UCD have secured a 2-1 victory over Shelbourne to secure their Airtricity League Premier Division place for a fifth successive season.

Robbie Benson capped a fine individual display to score for the fourth match running with a penalty on 18 minutes, before Ian Ryan equalised for Shels a minute later.

However, the tie was decided by a Dean Clarke strike for the Students just two minutes later.

Bray Wanderers losing at home to Dundalk sees them entering the promotion/relegation play-off and meant that UCD’s result over relegated Shelbourne wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

However, Martin Russell’s side still produced the performance they needed to record a first win in eight games and achieve their goal themselves.

In a lively opening both sides blew chances to snatch the lead inside 12 minutes with Dylan Connolly first up for Shelbourne when blazing over the bar from Derek Doyle’s fine cross.

Desperate defending at the other end then prevented UCD taking the lead four minutes later.

Sean Russell’s delightful ball put Benson in to lob keeper Lee Murphy, but Paul Andrews got back sharply to clear off the line.

The danger remained, though, as Murphy had to make a brave stop from Russell’s follow-up.

The goals soon flowed, though, as three arrived in as many minutes.

A trip by Robert Bayly on Benson resulted in Benson blasting College ahead from an 18th minute penalty.

Poor defending from UCD saw them concede a soft equaliser a minute later as Ian Ryan’s tame header from a Bayly corner beat keeper Mark McGinley.

UCD stormed back, however, to regain the lead with a fine goal within a further two minutes which proved the winner.

Benson was again involved, getting free on the right to whip over a low cross which Dean Clarke slid home through Murphy’s legs.

A super save from Mark McGinley robbed Doyle a second Shels equaliser while back at the other end Clarke wriggled free to turn and fire inches wide of Murphy’s right-hand post in a breathless first half.

A vital block by Ryan from Benson and a fine save with his feet by Murphy from Russell prevented UCD extending their lead in an equally lively opening to the second half.

The butt of a post then deprived Clarke of a second goal on 70 minutes after he’d spun away to drill in a low shot.

Shelbourne: Lee Murphy; Robert Cornwall, Paul Andrews, Ian Ryan, Jamie McGlynn (Stephen Hurley h/t); Dylan Connolly, Robert Bayly (Lee Murtagh 85), Pat Flynn,Derek Doyle (Darren Tinnelly 85); Dean Kelly, Carl Walshe.

UCD: Mark McGinley; Michael Kelly, Tomas Boyle, David O'Connor, Mark Langtry (Sean Coyne 73); Craig Walsh, James Kavanagh (Barry McCabe 88), Robbie Creevy, Sean Russell; Robbie Benson; Dean Clarke (Cillian Morrison 78).

Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).