DAVID McMILLAN hit the winner as UCD overcame old rivals UCC 1-0 in Jordanstown yesterday to retain university football's biggest prize.
McMillan had missed the Belfield side's quarter-final victory over Mary Immaculate College Limerick due to college academic commitments, but he returned to play his part in their semi-final defeat of hosts Jordanstown.
And the striker seized his opportunity to break the deadlock with 20 minutes remaining in the decider. McMillan picked up a misplaced pass just outside the penalty area and quickly skipped past a couple of Cork defenders before beating goalkeeper Michael Dorgan with a low drive that seemed to take a slight deflection on its way into the net.
McMillan could have put the result beyond any doubt in the closing minutes after Andrew Neville handled a Michael Whelan drive inside the box, but he managed to blaze his spot-kick well over Dorgan's crossbar.
UCD were the livelier side throughout the game with Cillian Morrison and Player of the Tournament Robbie Benson going close with first-half efforts.
The usually dangerous UCC strike force of Simon Holland and Josh O'Shea were kept well under control by top-class performances from the rock- solid Dave O'Connor and Tomas Boyle at the heart of the Belfield boys' defence.