UCD face Limerick in Collingwood Cup Final
UCD eventually had a comfortable passage into the final with a 4-0 semi-final victory over UCC after a close opening half with a Donal Higgins superb first time volley on 20 minutes giving the Belfield side a narrow halftime advantage.
The Cork side did have some chances to equalise and the closest fell to their experienced striker Simon Falvey but he shot wide from a great position when a Conor Bowdren cross picked him out.
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 with great aplomb.
That proved to be the turning point of the tie as the UCC challenge faded after that and when UCD turned on the style, substitute Ronan Cowhey and later Behan both beat goalkeeper Kevin Fitzpatrick to put the game out of sight.
The second semi-final proved to be a rather fractious affair with both UL and Maynooth University going full out to gain a place in the final. There were few real scoring opportunities, apart from a strong UL shout for a penalty early on, until just over midway through the second half.
The deadlock was finally broken by a brilliant Adam Foley finish to a real team move that proved to be enough to see UL into the decider and a repeat of the 2016 final at The Mardyke.
Goalkeeper Josh Coady launched a long free kick into the Maynooth area and it was helped on by an Eoin Redmond header that fell to Conor Butler who then flicked the ball on for Foley to cleverly steer it over the head of goalkeeper Enda Minogue.
A top-class goal that rattled Maynooth and spurred them on to chase an equaliser Luke Scanlon’s header was cleared off the line and Callum Warfield went close but Coady kept out anything that came his way aided by the superb defending of Joey Rushe and Tom Carney.
The sides have contested the final as recent as 2016 and on that occasion UCD claimed the win when an extra time goal by current Shamrock Rovers player Gary O’Neill sunk UL’s dreams of a first ever Collingwood Cup.
So the dream lives on for UL boss Ian Sullivan and his charges in the final showdown at Larne.
Collingwood Cup - Semi Finals
Maynooth University 0-1 University of Limerick (Adam Foley).
UCD (Donal Higgins, Jack Keaney pen, Ronan Cowhey, Ciaran Behan) 4-0 UCC
Farquhar Cup - Semi Finals
Queens University Belfast 2-4 DCU (Serion Qeleposhi 2, David Blake, Adam Balmer).
Ulster University 1-5 University of Galway (Alex O’Donnell, Caoifhionn O’Dea, Ronan Jennings, Luke O’Gorman, Rob Silke).
Collingwood Cup Final
UCD v University of Limerick Larne FC, Inver Park, Larne (4.0).
Farquhar Cup Final
University of Galway v DCU Larne FC, Inver Park, Larne (11.0).