Waterford FC punctuated their second season of top flight football with a 4-2 victory over already relegated UCD on a dreary night at the Regional Sports Centre.
The Blues, who face a winter of uncertainty following a see-saw season on and off the pitch, had recovered from a disappointing first half of the season in recent months and two goals in either half saw them past the Students, who were seeking their first win since July, despite two Jack Keaney penalties.
Zack Elbouzedi and Rob Slevin were drafted into the Blues' starting eleven by Alan Reynolds after last week's defeat away to Finn Harps while the visitors made four changes from their recent loss at home to Shamrock Rovers, with Gavin Sheridan starting between the sticks.
JJ Lunney had the opening chance of an entertaining first half when he connected with Kevin Lynch's low cross but the UCD goalkeeper got down low to save while a last ditch Slevin tackle at the other end stopped Sean McDonald from getting a shot of when clear on goal.
Walter Figueira cracked a right footed effort of the visitors' post and mid way through the half the home side hit the woodwork again. Tom Holland slid in a corner which Michael O'Conner stepped over and the onrushing Elbouzedi's shot clipped the crossbar.
The opened arrived in the 23rd minute when Liam Scales attempted a clearance which was diverted into the roof of the net via the swinging leg of Shane Duggan, with Figueira almost doubling the lead minutes later following a Rory Feely cross.
Just after the hour mark the goalscorer felled Dara Keane in the box allowing Keaney to equalise from the spot and Keane almost gave the visitors the lead although his curling effort had too much height.
In injury-time, Anthony Buttimer pointed to the spot again, penalising Liam Scales for grappling in the box, and substitute Georgie Poynton restored his side's lead before heading down the tunnel at the interval.
The game was put to bed within 10 minutes of the restart. Figueira turned well down the right wing before setting Lynch free and the full back's cross was collected by Elbouzedi who finished emphatically.
He turned into the provider minutes later. A sliced clearance failed to quell the danger from the winger's cross allowing O'Connor to nod in his fourth of the campaign since joining in the summer.
Two Richie O'Farrell efforts and a Danu Kinsella Bishop failed to reduce the deficit in final half hour while Elbouzedi continue to impress, but the visitors were awarded a second penalty for handball in the 84 minute which was again dispatched by Keaney although it proved to be too little too late.
Waterford FC: Matt Connor; Rory Feely, Maxim Kouogun, Rob Slevin, Kevin Lynch; Tom Holland, Shane Duggan (Poynton, 39); Zack Elbouzedi, JJ Lunney, Michael O'Connor (O'Halloran, 14), Walter Figueira (Fitzgerald, 53).
UCD AFC: Gavin Sheridan; Evan Farrell, Harry McEvoy, Liam Scales, Mark Dignam; Liam Kerrigan, Jack Keaney, Dara Keane (Behan, 58), Jason McClelland (Byrne, 87); Richie O’Farrell; Sean McDonald (Kinsella Bishop, 58).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer