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Dramatic Scenes As Late Penalty Miss Keeps UCD In Premier Division

Dramatic Scenes As Late Penalty Miss Keeps UCD In Premier Division
By Michael Bolton Updated
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A missed penalty in the dying moments has kept UCD in the Airtricity League as they defeated Waterford 1-0 in the promotion/relegation playoff at Richmond Park.

In a repeat of last year’s playoff, the tables were turned as Waterford aimed for promotion to the top tier of Irish football, with UCD standing in their way.

Despite having the better of the first half chances and possession, it was UCD who took the lead through Ireland U-19 international Tommy Lonergan’s header from a free-kick delivered into the box by Alex Nolan

While Waterford continued to push for an equaliser, they couldn’t find a goal as the Dublin side took the lead going into the interval.

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The second half was much of the same, as UCD produced a brilliant defensive display to keep Waterford at bay, and indeed their status in the Premier division.

It looked as though it wasn’t to be for Waterford, especially when Killian Cantwell received two yellow cards in 15 minutes to reduce them to 10 men in added time, in what turned out to be just the start of a crazy finish to the game.

Looked to be dead and buried, Waterford were awarded a penalty when captain Jack Kearney was judged to have handled the ball in the area in a controversial decision that UCD were furious over.

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With the chance to bring the game to extra time, Waterford’s Junior Quitirna stepped up at the most important time of Waterford’s season, but blazed the ball over the bar with the last kick of the game to keep UCD in the Premier Division for another season.

Given he missed a penalty in the play-off semi-final against Treaty United, it must be questioned what made Quitirna take the ball of his teammate Wassim Auoachria in such an important penalty.

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