Sean Boyd and Jack Moylan maintained their eye for goal to keep Shelbourne on the up.

Boyd opened the scoring from a dubiously awarded penalty right before the interval with Moylan doubling the lead seconds after restart

It's six goals for the pair - three apiece - in the last four games as Damien Duff returned to the dugout after his three-match suspension to oversee a fourth straight win which lifts his team to sixth in the table.

In-form Shelbourne had the first sniff of goal inside three minutes, though Boyd's low effort, after good approach play from Moylan and Jad Hakiki, lacked the venom to trouble Kian Moore.

The College keeper was then well positioned to hold a Shane Farrell free-kick as Shels continued to probe.

The first save of the game was required at the other end on 15 minutes, however, Brendan Clarke having to be alert to tip Liam Kerrigan's defected cross over his crossbar to concede the first corner of the night.

Much of the threat remained at the other end, Moylan bursting through to drill wide having worked a one-two with Boyd.

But it was home keeper Clarke again who had work to do just before the half hour, diving to his left to push Mark Dignam’s crisp drive from distance round a post.

Shelbourne wingback Conor Kane saw his flicked effort from Farrell’s run and cut-back do likewise at the other end minutes later as the game laboured to spark to life.

A most dubious decision would then gift Shelbourne the lead in first half stoppage time.

Boyd dived but failed to meet Farrell’s cross with UCD right-back Michael Gallagher albeit in close attention. To the consternation of the UCD players and bench, referee Ben Connolly pointed to the spot.

Boyd sent the spot kick straight down the middle to record his sixth goal of the season with incensed UCD manager Andy Myler yellow-carded for dissent.

The second half was just nine seconds old when UCD had only their hesitant defence to blame as Shelbourne doubled their lead.

Moylan kicked off, sending the ball right back to skipper Luke Byrne who launched it forward from just outside his box.

The UCD defence didn’t deal with the long ball as Moylan stole in to lob it over the advancing Moore and watch as it bounced through to the net.

UCD worked hard to get back into the game but couldn’t find a way past an inspired Clarke.

The veteran keeper produced a brilliant save to deprive Jack Keaney on 80 minutes before saving Kerrigan's penalty in stoppage time.

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; Aaron O’Driscoll, Luke Byrne, Shane Griffin; JJ Lunney (Kameron Ledwidge 82), Aodh Dervin; Shane Farrell, Jad Hakiki (John Ross Wilson 72), Conor Kane; Jack Moylan (Gavin Molloy 68), Sean Boyd (Dan Carr 82).

UCD: Kian Moore; Michael Gallagher, Jack Yoro, Sam Todd, Evan Osam; Jack Keaney, Dara Keane (Asam Verdon 72); Liam Kerrigan, Evan Caffrey (Donal Higgins 85), Mark Dignam (Thomas Lonergan 66); Dylan Duffy (Alex Nolan 85).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).