Dundalk made a winning return after the international break with a 2-0 victory over UCD at Oriel Park.

Daniel Kelly’s first goal of the season after 16 minutes was added to by Patrick Hoban to give the Lilywhites a deserved three points.

It was a quiet opening with both sides struggling to find a rhythm however with the first good move of the match, Dundalk took the lead.

Mark Connolly stepped out of defence and played the ball forward to Patrick Hoban. His neat layoff played in Daniel Kelly and he rounded the goalkeeper brilliantly and finished to the net.

Robbie Benson had a chance to double the lead but his effort from the edge of the area went wide.

Benson almost netted just before the break when his glancing header from Hoban’s cross came crashing off the post.

Half-time Dundalk 1-0 UCD

28 February 2022; Daniel Kelly of Dundalk during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Finn Harps at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dundalk doubled their advantage immediately after the break when Hoban’s volleyed finish from Macari’s excellent cross gave Lorcan Healy no chance.

Jack Keaney forced a good save from Nathan Shepperd as he struck from a free-kick as UCD tried to find a way back into the game.

Healy had to be at his best to first deny Kelly his second from just outside the box and then Steven Bradley from close range.

There was little action after that with the Lilywhites seeing the game out comfortably.

Full-time Dundalk 1-0 UCD

DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd; Lewis Macari, Mark Connolly, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Greg Sloggett, Paul Doyle (Dan Williams 75); Steven Bradley (Keith Ward 84), Robbie Benson, Daniel Kelly (Joe Adams 75); Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 87). Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (GK), Sam Bone, Mark Hanratty, Ryan O’Kane, Brian Gartland.

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Alex Dunne, Sean Kavanagh, Eric Yoro, Evan Osam (John Ryan 74); Jack Keaney (Adam Verdon 59), Sean Brennan (Donal Higgins 59); Liam Kerrigan (Adam Lennon 74), Dylan Duffy, Evan Caffrey; Colm Whelan (Alex Nolan 74). Subs not used: Luke Boore, Michael Gallagher, Kian Moore, Lennon Gill.

REFEREE: Gavin Colfer.