UCD History of Promotion/Relegation Play-offs

28 Oct 2020 @ 17:04

UCD AFC History of Promotion/Relegation Play-Off


UCD AFC confirmed a spot in the 2nd - 5th place First Division Semi-Final Play-off. 

Wed. 03rd Nov., Treaty Utd. 0:3 UCD AFC

UCD AFC travelled to the Market's Field on Wednesady 03rd November for the first leg and beat Treaty United 3-0 with goals Paul Doyle 34', and Colm Whelan wxtending his own league goalscoring record on 79' and 90'.

The 2nd leg at The UCD Bowl on Sunday 07th November, kick off 17:00.

Below is a the list of play-off matches UCD competed in since 1998.  Andy led from the front when his Athlone Town team went toe-to-toe with UCD in 2001.


With the venue for 1st and 2nd leg chosen by a draw, UCD finished 10th in the Premier Division losing 2-0 at Dalymount Park to 5th place Bohemian FC in the last game of the season. The Students finished 1 point behind Derry City and 20 points ahead of automatically relegated Kilkenny City (19pts) and Drogheda United (15 points).  This season the play-off place reached deep into lower mid-table Premier Division.

05th May 1998 UCD AFC 2:1 Limerick FC Belfield Park

“Battle of Belfield”

Before the game, “Bringing something to Limerick” was pronounced as an imperative. This match was the expected tough tackling game, but things escalated in the second half.  UCD defender Declan Fitzgerald received a horrific assault in front of the stand, suffered a broken leg which ultimately ended his career.  Limerick had two players sent off, UCD striker Jason Sherlock received red a card.  The home side sprayed the ball out wide and were rewarded with a late, late winner.

08th May 1998 Limerick City 1 : 3 UCD AFC, Rathbane.

On a day that Brian Kerr’s U16s lifted the UEFA U16s European Championship against Italy, the achievement of the team during the tournament was the talk of the terrace. UCD played out the game with some authority.

The following season UCD beat Bohemians 2-0 at home to confirm Bohs in the Premier Division play-off place.


An impressive run-in gives UCD a play-off place.

15th May 2001 Athlone Town 2:1 UCD AFC, St. Mel’s Park

Athlone Town finished behind automatically promoted Champions Dundalk FC and runners-up Monaghan United.  Former UCD striker Andy Myler was continuing his successful prolific career with a great spell at St. Mels Park.  He scored from a penalty in the 14th minute, Tony McDonnell was there to equalise after 20 minutes.  The pressure was telling as tall central defender Clive Delaney was sent off.  As the game wore on the small band of UCD Fans that brought an "Everyone else is sitting exams" banner were breathing a sigh of relief, when a corner in injury time was nodded away from keeper Barry Ryan and once again Myler (90'+4) was there to head home to give Athlone the advantage.

18th May 2001 UCD AFC 2:1 Athlone Town a.e.t. Belfield Park                         UCD win 4-2 on penalties

Derek Swan (1') scored within a minute of the kick-off, Athlone weren't finished.  Andy Myler had a goal disallowed, Robbie McAuley (49') scored again after half-time.  But Myler was fouled and Athlone's Greg Costello (71') stepped up to score from the free-kick.  Derek Swan had his penaly saved in extra time.   Onto penalties and Andy Myler scored for Athlone, Robert McAuley, Derek Swan, Alan Mahon and Robbie Martin (substitute for his brother John) all scored their penalties for a 4-2 win.

It was a great night at Belfield Park, as the seasons in the Premier Division continued reaching 9 seasons in a row from 95-96 to 2003.


27th October 2014 UCD AFC 1:2 Galway FC, The UCD Bowl

Galwayman Timmy Molloy scores, Conor Cannon went close late on, before Galway scored two late goals through Patrick Barrett (89’) and Ryan Manning (90’).

Galway FC replaced Galway United for one season as the previous club went bankrupt.  GFC changed the name to Galway United from the next season.

31st October 2014 Galway FC 3:0 UCD AFC, Terryland Park

A shell-shocked UCD team arrived to a huge expectant home crowd.  The defense lasted to just before half-time as Gary Shanahan (45’) before Ryan Manning (71’) and Alex Byrne (80’) finished off The Students.

Two more venues added to UCD AFC play-off history.


30 goal striker Danny Furlong inspires Wexford Youths to the First Division Championship.  UCD finished third behind second place Finn Harps, a semi-final play-off before First Division Final play-off before the winner plays 9th place in the Premier Division.

23rd October 2015 UCD AFC 0:1 Finn Harps, The UCD Bowl

Finn Harps’ Ciaran Coll scores in the first minute, he’s subbed in the 12th minute and UCD can’t muster an equaliser.

30th October 2015 Finn Harps 2:1 UCD AFC, Finn Park

UCD raised their midfield pressure led by Robbie Benson, winger Jamie Doyle took the burnt of Finn Harps attention with Ryan Swan and Conor Cannon leading the line.  Doyle (59’) headed an equaliser.  After a couple of more chances a tackle from behind crippled Doyle, who was substituted.  The spark went out of UCD’s attack and Finn Harps capitalised on defensive mistake to win with two goals from Nathan Boyle and Josh Mailey.

Finn Harps beat Limerick after extra time in the next tie gain promotion.


With restrictions to reduce Covid-19 virus spread only club personnel were allowed attend games in late 2020.  The reach of the 2nd - 5th place was expected to keep mid-table season alive and continue interest from fans until the end.  Two First Division knock rounds (Semi-Final, Final), before a Promotion/Relegation Final with 9th place from teh Premier Division.

Due to the disruption of fixtures and a curtailed regualr season, so too the play-offs were played as one-off matches reduced from the planned two-legged games.

31st October 2020, First Division Semi-Final, UCD AFC 2:3 Longford Town aet The UCD Bowl

Colm Whelan scored on 17 minutes and UCD settled, after Longford rallied Joe Gorman equalised on 90'.  The STudents pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and Yoyo Mahdy got t the lead back in 1st half injury time, Joe Gorman equalised again in the second half and when it looked like going to penalties Longford's Dean Byrne scored in injury in extra-time.



Near misses failing to reach the Play-offs

Three years in a row, 1991-1992, 1992-93 and 1993-94 UCD AFC finished in fourth place in the First Division. The play-offs were introduced in 1992-93 with automatic promotion for Champions and runners-up with third place playing 10th place in the Premier Division. In 1992-93 second place UCD went into the last day of the regular season but conceded an early goal from Cobh Ramblers at Belfield Park without reply.  The Students were overtaken by Waterford United and Cobh.


UCD survived the cull for a 10 club Premier Division in the previous short season as the change to a calendar year/Summer season was introduced.  An atrocious start with one draw in the first nine games leaving UCD 12 points behind, the first win came in the 10th game.  But for the rest of the season the side earned superb results, a win The Brandywell and a late season draw at Tolka Park when Shelbourne were still chasing their Championship.  On the  final day of the regular season, a UCD home win over Longford Town and Derry City loss away to Waterford Utd would overtake 9th place (play-off) Derry City.  UCD were comfortable at 2-0, with the scores at 0-0 a Waterford United shot hit the inside of one post went the goal and hit the inside of the other post and came out.  The Candystripes won the game UCD suffered automatic relegation.  The final league table with UCD on 34 points from 36 games (33 points from 27 remaining games) doesn’t show how near The Students came to a great escape and a play-off place.


Another First Division race for promotion.  Pre-season investment for Limerick FC confirmed them as favourites and they duly won the First Division Championship in defeating UCD in August.  UCD went into the last game of the regular season needing to beat Drogheda Utd away to guarantee a play-off place.  A second-half equaliser from Mark Langtry was the closest The Students came before Drogheda scored the winner.  Drogheda beat Cobh Ramblers and Premier Division Wexford Youths to gain promotion.

No play-offs in 2017 only freshly sponsored Waterford FC as Champions.  2018 First Division Champions.