McGinley watches Byrne's third slip home
A feast of nine goals was served up at the Belfield Bowl with the Seagulls edging it by the odd one.
The Students opened the scoring just five minutes in when Cillian Morrison headed Tom O'Halloran's free-kick neatly home.
But the visitors struck back just over a quarter of an hour later: Ismahil Akinade took a touch on Kieran "Marty" Waters's cross on the edge of the area and fired into the back of Mark McGinley's net.
For some time thereafter it seemed that the teams might share the honours - at least until the break.
But Jason Byrne was in no mood for that, tapping home twice in the final five minutes of play in the first period, after his colleagues had managed to cause all sorts of confusion in the UCD defence.
Byrne added to his tally on the hour, before UCD pulled one back from the penalty spot, David MacMillan scoring for the first time this season in front of the home support.
But the Bray marksman hadn't finished yet. With less than ten minutes to go, he converted Gary Dempsey's ball for his fourth of the night, and brought his all-time League goals total to 203.
And there was to be a little sting in the tale, with Robbie Creevy netting for the hosts in the final minute of time added.
Bray's young Nigerian striker gave notice of intent by the visitors two minutes in when he shot narrowly wide with McGinley beaten.
But when Liam Traynor was fouled wide on the left minutes later, the free was delivered with purpose by O'Halloran. It still needed a header of some quality by Morrison to finish the movement off.
Buoyed by their breakthrough, the Students went in search of a second, but it was the Seagulls who threatened, John Mulroy responding to Akinade's cross with a nifty backheel, only for McGinley to get there first.
And Waters's flag-kick ten minutes in was eventually cleared back to the winger himself, who shot straight at the UCD keeper.
But when Waters had an opportunity to cross for Akinade minutes later, he read his colleague's intentions well, placing the ball where the Bray man had rounded his defender to take a touch and fire a sweet shot home.
A Bray free a minute after that was nodded on in a move that deceived McGinley, who ran into trouble wide in his area, and it fell to skipper David O'Connor to clear practically on the line.
Byrne got into the act then, his first effort from all of 25m flying a little too high.
For a moment 22 minutes in it seemed that the home side had gone ahead again, when a long ball reached Morrison who headed past Quigley, only to find Assistant Referee Lee Bevans had his flag up. Nice header, though ...
Akinade's attempt from a neat Mulroy ball almost made it into the net, but for McGinley's trailing leg, and after Barry McCabe had one over at the far end, Mulroy himself went close with a header from a long cross by Daire Doyle.
With ten minutes to go to the break, Akinade tried an ambitious cross for Byrne which curled a little too much, into the arms of the UCD keeper.
And minutes later Byrne tried a long lob after a great run by Mulroy, but punted a little too far.
With less than five minutes remaining in the half, Waters's good run ended with a cross to the area. McGinley failed to gather, and the ball ran loose, Byrne reacting quickest to roll it over the line.
At the end of regulation time, a shot from distance by Gary Dempsey came back of McGinley's bar with no Bray shirt close enough to take advantage, but the defence reacted slowly and Akinade found Mulroy who shot just wide.
Bray intercepted the goal-kick, and Waters's eventual shot ricocheted off the post and again fell kindly for the Bray striker to tap in from close range.
From one-nil down, Bray now changed ends three-one up.
A slower start marked the second period, though McGinley should have dealt better with a ball that seemed to be going wide, conceding an early corner, Waters's effort half-cleared and returned for a Byrne header the goalie dealt with easily.
Waters had a go after working his way across the pitch from the right, shooting wide from 20m on the left, and another brace of corners produced nothing, though McGinley bought insurance with a punch on the second.
UCD had their first chance of the half in the fifty fifth minute as MacMillan was put through. His effort was well blocked by Quigley, but it fell to Gary Burke. The winger's effort from close range was well held by the Bray keeper.
Mulroy shot over from the left after a run by Waters and a series of short passes, and his next attempt forced a diving parry by the UCD goalie, who then coolly claimed Dean Zambra's corner.
Then on the hour, a loose pass in the centre gave Bray possession and Marty Waters once again exploited the space. He ran at the College defence and passed to Byrne who played one-two with Mulroy before taking one touch and curling his shot into the far right corner.
College got a lifeline five minutes later when Dave Webster foolishly pushed Dean Clarke in possession in the area, and Referee Sean Grant had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. MacMillan fired the penalty down the middle.
Bray pushed to restore their lead over the next period, coming closest when McGinley needed a second grab to claim a low Waters shot from distance.
And the UCD attempts to restore parity came close with an attempt by MacMillan parried out following a Morrison corner, and the Bray defence having to clear off the line from the second flag-kick.
Morrison was causing problems, hitting the side-netting from almost the end-line, and drawing a race wide by Quigley to claim, and it was his 77th minute corner that found O'Halloran. His deep cross was headed into the area by Hughie Douglas, and Dean Clarke headed UCD's third goal.
Minor questionable decisions were irritating the players, but the game continued with Creevy scuffing a shot straight into Quigley's hands after Morrison's lay-off, before Byrne struck once more with seven minutes of normal time left.
Starting with three at the back, Martin Russell was now operating with two, and committing forward, leaving space for Bray to attack, which Dempsey did, putting the marksman through for an easy finish past the disconsolate McGinley.
Byrne: New Bray League goals record
Game over? Not quite. Waters - now wearing 31 after a change of shirt - shot over in time added before a long throw was taken by James Kavanagh. The Seagulls defence let the ball bounce on the edge of the area and Creevy pounced to fire home what, in the end, proved to be a final consolation.
Byrne has now become Bray's leading all-time League goalscorer, despite his lengthy absence from the Wicklow side.
And for the record, it's only the second time Bray have shared that many goals in a game - the last being ten years ago, against Athlone Town.
Mícheál Ó hUanacháin
Bray Wanderers: 1 Darren Quigley; 8 Daire Doyle, 2 David Webster, 15 Shane O'Connor, 12 Conor Earley; 18 John Mulroy, 6 Gary Dempsey, 16 Dean Zambra, 11 Kieran Waters; 9 Ismahil Akinade, 10 Jason Byrne (c)