McGinley the UCD saviour
NUI GALWAY.............................................. 0
(aet: UCD won 4-2 on pens)
Goalkeeper Mark McGinley was the UCD Collingwood Cup hero with two fine penalty shoot-out saves against NUI Galway in the final at the Brandywell to help the Belfield side retain the trophy.
The saves from the young Donegal born netminder then gave extra time substitute Gavin Falconer the chance to cooly beat Liam Grant in the Galway goal with his spot kick and claim the Irish Universities famous old blue ribband trophy for the second year in-a row.
But for Galway it was a case of déjàvu as once again Billy Cleary's side experienced the disappointment of seeing their Collingwood Cup dreams dashed by the Belfield side.
Robbie Creevy had broken Galway hearts in last season's final at the Mardyke with the only goal of the game and to be denied for a second successive year and this time in such a cruel way was hard for the Tribesmen to take.
Galway have now gone 11 years since last capturing the trophy while UCD continue to sweep all before them having now completed a magificent double by adding the Collingwood Cup to the Colleges and Universities Premier League title which they regained last month.
McGinley had taken over from injured regular 'keeper Ger Barron for the previous days' semi-final win over Jordanstown where he pulled off another vital stop from a first half James Doherty penalty before Peter McMahon went on to hit the UCD winner.
While his two smart stops in the final shoot out from Brian Gaffney and Ciaran Foley came after his opposite number Liam Grant had given Galway the iniative by twice saving from Robbie Creevy after a referee Paddy McFadden ordered a retake.
Galway's under 21 international Seamus Conneely and Sean Murphy had beaten McGinley with their efforts but Paul Corry, skipper Mick Leahy and Dave McMillen were all successful too and it was then left to extra time substitute Gavin Falconer taking the fifth penalty to coolly send Grant the wrong way and make sure the cup remained at Belfield.
It was'nt a stunning performance from either side and neither was it a great game but with both teams feeling the effects of four consecutive days of cup football few opportunities were created.
David McMillen had the best chance for UCD with a header from a Paul Corry free late in the second half, while earlier Samir Belhout had fired well over from a good position.
Alex Lee and then substitute Mikey Gilmore threatened for Galway and throughout the game their midfield duo of Seamus Conneely and Ciaran Foley were impressive.
But when it finally came down to the penalties McGinley proved to be the match winner to give UCD manager Diarmuid McNally his third Collingwood Cup triumph in six years in charge.
Which leaves him still chasing the impressive record of the management team of late Dr Tony O'Neill and current UCD secretary Dick Shakespeare who managed six wins in eight years in the eighties.
UCD: Mark McGinley, James Timmons, David O'Connor, Mick Kelly, Mick Leahy, Mark Langtry, Samir Belhout, Paul Corry, David McMillen, Danny Fallon, Peter McMahon.Subs: Conor Melvin (for Belhout 50), Robbie Creevy (for Fallon 50), Sean Houston (for Kelly 89),Gavin Falconer (for Melvin 100), Jeff O'Flynn, Barry McCabe, Ger Barron.
NUI GALWAY: Liam Grant, Seamus Conneely, Conor Larkin, Martin Conneely, Sean Murphy, Charlie Burke, Enda Dunne, Alex Lee, Ciaran Foley, Ger Cheevers, Philip Reilly. Subs: Brian Gaffney (for Dunne ht); Shane Browne (for Cheevers 55); Mikey Gilmore (for Lee 80);Derek O'Flaherty (for Burke 105), Mickey Creane, Colie Collis Smyth, Trevor Glavey.
Referee: Paddy McFadden (Derry).
DUGGAN CUP FINAL
MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE.................... 4
UU COLERAINE....................................... 1
Wexford Youth's coach Noel O'Connor was celebrating after his Mary Immaculate College side captured the Duggan Cup in a comfortable win over Coleraine.
It's a welcome success for the Limerick boys who experience defeat to Sallynoggin College in last month's Colleges and Universities League First Division Final decider.
Goals from Rob O'Halloran, Conor Lane, Thomas O'Shea and John Byrne had Mary I well in control.
Simon Crawley replied with a late consolation for the Northern side.