UCD AFC secure 49th Collingwood Cup title


UCD AFC secure 49th Collingwood Cup title

A 49th Collingwood Cup will sit in the UCD trophy cabinet after a dramatic finish to this classic final of the Irish Universities flagship competition with plenty of second half drama at Larne FC Inver Park.
16th Feb 2023

Substitute Ronan Cowhey’s brilliant header in time added on from a pin point delivery into the box by skipper Jack Keaney clinched the famous trophy 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 Josh Coady to put UCD in front on 63 minutes.

But minutes later a well delivered comer saw a towering header from defender Tom Carney level matters for the Limerick side. Back came UCD and once again Behan struck with a 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 neat post for the equaliser we looked to be heading for extra time.

However, the drama wasn’t finished as we entered three minutes of time added on and when Keaney’s fine ball picked out Cowhey’s run into the box for the golden header that saw UCD retain the cup for another season and left UL still looking for that elusive first ever win.

With both sides playing their third cup tie in 72 hours it was understandable that the opening exchanges would be low key but when the sides settled down a couple of chances were created. UL were first to go close on 20 minutes when UCD full back Shane McCreery got caught in possession by Eoin Redmond out on the left touch line.

The Limerick man burst into the UCD area but fired his finish well over the Lorcan Healy’s crossbar. At the other end Danu Kinsella Bishop tested Josh Coady with a clever flicked header from Ciaran Behan’s high cross from the left.

The best chance of the half fell to UL in the closing minutes but Healy was in top form to keep Conor Whittle's header out. But the second half proved to be where all the action took place.

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

University of Limerick: Josh Coady; Cullen McCabe, Conor Whittle, Tom Carney, Joey Rushe; Darren Butler, Eoin Redmond; Tom Kidd, David McCarthy, Conor Butler; Adam Foley.
Subs: Leon Daly (for McCarthy 25), Ciaran Jennings (for C Butler 63), Cillian Duffy for Kidd 74), Dean Hegarty (for McCabe 74). Not used: Ewan O’Brien, Theo Joyce, Oleg Vrysochan.

Referee: Aaron Rainey
Assistants: Liam Kennedy, Keith Halliday
Fourth Official: David McCartney.