Bray Wanderers 4 UCD 4
Bray twice came from behind to move a step closer to booking their place in the U15 Shield Quarter Finals.
In a U15 LOI Academy Phase 2 Tier Two (North) game moved from the Carlisle Grounds to the (new) Berryfield Park all-weather in Enniskerry on Wednesday evening because of the incessant rain, the Seagulls led 1-0 in the opening third.
But trailed 2-1 after an hour.
They fell 3-2 behind in the last half hour but rallied to go 4-3 in front only for UCD to snatch a late equaliser.
When the clubs met back in August at the Colaiste Eoin School, the ‘College won 7-1.
But the Wicklow outfit grabbed a third minute lead in style this time round.
Irish U16 striker Billy O’Neill struck an unbelievable 25-yard free-kick into the top left hand corner of the net.
The Student’s levelled matters in the 26th minute. After good work wide right by Luca Kelly, he slipped a pass to Ryan Barry who angled a low drive from the right corner of the box to the far left bottom corner of the net.
UCD grabbed the lead for the first time in the last minute of the second third (59).
Kelly was played clear on the right flank. He sent over a low endline ball that got caught at the near post. And sub Jack Cleland reacted to fire in from close range.
What followed was amazing half hour of football.
The Green and White’s squared it at 2-2 when an away player diverted Sean Hennelly’s free off the left wing into his own net on 64.
That joy was short-lived as the visitors were awarded a 65th minute penalty which sub Conor O’Neill slotted in on 66.
But Wanderers hit back to make it 3-3 five minutes later.
From Alex Forde’s long punt, sub James Seberry got clear and judged the bounce to lift the ball beyond reserve custodian Sean.
Having been the match-winner last weekend against Sligo Rovers, Darragh Sherlock looked to have repeated that feat in the 75th minute.
He won possession 25-yards and unleased a brilliant left footed rocket that arrowed into the postage stamp of the left hand corner.
But an equally good score helped the Belfield Boys restore parity at 4-4 in the 83rd minute.
Sub Dylan McMenamy’s initial shot was charged own, But his second attempt nestled in the far left stanchion from 22-yards.
UCD had already won the group before kick-off. But the draw lifts Wanderers to fourth in the standings.
They can finish third ahead of Athlone Town if they claim all three points away to Drogheda United on Sunday October 22 at the MDL Grounds. A draw would see Bray secure fourth spot.
But a defeat could mean that Drogheda finish ahead of them if the Louth team also beat Longford Town in their final match.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Forde; Ryan Bell Mihaila, Noah Byrne, Callum Kenna, Evan Lynch; Jake Fulton, Joshua O’Leary; Sean Hennelly, Kian Dowling, Adam Keene; Billy O’Neill.
Subs: Cristiano Bramley, Sean Howard, Tadhg Worthington, Darragh Sherlock, Max Free, James Seberry
UCD: Karl Andrade; Harry Weir, Callum Sheridan, Jack Maguire, Sean Murphy; Keelan Walsh; Luca Kelly, Flynn Ryan, Ryan Barry, Billy Feeney; Leon Robinson.
Subs: Sean Gallagher, Ryan Owens, Dylan McMenamy, Hayden Cummins, Conor O Neill, Jack Cleland, Aaron Egan, Nathan O’Neill, Sean Doyle.
Referee: Joe Byrne (Wicklow).
Bray goal scorers James Seberry, Darragh Sherlock and Billy O’Neill.