It was back to the reality of a league title run in for Dundalk on Friday night and they came through unscathed in what was a good performance at The UCD Bowl.
A goal from Richie Towell and Pa Hoban either side of half time settled matters to keep The Town three points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League table.
Dundalk started the brighter and three corners in the opening eight minutes showed their dominance in the early stages.
The Lilywhites went one up on 10 minutes and never looked back. The breakthrough came when Darren Meenan crossed the ball and it was cleared as far as Richie Towell who was on hand to rifle past the goalkeeper from the edge of the area.
Dundalk controlled the remainder of the first-half but O’Donnell in the UCD goal was rarely troubled after the early goal with a Patrick Hoban header in the 23rd minute leaving him relatively untroubled.
Ayman Ben Mohamed was proving a menace in the Students’ midfield and he made Cherrie work with a fine shot just before the interval.
The visitors came firing out of the blocks at the start of the second half and Towell had a glorious chance to add to the lead when he once again met a Meenan corner but blazed over the bar from 12 yards.
Kurtis Byrne shot wide of the post when he rushed by the UCD defence while Meenan then had a dipping effort saved by O’Donnell.
News of Cork City’s win over Sligo Rovers meant there was no room for error for Dundalk in the second-half and Hoban ensured there was to be no nervy ending with a fine finish in the 70th minute.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Daniel Tobin, Hugh Douglas, Ian Ryan, Sean Coyne; Robbie Creevy, Robbie Benson, Colm Crowe, Chris Mulhall (Kaleem Simon 80), Conor Cannon (Samir Belhout 61); Ayman Ben Mohamad.
DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (capt), Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Richie Towell; Darren Meenan, Kurtis Byrne (Ruaidhri Higgins 75), Daryl Horgan; Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 81) (Mark Griffin 85).
Referee: Jim McKell