By Jamesy McConigley
It was a real ‘cheers but no cigar week’ for UL in the Collingwood Cup this year, reaching the final but falling at the last hurdled. UL overcame Mary I in a pulsating quarter-final, where it took extra time to decide who would advance to the semi-final. Mary I took the lead but Oisin Mc Menamin grabbed an equaliser. Mary I missed a spot kick that would prove crucial. 90 minutes couldn’t separate the sides and extra time would prove pivotal. Garbhan Coughlan scored his first of the tournament from the spot to send UL into the semi-final against Trinity College. The match was over shadowed by the horrific injury UL’s centre half Jack Lynch received.
The following day, UL squared off against Trinity, Trinity started on the front foot and Foley headed them into the lead. UL left it late to salvage a draw, 84 minutes on the clock, A.J O’Connor glanced a header past David Minahane in the Trinity goals. The Dublin side were then reduced to ten men when Ben Muhammad was given his marching orders for striking an opponent. The final whistle was sounded and UL dug out a draw. 109 minutes gone, Barry Hootan hurled a long throw-in into the danger zone, the ball was nudged into the back of the net by the on rushing Óisin Mc Menamin, sparking scenes of jubilation from the UL side. UL progressed into their first final since 2008.
UCD stood in the way of UL winning their first ever Collingwood Cup in 102 years. Due the inclement weather, both sides found it hard to adapt to the conditions. UCD dominated possession but it was UL carving out the early chances, Garbhan Coughlan thumping his effort goal wards but smartly tipped away by Niall Corbet in the UCD goals. 21 minutes gone and Johnathan Hannafin’s clearance found the feet of Garbhan Coughlan, Coughlan’s dipping effort smashed off the underside of the UCD bar and into the back of net. Advance UL.
Conor Mc Guire slid a through ball into Oisin Mc Menamin’s path but his effort was palmed away by Corbet. UL had the wind in their sails and UCD were grateful to hear the half time whistle. UCD searched for an equaliser and they found it from the boot of Kelly. Clever play between the dynamic Timmy Molloy and Georgie Kelly found Andrew Walsh pulling off a brilliant save but the rebound was headed home from close range by Georgie Kelly. UL lost both Brian Nolan and Paudie O’Connor through injury in the second half. It was nip-and-tuck between the two sides for majority of the second half. Bolands late strike won it for UCD and crowned them champions for a record 43rd time.