UL claim maiden Collingwood Cup title News: results

Posted On 22nd Feb 2024
Posted By Men's Soccer
Author Mark Nolan (Fixtures Secretary)
Location Cappagh Park, Galway

Collingwood Cup Final


University of Limerick 5-0 Trinity College


The University of Limerick ended their fifty year wait to claim a maiden Collingwood Cup title emphatically as they dispatched Trinity College five-nil in Galway on Wednesday afternoon.


Having previously made eight finals only to come out on the losing side the class of 2024 were determined to etch their names into the history books and did so in some style.


Trinity came into the final fresh from a dramatic semi-final that saw them overturn a two goal deficit to defeat Maynooth via a penalty shootout and it was the Dubliners who looked the more dangerous from the off with UL captain Ewan O’Brien and center-back Alex Cuddy producing important tackles to stop what looked to be dangerous attacks inside the opening seven minutes.


However after ten minutes UL began to get a foothold in the game, Theo Joyce showed a trademark burst of acceleration to make inroads up the left flank with his effort blocked for a corner. Just moments later a smart header from Edmund O’Dwyer sent the ball over the head of his mark allowing Leon Daly to race through on goal again winning a corner for his side.


In fact it was from a set-piece that UL would find the breakthrough, as the ball was catapulted into the area from a Tom Kidd throw-in Eoin Redmond rose highest and directed it toward goal. A fine save from the Trinity keeper prevented the goal but the ball fell to Daly who hit it on the volley only to see his effort blocked by a Trinity defender. As Alex Cuddy looked to send the ball back into the area he was upended leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty.


The responsibility fell to talisman O’Dwyer who composed himself before calmly dispatching the spot kick into the bottom corner of the Trinity net to put UL in front after seventeen minutes.


Trinity manged to settle themselves after conceding but their attacks were failing to trouble the Limerick defence with Joey Rushe and Conor Carew snuffing out any advances that came down their wings while Tom Kelly and Alex Cuddy were comfortably cutting out forays down the middle of the park.


With twenty seven minutes played Redmond showed some lovely footwork to flick the ball beyond his marker into the path of O’Dwyer who curled an effort just wide of the upright.


Five minutes later that duo would combine again but this time it was O’Dwyer who was supplying the ball. The Tipperary native left his marker for dead and spotting Redmond arriving in the area he sent the ball across the face of goal. Unfortunately the Limerick midfielder couldn’t get his foot to the ball and Trinity cleared the danger.


The Shannonsiders would not have to wait long to see their lead extended. Turning over possession from a Trinity attack Carew launched the ball forward, O’Dwyer contested for a header but both he and his marker failed to make contact. However Leon Daly gambled on their being an opportunity and raced toward goal.

With his defence absent the Trinity goalkeeper charged out from his area reaching the ball second and taking out the Aisling Annacotty winger. From the resulting free-kick Regional United’s Joey Rushe stepped up to curl the ball into the top corner of the Trinity net to put UL two clear with thirty-five minutes played.


Just two minutes later two would become three. Rushe won possession deep in his own half and sent the ball up the line to Theo Joyce he set the ball back to Ewan O’Brien who lofted the ball forward. O’Dwyer found himself in a footrace and with his marker unable to compete with his power the Trinity keeper was again forced to leave his line to close the angle.


This proved to be no issue for O’Dwyer who opened up his body to chip the ball over the shot-stopper’s head into the back of the net. That was the last action of note in the opening half with UL perhaps daring to dream their long wait might finally end.


The Limerickmen opted to leave nothing to chance, aware of the comeback their opponents made the day before they looked to kill the game as a contest early in the second half and did so though the mercurial Daly.


Once again a long ball sent forward by O’Brien was controlled by O’Dwyer a simple flick sent the ball beyond his marker and into the path of Daly. The Clare native accelerated into the path of the ball and drove towards the left hand side of the area drilling a low shot to the far corner of the net to send UL into dreamland with fifty-two minutes played.


Two minutes later O’Dwyer and Daly linked up again with a cross from the left seeing a shot from the winger diverted away from goal by a Trinity defender. UL were not content with a four goal lead and Eoin Redmond’s aerial prowess came to the fore again as he saw a sixty-first minute header hit the crossbar.


Limerick would get their fifth goal and it was perhaps the pick of the bunch with sixty-seven minutes on the clock. Joey Rushe sent the ball forward from the UL defence, Joyce controlled the ball on the half-way line with two Trinity players surrounding him. The Connemara native swivelled and raced forward leaving two Trinity midfielders in his wake. As he approached the area he jinked past another duo of Trinity defenders before firing a stunning effort into the top corner of the net to put the icing on the cake for Limerick.


With the game well and truly over as a contest Limerick had the luxury of emptying their bench but that didn’t dilute the quality on offer. Experienced players such as Ciaran Jennings, David McCarthy and Paudie Walsh posed a real threat for UL going forward while former Trinity player Niall Barr was also introduced to the Limerick midfield.


UL showed steely determination all tournament and their attention now shifted to ensuring they kept a third consecutive clean sheet. Despite playing three games in three days midfielders Tom Kidd and Eoin Redmond were still running hard to close down any Trinity advances while Oisin Breen also used his athleticism to keep UL in control.


While he had a quiet day at the office UL goalkeeper Josh Coady marshalled his defence throughout the game and when called upon he dealt with any Trinity attempts on goal with relative ease.


The referee soon called time on the contest sparking wild celebrations as UL’s Collingwood famine was finally ended. Captain Ewan O’Brien collected the prestigious cup on behalf of the squad while Edmund O’Dwyer was deservingly named player of the tournament after his four goals in three games propelled Limerick to the title.


UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK: Josh Coady (Aisling Annacotty); Joey Rushe (Regional United), Alex Cuddy (Treaty United), Tom Kelly (Aisling Annacotty), Conor Carew (Treaty United); Ewan O’Brien (Regional United), Eoin Redmond (Kinsale Albion), Tom Kidd (Aisling Annacotty); Leon Daly (Aisling Annacotty), Edmund O’Dwyer (St Michael's), Theo Joyce (Aisling Annacotty). Substitutes: Will Hayes (Wexford Argyle), Luke Ryan (Treaty United), Niall Barr (St Patrick's CY), Oisin Breen (Kerry FC), David McCarthy (Newmarket Celtic), Paudie Walsh (Janesboro FC), Ciaran Jennings (Aisling Annacotty).


Management: Ian Sullivan (Manager), Michael McCarthy (Coach), Jamie Flynn (Assistant coach), Leon Casey Ryan (Assistant coach), Mark Nolan (Assistant coach), Craig Reddan (Physiotherapist) Martin Hayes (Club President)


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