Second-half goals from Timmy Molloy and Richie O’Farrell, who scored twice, gave UCD a deserved first win of the season as they leapfrogged Finn Harps off the foot of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table having outplayed their visitors at the UCD Bowl.
Showing plenty of intent from the off, Collie O'Neill's Students got in behind Harps twice inside the opening five minutes.
Yoyo Mahdy was involved on both occasions, first putting Kevin Coffey in one-one-one with Ciaran Gallagher after two minutes. The winger’s composure just deserted him, though, as he scuffed his shot well wide.
Three minutes later Mahdy raided on the left to pull the ball back for O’Farrell whose crisp drive was pushed out by Gallagher for the first corner of the game.
Mahdy’s industry picked out O’Farrell once again on 12 minutes. The midfielder turned well, but couldn’t get hold of his shot which trickled wide off the outside of a post.
The bulk of the early action remained in front of the Harps goal; UCD skipper Gary O’Neill curling a shot over the bar.
Harps gradually showed promise when they got forward. A fine run by Harry Ascroft, which brought the Australian past two defenders to the end line down the right, carved their first real chance on 22 minutes.
Caolon McAleer couldn’t provide the finish as he drove his shot over Conor Kearns’ crossbar.
Kearns then saved comfortably from Sean Boyd’s shot from distance just on the half hour as the game opened up.
The half finished as it began with the Harps goal under pressure. Gallagher made his second telling save on 44 minutes, reacting well to bat Coffey’s deflected shot out for the first of three corners which Harps survived.
The Harps goal led a charmed life from the restart with a shot from O’Neill being tipped out for another corner by Gallagher after deflecting off Mahdy.
Harps did pose a threat on the counter, though they should have made more of a break on 50 minutes.
Raffaele Cretaro sent McAleer away on the left, but his shot was straight at Kearns.
Two minutes later their own goal was under threat again as O’Neill shaved Gallagher’s crossbar with a direct free kick from 35 yards.
A goal was coming and it arrived for UCD on 61 minutes.
O’Neill fed Mahdy in the area and though the striker’s shot was brilliantly touched away by a sprawling Gallagher, Timmy Molloy reacted sharply to tap home.
Harps were carved open again 10 minutes later. Once more O’Neill found the pass, this time for the run of O’Farrell who placed his shot into the far corner of the net.
O’Farrell got his second goal on 83 minutes to seal the points.
Getting a return pass from Mahdy, O’Farrell's first shot was blocked but he was alert to sweep home the rebound.
UCD: Conor Kearns; Daniel Tobin, Josh Collins, Liam Scales, Mark Dignam; Gary O’Neill; Kevin Coffey (Neil Farrugia 76), Timmy Molloy, Richie O’Farrell, Jason McClelland; Yoyo Mahdy (Sean McDonald 86).
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Jacob Borg (Mikey Place 82), Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; John Kavanagh, Harry Ascroft, Mark Coyle (Nathan Boyle 65), Caolan McAleer, Daniel O’Reilly; Raff Cretaro (Tony McNamee 72); Sean Boyd.
Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).