Irish Universities Football Union

Crowley Joy for Coleraine

14 March 2019

The Irish Universities Crowley Cup, sponsored by fast food brand Rustlers, is back again with Ulster University Coleraine for the fifth time in seven years after they managed to survive their third penalty shoot in successive games in this season's tournament to regain the trophy they relinquished to rivals Queens University Belfast last year.

The all northern final at the Coleraine Campus against St Mary's University College Belfast saw the home side come from behind to hold out for 1-1 draw after extra time before going on to prove more accurate winning the penalty shoot out 6-5.

A Nathan Garland O'Neill penalty on the half hour had given St Mary's the early lead and after netting four times without reply against UCC in the previous day's semi final the Belfast side looked well capable of going on to spoil the hosts bid for a much sought after Crowley Cup win on home soil.

Ryan Burke might have snatched a quick equaliser with an instant reply but he failed to get a touch on Matt McIlfatrick's cross.

However Coleraine were not to be denied and they proved once again that they are a resilient outfit with Bobby Crowe a towering presence and they hit back strongly to equalise shortly before the interval.

The vital goal that sent them in at half time in a good mood came from Sam Lindsay who made no mistake with a firm header from James Gould's free to get them back on level terms.

Coleraine 'keeper Ben McCauley had to be in top form after the break as the game quickly developed into a tough competitive affair and he was tested a number of times as St Mary's chased a winner.

Lindsay had another header go just past the post and McIlfatrick was wide of the target from Gould's corner.

Even 20 minutes of extra time failed to yield another goal for either side and thanks to a couple of brilliant penalty saves by McCauley it was then left to Jack Robinson to slot home the winning spot kick for Coleraine's win.

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