Famous double as UCD add Collingwood crown

collingwood cup: dramatic win for ucd

by Gazette Reporter
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Both major cups in the Irish Universities football season have now been won by UCD after the Belfield top side retained the prestigious Collingwood Cup with a dramatic last gasp 3-2 defeat of the University of Limerick in last week’s pulsating final played at Inver Park, Larne FC’s splendid stadium.

February has been a highly successful period for UCD who earlier in the month their first-year side captured the Harding Cup defeating UCC on penalties in the final at Galway.

As Collingwood Cup holders UCD started favourites to retain the trophy in the annual hectic three-day competition hosted by the University of Ulster at their Jordanstown campus and sponsored by O’Neills Sportwear.

The opening quarter final tie saw UCD register a facile 10-0 drubbing of the well below strength hosts with Danu Kinsella Bishop grabbing a second half hat trick.

A semi final against UCC proved to be a slightly more difficult assignment but the Belfield side were well up for it and a Donal Higgins superb first time volley on 20 minutes gave them a narrow halftime advantage.

UCD upped the pace after the break and after Higgins, Ciaran Behan and Danu Kinsella Bishop all had chances Billy Griffin was taken down in the box and skipper Jack Keaney converted the spot kick.  

That proved to be the decisive goal and as the UCC challenge faded UCD turned on the style with substitute Ronan Cowhey and later Behan both beating goalkeeper Kevin Fitzpatrick to put the game out of sight.

UL reached the following day’s decider at Larne after they overcame Maynooth University in the other semi-final with a second half Adam Foley goal in a much closer encounter.

The final was a real classic and a credit to both sides who were playing their third successive cup tie in 72 hours.

Substitute Ronan Cowhey’s brilliant header in added time from a pin point delivery into the box by skipper Jack Keaney clinched the 3-2 win for the Belfield side after UL had twice come from behind to level the tie.

All five goals came after the break and four of them arrived in a whirlwind five-minute spell just over the hour mark.

Ciaran Behan with his trademark cracking left footed drive from all of 25 yards sailed past UL ‘keeper Josh Coady to put UCD in front on 63 minutes.

But minutes later defender Tom Carney’s towering header from a corner level matters for UL.

Back came UCD and once again Behan struck with another cracking strike after cutting in from the right flank and once again giving Coady no chance of reaching his left footed drive.

But UL chasing their first ever Collingwood Cup success kept plugging away and when Adam Foley scrambled in another equaliser at the far post the game looked to be heading for extra-time.

But in the late drama Cowhey’s header was decisive and saw UCD capture the famous cup for the 49 th time in its 109 years history.

The win was another milestone for Diarmuid McNally and Tony Sheridan, two long serving members of the UCD management team.The pair have now helped to steer UCD to nine Collingwood Cup wins in nearly 20 years.   

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Sean Carmody, Michael Gallagher, Jack Keaney, Shane McCreery; Rossa McAllister, Dara Keane, Donal Higgins; Billy Griffin, Danu Kinsella Bishop, Ciaran Behan.Subs: Ronan Cowhey (for Griffin 57). Not used: Gearoid Mulligan, Ryan Bowden, Matthew Scott, Gavin McConville, Danny Norris, Ben Callan.

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