Dean Byrne scored a sensational 122nd minute winner for Longford Town as they set up a date with Galway United in the First Division play-off final following a 3-2 success over UCD this afternoon.

The Students twice looked to be on the verge of victory in the UCD Bowl, firstly in normal time as Colm Whelan's first-half goal was cancelled out by defender Joe Gorman from a corner in the 90th minute.

Yoyo Mahdy then scored in the second period of extra-time, but Gorman again brought his side level with a header from a set-piece with six minutes remaining.

Time was all but up as penalties loomed before Byrne’s unstoppable strike in the final moments gave Longford a remarkable victory to keep their promotion hopes intact.

Key midfielder Jack Keaney returned to the UCD line-up in the only change from Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Galway, while Shane Elworthy, Mick O’Donnell and Aodh Dervin came in for Town.

Dylan Hand, Adam Evans and Matthew O’Brien dropped out after the loss to Wexford. 

Colm Whelan showed why he was the main threat for the Students after linking with Liam Kerrigan, forcing Lee Stacey into a save with his second attempt from a snapshot on 15 minutes. 

It was a warning for what was to come as Paul Doyle curled a free-kick into the box from 35 yards out and the Kilkenny man headed home with ease as the Longford defence were left to rue some dreadful marking.

Whelan had a goal ruled out for offside six minutes before the break, and Longford should have drawn level on 44 minutes.

A corner from the right came to Dervin on the corner of the penalty area. He sent in an inviting cross to the back post where Gorman dived to head the ball across goal and Chambers somehow hit it over from four yards out.

That miss was almost compounded in injury-time as from a UCD corner Longford were unable to clear and Luke Boore managed to get a shot away, forcing Dean Zambra to clear off the line.

The Students appealed that the ball went over the line as referee Kevin O’Sullivan waved play on. 

Longford were brighter early in the second half and targeted the left-wing to try to open up UCD.

Aaron McNally was involved throughout the first 10 minutes of the half, firstly showing nifty feet in the area to get the better of Evan Farrell, before picking out Dylan Grimes in the centre of the box.

The former Shelbourne man tried to make room in the area but couldn't evade Lorcan Healy in the UCD goal who blocked his shot as he rushed off his line. 

Dervin then was the recipient of good work by McNally as he was picked out on the edge of the box and used momentum to find space and shoot over the crossbar. 

Daire Doyle’s side were really building momentum midway. Grimes was fouled as Boore was booked and the Longford man forced Healy to palm the free-kick over. 

College were happy to play on the break and frustrate Longford. Kerrigan and Madhy came close in the last 10 minutes for the Students. 

Town introduced several substitutes but were let down by their deliveries into the box as Healy and the UCD defensive easily dealt with their attacks.

But a corner in the final minute changed everything as one of the replacements Niall Barnes delivered a precise cross and Joe Gorman rose highest to send the game into extra-time. 

The 30 minutes ebbed and flowed as the teams enjoyed periods of domination. Longford looked more confident to run at the UCD defence compared to the 90 minutes, while UCD slowly regained confidence from the goal. 

Dean Byrne and Paul Doyle had dangerous efforts in the first period, while Stacey in the Longford goal had to stop Boore scoring from a loose ball from a corner. 

The final action of the first period saw Mahdy flick on a header for Dara Keane and the substitute shot over the crossbar under pressure from Mick O’Donnell.

The winning goal looked like it arrived in the 110th minute. Former Sligo Rovers trio Paul Doyle, Jack Keaney combined with a string of passes as Yoyo Mahdy came onto the ball.

He fed Kerrigan who blasted a shot towards goal, forcing Stacey to push it away but into the path of Mahdy and the striker showed great composure to fire it into the net.

However Longford responded immediately, with huge pressure from a flurry of corners. 

Again Barnes sent in a tremendous cross as centre-half Gorman found space at the back post and headed home with just six minutes remaining. 

The ball went from end to end and penalties looked a certainty as the game entered the 122nd minute. 

However, Callum Warfield chested the ball down just inside the area and laid it off for fellow substitute Dean Byrne to send a stunning shot into the top corner, bringing scenes of joy for Longford and devastation for UCD.

Longford now face Galway next weekend, while UCD will spent 2021 in the First Division again. 

UCD:  Lorcan Healy, Luke Boore, Josh Collins, Harry McEvoy, Evan Weir (Mark Dignam 77), Jack Keaney, Payl Doyle, Evan Farrell (Michael Gallagher 61), Liam Kerrigan, Yoyo Mahdy, Colm Whelan (Dara Keane 80).

Substitutes: Matthew Traynor, Isaac Akinsete, Danu Kinsella Bishop, Adam Verdon

Longford Town: Lee Stacey, Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Joe Gorman, Joe Manley, Dean Zambra (Aaron McCabe 80), Aodh Dervin, Karl Chambers (Dean Byrne 63), Dylan Grimes (Niall Barnes 84), Aaron McNally (Callum Warfield 84), Sam Verdon

Substitutes: Luke Dennison, Dylan Hand, Matthew O’Brien.