12 March 2017
The holders Ulster University Coleraine managed to hang on to the Irish Universities Crowley Cup for a second successive season to give them a fourth win in five years but they needed to come out on top in the penalty shoot out to get past keen northern rivals Queens University Belfast.
The final played at the University of Limerick proved to be a hard fought and extremely tight affair with neither side able to break the deadlock even after 20 minutes of extra time.
Coleraine then went on to keep their nerve and shade the penalty shoot out 4-3 thanks to Ryan Varma, Luke McCabrey, Jordan Dane and Kyle McCauley all converting their spot kicks and a brilliant stop by goalkeeper Ben McCauley from Queens substitute James Hogan.
So the holders dominance in this competition confind to players who hadn't figured in the recent Collingwood Cup continued for another season.
Queens had always looked to more likely to snatch a goal or two during the game but they failed to get anything past a solid McCauley kick.
Jude McEvoy came close with a free kick that went just past the post and Paddy White headed wide from a Callum Smith free.
Smith then hit a couple of dangerous free kicks into the box but McCauley did well to deal with them.
Mark Coulter had the best chance of the game to clinch the win for Queens with ten minutes of normal time remaining after McCauley made a mess of a clearance but the Œkeeper was able to get back smartly and save the striker's effort.
Varma then saw his dangerous free kick headed clear by the impressive Smith and later Ryan Burke shot over the Queens crossbar from close in.
Hogan might have won the game for Queens in the final minutes of extra time but he too fired his effort over the bar from in front of goal.
ULSTER UNIVERSITY COLERAINE: Ben McCauley; Kyle McCauley, Ross Davidson,Craig Greene, Jordan Macartney; Bobbie Crowe, Ryan Varma; Matthew Purdy, Ryan Burke, Jordan Dane; Austin Graham.
Subs: Luke McCabrey (for Davidson 65 mins), Riccardo Quattromano (for
Graham 84 mins), James Corley (for Greene 89 mins), Chris Blevins, Joel Marrs, Johnny Miller, Peter Wildsmith.
QUEENS UNIVERSITY BELFAST: Andrew Gawne; Matias Majapuro, Callum Smith,
John Nuttman, Eoin Watts; Paddy White, Jude McEvoy; Jack Homan, David Kennedy, Jack Meegan; Mark Coulter.
Subs: Nick Lowsley (for Meegan 55 mins), Niall McCourt (for Kennedy 70 mins), Liam McGeary (for Coulter 101 mins), James Hogan (for White 105 mins), Nacho Bravo, Matt Andrews.
REFEREE: Martin Monaghan (Limerick).