Kevin Toner's first half winner stretched St Patrick’s Athletic unbeaten run to four games as they dominated this SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the UCD Bowl.

A tenth straight league defeat, in which they’ve managed just one goal, means UCD drop to the foot of the table.

With key men Gary O’Neill and Neil Farrugia, having moved to Shamrock Rovers during the week, UCD boss Collie O'Neill gave a first team debut to under-19s midfielder Aaron McGrath while naming just four players on the bench.

St Patrick’s boss Harry Kenny rewarded Jake Walker for his winner against Finn Harps last time out with his first league start of the season.

And 20-year-old Walker was in the thick of the early action when having a shock deflected out for a corner before heading over from skipper Ian Bermingham’s cross as St Pat’s started on the front foot.

College goalkeeper Conor Kearns was then worked for the first time on 15 minutes when holding Simon Madden’s stinging volley from a narrow angle. 

Conor Davis, another UCD player expected to move on in the July window, registered the home side’s first threat five minutes later, his strike from distance scarcely troubling Brendan Clarke in the St Pat’s goal.

The majority of the play was at the other end, though, and St Pat’s inevitably took the lead on the half hour from their fifth corner of the night.

Mikey Drennan hooked a superb delivery off his left foot to the back spot where defender Toner arrived to power a bullet header past Kearns for his third goal of the season.

Kearns prevented Bermingham doubling Saints’ lead within seven minutes, batting the left-back’s crisp drive over the top after Jamie Lennon picked out his run.

Lennon then surged through the middle to strike a low shot into Kearns’ side-netting as the one-way traffic continued.

A minute before the interval, the move of the half failed to get its reward as Walker blazed over the bar from Drennan’s pullback after the impressive Lennon’s sublime pass put the striker in behind.

Drennan, twice, and Forrester had chances before the hour mark as St Pat’s dominance was maintained into the second half.

Despite fighting a rearguard action, however, UCD remained in the game with Davis again getting a sniff of goal on 62 minute, volleying his shot at Clarke when he might have equalised.

St Pat’s remained well on top, but just couldn’t find a second goal.

Substitute Darragh Markey got through on goal four minutes from time but was thwarted by UCD captain Liam Scales’ terrific block-tackle.

UCD: Conor Kearns; Evan Farrell, Liam Scales, Mark Dignam; Richie O’Farrell, Sean McDonald (Luke Boore 81), Aaron McGrath, Paul Doyle, Jason McClelland; Yoyo Mahdy (Danu Kinsella Bishop 85), onor Davis.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Lee Desmond, Ciaran Kelly, Kevin Toner; Simon Madden, Chris Forrester (Darragh Markey 81), Jamie Lennon, Cian Coleman (Conor Clifford 74), Ian Bermingham; Jake Walker (Gary Shaw 72), Mikey Drennan.

Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford).