A terrific goalkeeping display by Conor O’Donnell helped earn UCD a point as Limerick finished with nine men in their Airtricity League Premier Division 1-1 draw at the UCD Bowl.

Shane Tracy scored for the visitors after three minutes but Robbie Benson levelled for the Students in the second half. 

Limerick set a blistering early pace and were a goal up by the third minute.

UCD didn’t deal with a crisp low cross in from the right from Danny Galbraith and Tracy drove a first time right-foot drive from 20 yard to the far right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Limerick might have got a second within a further two minutes as the sluggish UCD rearguard was all too easily opened up again with O’Donnell having to make a decent stop from David O’Leary’s shot from just outside the area.

UCD settled and their main threat, David McMillan, brought a comfortable save from Shane Cusack on ten minutes.

McMillan then looked to have got through onto Robbie Creevy’s ball over the top only to have the ball poked off his toe by defender Stephen Folan.

The defending at the other end wasn’t quite so vigilant on 35 minutes as O’Donnell had to make his second good save of the night from Craig Curran after Val Feeney, on his full debut, had stolen possession in midfield to put the striker in on goal.

O’Donnell then had further work to do to parry away a stinging shot from Galbraith after Axel Bossekota had broken down the left to cross as Limerick somehow went in at half-time just one goal up.

UCD were much better on the resumption and deservedly levelled on 59 minutes from a well-worked goal.

Gary Burke’s backheel put Gareth Matthews in on the right to cross for Benson to control the ball before blasting to the net.

That roused the Munster side and O’Donnell had to produce another excellent stop on 65 minutes to turn Bossekota’s shot round a post.

Limerick substitute Pat Purcell limped off on 81 minutes after they’d used all the reserves.

Fellow Limerick substitute Jeff Judge was then shown a straight red card on 90 minutes for squaring up to Colm Crowe after the UCD player had been booked for a foul on him.

UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Gareth Matthews, David O’Connor, Tomas Boyle (Gary Burke h/t), Mark Langtry; Dean Clarke, Robbie Creevy (Colm Crowe 31 mins.), James Kavanagh, Sean Russell; Robbie Benson; David McMillan.

Limerick: Shane Cusack; Shaun Kelly (Shane Costelloe 49), Brian O’Callaghan (Pat Purcell 65), Stephen Folan, Shane Tracy; David O’Leary (Jeffrey Judge 78), Stephen Bradley, Val Feeney; Danny Galbraith, Craig Curran, Axel Bossekota.

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).