Maynooth shock holders UCD in Collingwood Cup
Shane Hoare’s winner gives the visitors a 2-1 win at Belfield and a semi-final spot against UCC
Maynooth players celebrate their opening goal against UCD at Belfield. Photo: Ed Scannell
Day two of the Eircom-sponsored Collingwood Cup at Belfield started with the home side hoping to move a step closer to a league and cup double but ended with NUI Maynooth completing an unexpected one over them instead.
UCD, with many of their Airtricity League side involved, have utterly dominated this competition in recent years and kicked off here as favourites to successfully defend it again. But Maynooth were the only side to beat them in their successful league campaign and so yesterday’s first round clash between the two was not a foregone conclusion.
Maynooth took a first-half lead courtesy of a John McKeown corner that, with quite a bit of help from the breeze, flew directly in at the near post.
UCD looked set to turn things around with the wind at their backs in the second half and they equalised through Dean Clarke. The winner eluded them, though, and 15 minutes from time Sean Hoare sprang up to steal the decisive goal at the other end.
The winners are now two games away from a first-ever Collingwood title and face UCC this afternoon for a place in the final. But Maynooth boss Ger O’Brien, the St Patrick’s Athletic defender, is not getting too carried away yet.
“To beat the favourites is fantastic and we’re delighted,” he said, “but to win the competition involves a tough three days and the lads will need a lot of physical and mental strength . . .”
His own manager, Liam Buckley, was on hand to watch a Maynooth team with a fair few connections, Hoare included, to the Inchicore outfit.
“Liam has been hugely supportive and the club have a scholarship scheme at the college so the links are strong. The commitment from all the players has been great . . . .”
UCC beat Trinity 3-0 to inadvertently set up an encounter in the Plate this morning between the two great Dublin rivals. DCU, though, are the only college from the capital still in the main competition after their dramatic win against UUJ yesterday afternoon.
Shane Madigan gave them a first-half lead but Jordanstown grabbed an equaliser thanks to James McCabe’s close range follow up effort only for Darren Craven to fire home a sweet effort from 20 metres for DCU’s winner.
Their reward is a semi-final meeting with Galway who beat UL 4-2 on penalties in the last of the day’s games.