National University of Maynooth (NUIM) made history yesterday by clinching their first ever Collingwood Cup with a 2-1 victory over National University of Galway (NUIG) writes Michael Dorgan.
National University of Maynooth (NUIM) made history yesterday by clinching their first ever Collingwood Cup with a 2-1 victory over National University of Galway (NUIG) in the UCD Bowl at Belfield. In the competitions centenary anniversary, the final was being broadcast live for the first time thanks to Setanta Sports Ireland and the competitions finale was certainly fitting of the occasion with three excellent goals.
After disposing of hosts and pre-tournament favourites University College Dublin in Wednesday’s opener, Maynooth went onto beat a strong University College Cork side in Thursday semi-finals and were fancied to go all the way against a well organised NUIG.
Niall Lanigan got NUIM off to the best possible start after he latched onto a well-placed Conor Mahony cross in the sixth minute and his flicked header flew past Galway goalkeeper Evan Duffy to put Maynooth into an early lead.
Galway were lucky not to be further behind after twenty four minutes after Niall Conran showed great pace when he raced onto a long clearance and beat Cian Fadden only to see his near post shot well saved by Duffy.
However NUIG went close to an equaliser ten minutes later only for Maynooth goalkeeper Murphy excellently denying an O’Rourke long range effort after some good play by Galway full back Preston Kelly down the right hand side.
It was Maynooth who were first out of the blocks in the second half and Conran was almost in on goal straight from the off only for Duffy to sweep across and clear for the Galway men. Maynooth’s Conor Mahony then headed wide after fifty-three minutes but Maynooth’s pressure finally paid off when they grabbed their second in the sixty-fourth minute. Sean Haore played a pinpoint pass down the right wing for Hyland who beat two defenders and whipped in an inch perfect cross for Conor Mahony to powerfully head home.
Galway were not going to go down without a fight and got themselves back into the game in spectacular fashion after seventy-seven minutes when Mikey Green scored an absolute screamer of a goal. His right footed shot from outside the area flew past Murphy and into the top left hand corner setting up a tense finish to the game. However Galway never created any other clear cut chance and Maynooth held on for a deserved win ensuring the Collingwood Cup would travel to Kildare for the first time in its one hundred year history.
Maynooth captain Sean Hoare collected the trophy and the Saint Patrick’s Athletic man was also named player of the tournament after three outstanding performances.
NUI Maynooth: N Murphy; E Hyland, D Campbell, S Hoare, S Dunne, S Doherty (E Markey 67), J McKeown, M Casey, C Mahony; N Conran (S Barrett 54), N Lanigan (J Airey 75).
NUI Galway: E Duffy; E Preston Kelly, C Fadden, J Woods, S Rodden; S O’Rourke, T Bradshaw, E Boyce (G Darcy 73), B Gaffney (S Gallagher 65), N Whelan, M Creane.
Collingwood Cup Final Result
NUI Maynooth 2 – 1 NUI Galway
Pundit Arena Michael Dorgan
Featured Image By: Tweeted by NUIM twitter account @NUIMSoccer