Collingwood cup: Holders UCD face Ulster in opener

dublin students chasing collingwood cup honours

by Aaron Dunne
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Holders UCD will open their bid to capture the Irish Universities Collingwood Cup for the 49th time when they face Ulster University in a quarter final tie next month. 

The Belfield side defeated Queen’s University Belfast 2-1 in last season’s decider at Des Casey Park Dundalk for win number 48 in the flagship Irish Universities cup competition which was established in 1914 and continues to be the only All Island association football cup competition still being played.

This year’s three-day blitz will take place from February 13-15 and is hosted by Ulster University and supported by the new tournament sponsor the O’Neill’s Sportswear Company, the well-known and respected brand all over Ireland.

The quarter final and semi-final ties will be played in the Ulster University Jordanstown Sports Village while the final is set for Larne FC Inver Park Stadium on Wednesday February 15 kick off 4.0.

As an entry of 12 universities was received for this season’s competition it was necessary to play two first round ties in advance of the final stages in Belfast.

University of Limerick edged out Trinity College 2-1 at College Park while at the Mardyke in Cork UCC overwhelmed Mary Immaculate College Limerick netting eight goals without reply. 

O’Neill’s Education and Sales Manager Martina Madden was present to assist at the recent draw in the Trinity College Pavilion together with David McMillan, a Dundalk FC legend and a Collingwood Cup winner with UCD in his student days.

Irish Universities chairman Ray O’Malley and secretary Brendan Dillon supervised the draw which also had FAI board member Paul Cooke and recently retired director Richard Shakespeare plus Ulster University representatives Ciaran Chambers and Matthew Winchester in attendance.

It’s the first year since pre Covid times that the tournament has been able to return to the annual three-day affair.

The last time in February 2020 DCU captured their first ever Collingwood success defeating Ulster University in a penalty shoot out after a scoreless draw in the decider at Dalymount Park.

The Collingwood wasn’t played in 2021 while last season it was run on as its normal in knock out competition on a round by round basis with UCD coming out on top last April.

Brendan Dillon (Secretary Irish Universities Football), Martina Madden (Education and Sales Manager O’Neills Sportswear the competition sponsor, David McMillian (Dundalk FC legend  and a former Collingwood Cup winner with UCD) and Irish Universities Football chairman Ray O’Malley.

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