Collingwood Cup to return to Queens Belfast in 2018
The competition will be sponsored by the leading Irish fast food brand Rustlers - part of the Kepak Group - who have signed a four-year agreement to sponsor all men’s and women’s Third Level Football league and cup competitions in Ireland including the Collingwood Cup.
Speaking at the draw, Cian O’Donnell, Rustlers Assistant Brand Manager said “Today's draw whets the appetite for what should be a fantastic three days of football at Queens University next February. Rustlers is proud to be supporting Ireland’s oldest All-Ireland football cup competition, as part of our overall commitment to Third Level Football, and we are looking forward to our first experience of this great cup competition.”
The tournament has also been scaled back from it’s traditional four-day to a three-day affair with the First Round of fixtures featuring six sides taking place in late January.
Eight teams will then take part in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final at Queens University Sports Grounds, with these ties commencing on Monday February 5 and culminating in the final at The Dub on Wednesday February 7.
Irish Universities Chairman, Terry McAuley said: “I am delighted that Queens University have agreed to host this years tournament, it promises to be a special occasion with the top class facilities available to us through Queens Sport. I would also like welcome our valued new sponsors Rustlers on board and I hope that the new format we have introduced this year will help raise the quality of this prestigious tournament.”
The draw took place at Queen’s University Dub Pavillion, Belfast.
NUI Galway v Dublin City University
University of Limerick v Maynooth University
Trinity College Dublin v Royal College of Surgeons
(Games to be played on Wednesday, January 24th)
University College Cork v Mary Immaculate College
Ulster University v NUI Galway or Dublin City University
Queens University Belfast v Trinity College Dublin or Royal College of Surgeons
University of Limerick or Maynooth University v University College Dublin
(Games to be played on Monday, February 5th)
Queens University Belfast/Trinity College Dublin/Royal College of Surgeons v University College Cork/Mary Immaculate College
University of Limerick/Maynooth University/University College Dublin v Ulster University/NUI Galway/Dublin City University
(Games to be played on Tuesday, February 6th)
The Collingwood Cup is one of the oldest trophies still being played for in Irish football.
Established in 1914, it celebrated it’s centenary almost four ago when the 2014 tournament was hosted by University College Dublin at Belfield in February of that year.
The cup was first presented by Bertram Collingwood a Professor of Physiology at University College Dublin in 1914 and four universities took part in the inaugural tournament in Dublin that February, University College Dublin, Queens University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin and University College Galway.
University College Dublin defeated Queens University 2-1 in the final which was played at Dalymount Park,Dublin the home of Bohemians FC and since then the Belfield side have dominated the competition with a total of 45 straight wins and they also shared the trophy on three other occasions.
University College Cork are the current holders following their 2-1 defeat of University College Dublin in the 2017 final at Maynooth University last February.
The 2018 competition will have 11 teams initially competing. The three preliminary round games are set to take place in late January with the University of Limerick entertaining Maynooth University, Dublin City University travelling to take on National University of Ireland Galway and Trinity College Dublin facing Royal College of Surgeons at College Park, Dublin.
The winners of these three ties will then go into the draw for the quarter finals along with Queens University Belfast, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Mary Immaculate College Limerick and Ulster University who will field a side selected from the Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee College campus’s.
Hosts Queens University will be keen to perform well on their home patch as they have failed to capture the Collingwood Cup in over 30 years.
Although Queens were outright winners on 20 occasions their last success came in 1985 when they defeated the hosts University College Cork at The Mardyke with Frank Dunlop notching the only goal four minutes into time added on.
The last Collingwood final hosted by Queens was in 2004 and University College Cork got the better of Ulster University Coleraine winning a close encounter 1-0 the goal scored by Shane Hennessy .
While the last time a host university captured the cup was in 2003 when University College Cork were winners at The Mardyke beating University College Dublin in the final.