DCU pushed all the way by Limerick’s Mary Immaculate

It’s 100 years since the first Collingwood Cup competition was staged in Glasnevin

The benefits of landing a bye in round one of the Eircom-sponsored Collingwood Cup were never lost on the competing teams but resting up as potential title rivals DCU were pushed all the way to penalties by Limerick's Mary Immaculate College must have made host side UCD's good fortune seem all the sweeter yesterday.

It's 100 years since the first competition was staged in Glasnevin but during their own rather more recent involvement the northside college has never won the trophy and their prospects of breaking the duck won't have been enhanced by yesterday's tough opening game.

Without their injured striker Michael Isichei, Declan Roche's side struggled to get on top against a fiercely determined Limerick side and while they were handed an early lead when Michael Keating scored an own goal while coming under pressure from Conor Ralph, their own finishing was not quite good enough to ensure the win was more easily secured with Daniel Mahon and Darren Craven both failing to convert the chances that came their way.

Their opponents got back on terms midway through the second thanks to a scrambled equaliser from William Brick but the Dubliners survived with their captain Robbie Gaul eventually driving home the decisive spot kick as rivals pondered what sort of toll the game might have taken on the eventual winners.

Jordanstown, who staged the event last year but last won themselves in 2006, should, in any case, be fresher than them when the two sides met in the quarter-finals this afternoon. The northerners secured an entirely straightforward 6-0 defeat of RCSI with another own goal undoing the medical students’ initial resistence around the half hour mark.


Eoin Boyle and Timmy Clarke made things pretty safe before the break and the University of Ulster side then wrapped things up thanks to goals from James McCabe, Mark Anderson and, finally, a penalty that was converted by Ronan McBrearty.

Queens have traditionally been one of the dominant sides in this competition and rarely arrive for the opening day completely unfancied but their involvement this time around was painfully short-lived with the Belfast side going out to UL without getting on the score sheet.

Got the opener
Ben Savage got the opener in a 2-0 win for the Limerick side and after Ciaran O'Hare saw his attempt at grabbing an equaliser come back off the bar, the win was confirmed by defender Jonathan Hannafin whose long range effort was probably the goal of the day out in Belfield.

His side’s reward is a clash this afternoon with NUI Galway who start their campaign for a first triumph in the competition since 1999.

Both of last year’s finalists also kick off today with champions and hosts, UCD, facing Maynooth while UCC face what will likely to be a testing encounter with Trinity in the other of the morning games.