|Match Report||As St Patrick's Athletic's unbeaten run goes on, talk of a title challenge must only grow.|
Pete Mahon's restructured amd resurgent side eventually undid a spirited UCD 3-1, with Daryl Kavanagh's quality - and key headed goal - again emphasising that Pat's just might have enough overall to properly compete with the likes of Shamrock Rovers.
They've now gone a quarter of the season - nine consecutive games - undefeated, and they certainly competed for every fraction in a fiercely contested match at Belfield.
Initially, it did look like it might have been a whitewash.
St Pat's went ahead after only 13 minutes. Kavanagh's cross-field ball found Evan McMillan at the far post, whose first-time volley across goal allowed Derek Doyle to finish.
It should have been 2-0 minutes later, but Ger Barron continued his own fine form for UCD by tipping Daniel North's shot over.
On 33 minutes, however, UCD again illustrated that their own league position mightn't be the fairest reflection of their resolve. Pat's failed to clear a goalmouth scramble from a corner, allowing David O'Connor to head home Dean Marshall's cross.
But that was also how the in-form Kavanagh eventually undid UCD. After a helter-skelter opening to the second half - which also featured a few questionable refereeing decisions at either end - the number-seven powered home Stephen Bradley's corner. Not long afterwards, North wrapped things up.
After a tight passing move between Sean Stewart and Kavanagh, the number-nine powered home.
Young sub David McMillan might have done the same in the dying minutes from another excellent Barron parry, but his shot was just over.
It didn't matter. Pat's have now won six of their last seven. As such, talk of winning the league shouldn't be dismissed too readily yet.
Barron; Harding (Morrison 78), Nangle, O'Connor, Boyle; Corry, O'Conor, Marshall, Meenan; Rusk, Benson (Doyle 67).
St Patrick's Athletic
Rogers; Pender, Carroll, Shorthall, E McMillan; Mulcahy, Bradley, Doyle (McFaul 61), Kavanagh (D McMillan 90); North, Keegan (Stewart 74)