DCU reach first Collingwood Cup Final
Guided by experienced coaches in two former League of Ireland stalwarts Declan Roche and Johnny McDonnell, the Glasnevin side followed up their penalty shoot out defeat of UCD in Monday’s quarter-final by knocking out last years beaten finalists University of Limerick at the AUL Complex to book a place in Wednesday's Final against Ulster University at Dalymount Park at 5pm.
The final score line of 5-1 to DCU was possibly a little flattering as three of their goals came in the closing minutes of what was generally a tight affair.
Winger Oleg Vysuchan had given the Limerick side the lead on the half hour but striker Jack O’Connor fired DCU level minutes later with his well placed free kick.
O’Connor then went on to grab his second just before the break with a neat finish from DCU's well rehersed short corner routine.
Limerick came back strongly on the resumption and Vysuchan was close to an equaliser with a flying header that just cleared the DCU cross bar.
While only two smart saves by the Dubliner’s ‘keeper Imrich Toth kept out goal bound efforts from Ian Collins and Vysuchan and later Imrich did brilliantly to push away a sliced clearance by his defender Evan Whelan.
In an amazing finale DCU managed to net three quick goals with first Sean Cronin following up to beat UL 'keeper Sean McCormack after O’Connor’s shot came off the post.
Substitute David Mugalu added a fourth and midfielder Cronin crowned a top performance with his second of the day to set up the unique north south decider.
Holders UCC were denied a second successive Collingwood Cup final appearance going down 2-1 to Ulster University after a thrilling semi-final at the AUL Complex.
A first minute goal from Nathan Best gave the northern side the perfect start after the pacy winger cut inside from the left wing and his stunning right footed finish beat Cork ‘keeper Arthur Nganou.
Matthew McKevitt pulled the holders level ten minutes later and the sides went toe to toe for the remainder of the half without either managing to gain an advantage.
Ulster University (as UU Jordanstown) last held the Cup in 2008 and since then they haven’t figured greatly in the latter stages of the competition but Niall McGinley’s goal from a well placed corner 20-minutes from time ended their long wait.
The Cork side did respond in fine style after going behind and McKevitt was close with a free kick and later they had an indirect free in the box charged down by the determined northern wall but the equaliser never arrived and they bow out for another year.
Maynooth University and Trinity College will contest the Bishop Farquhar Cup final at College Park at 12pm after respective semi-final wins over UCD and Queens University.
The beaten quarter-finalists are given a second chance to pick up a trophy in this competition and a determined Maynooth with goals in each half from Aaron McNally and James Clarke’s penalty winner got the better of old rivals UCD who had drawn level from a Jack Keaney free kick early in the second half.
Trinity, the competition hosts, needed a 4-3 penalty shoot out win to see off Queens. A Lorcan McIlroy goal on 13 minutes had the Belfast side in front but Dylan Connolly got Trinity back on term by the break. Neither side to get a second half winner and the Dublin side held their nerve to come out on top in the shoot out.
Collingwood Cup Semi Finals
University of Limerick 1 (Oleg Vysochan) DCU 5 (Jack O’Connor 2, Sean Cronin 2, David Mugalu)
Ulster University 2 (Nathan Best, Niall McGinley) UCC 1 (Matthew McKevitt).
Bishop Farquhar Cup Semi Finals
UCD 1 (Jack Keaney) Maynooth University 2 (Aaron McNally, James Clarke pen)
Queens University Belfast 1 (Lorcan McIlroy) Trinity College Dublin 1 (Dylan Connolly). Trinity won 4-3 on pens
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 5
Collingwood Cup Final
DCU v Ulster University, Dalymount Park, 5pm.
Bishop Farquhar Cup Final
Maynooth University v Trinity College Dublin, College Park, 12pm