Five-star Rovers beat UCD

Ronan Coughlan netted a hat-trick for Sligo Rovers as they hammered UCD at the Showgrounds to pick up their first win in five games.

The away side took the lead in this one through skipper Liam Scales but Sligo turned the match completely on its head courtesy of Coughlan’s heroics, along with strikes from Johnny Dunleavy and Romeo Parkes.

In search of their first points on the road this season, it was UCD who impressed early on.

Yoyo Mahdy had Ed McGinty at full stretch to keep out his powerful effort before the Students hit the lead.

Bristol Rovers-bound Scales showed his strength as he muscled his way to the front post to head home Richie O’Farrell’s corner.

Rovers slowly found their feet and worked their way back into this tie. Conor Kearns got a strong hand to Coughlan’s shot on eleven minutes, before Parkes saw his effort sail past the far post from close range on the quarter hour.

Liam Buckley’s charges deservedly levelled the tie when Dunleavy latched on to David Cawley’s corner, although it looked like UCD keeper Conor Kearns could have done better.

Sligo were ahead less than 60 seconds later. Cawley pushed the ball into the path of Coughlan, who tucked it beyond Kearns for his first of the night.

Rovers had their third before the break. Parkes held off his man, biding his time before supplying the oncoming Coughlan who was left with a simple finish.

Parkes added his name to the score-sheet five minutes into the second half, the Jamaican left to tap the ball in at the back post from Dunleavy’s square.

Coughlan then had his hat-trick moments later, after he lifted the ball over a despairing Kearns from inside the six-yard box.

Parkes missed two late chances to claim his brace but Kearns twice got down quick enough to get a hand to both efforts.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Johnny Dunleavy (Niall Morahan 53), Kyle Callan-McFadden, Dante Leverock, Lewis Banks; Kris Twardek, John Russell (John Mahon 70), David Cawley, Romeo Parkes; Ronan Coughlan (Brian Morley 58), Ronan Murray.

UCD: Conor Kearns; Dan Tobin (Harry McEnvoy 86), Evan Farrell, Josh Collins (Luke Boore HT), Liam Scales; Paul Doyle, Mark Dignam; Jason McClelland, Richie O’Farrell, Yoyo Mahdy (Hugh Torfeldt 86); Danu Bishop.

Referee: Damien MacGraith