrett’s men doubled their advantage when Sam Todd failed to adequately clear a through ball from Sean McSweeney and was dispossessed by Hanlon who spotted Healy off his line and lobbed the goalkeeper from all of 30 yards.
Once again, UCD responded well and had two chances courtesy of a Paul Doyle header and Liam Kerrigan shot but neither provided Tadgh Ryan with too much trouble.
Five minutes before half-time, a massive turning point arrived when Ed McCarthy robbed Brennan of possession and Evan Weir flew in on the winger with a reckless tackle. Referee David Keeler opted to show a yellow card when a red was certainly more appropriate for the dangerous tackle which resulted in McCarthy being substituted shortly after.
It was a double blow for Treaty who were unable to get to the half-time break with their two goal lead intact as Brennan’s low cross from the right was powerfully finished by Dara Keane on the penalty spot.
Andy Myler’s home side began the second half like a team possessed with an energetic press and forced their opponents into several mistakes in possession. In saying that, Jack Lynch had another great chance to extend the visitors lead but his header from a Marc Ludden corner hit the crossbar.
The equaliser arrived as hesitant defending on the edge of the box allowed Whelan to weave past a couple of challenges before a lucky break for Brennan in the penalty area allowed the cultured midfielder to calmly slot the ball pas Ryan.
Disaster struck just two minutes later when UCD took the lead for the first time in the game. Harvey O’Brien’s strong run through the middle allowed the defender to pick out Eoin Farrell on the right and the winger’s cross appeared to be intercepted in the box by the impressive Callum McNamara. Unluckily for the former Newmarket Celtic man, his interception fell to the waiting O’Brien who had continued his run and he placed the ball beyond the advancing Ryan.
UCD could have extended the lead when Liam Kerrigan was picked out by Paul Doyle but his effort was saved by Ryan. Treaty made a host of changes in an attempt to rescue the game as injuries and fatigue began to mount.
With ten minutes remaining, Ludden blasted over the bar from a Charlie Fleming cross but the biggest moment arrived in the final minute of normal time when Fleming’s low cross was flicked goal wards by substitute Shane Lowth but the winger’s effort came back off the post.
It was evident that the losses of Mark Walsh, Anthony O’Donnell and Sean Guerins affected Treaty United. All three players have been instrumental during the unbeaten run and it also resulted in Jack Lynch and Clyde O’Connell being moved from two positions which they have excelled at in recent weeks.
Despite the defeat, the performance of Callum McNamara was a bright note for the management team who will now aim to re-focus the team for next weekend’s clash with Athlone Town at the Markets Field.
UCD: Lorcan Healy, Harvey O’Brien, Sam Todd, Evan Weir, Mark Dignam, Eoin Farrell, Dara Keane, Sean Brennan, Paul Doyle, Liam Kerrigan, Colm Whelan
Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan, Charlie Fleming, Jack Lynch, Clyde O’Connell, Marc Ludden, Callum McNamara, Matt Keane (Joe Collins), Sean McSweeney, Dean George (Shane Lowth), Ed McCarthy (Alan Murphy), Kieran Hanlon (Matt McKevitt)