21 February 2017
Late drama for DCU, UCD and UL while UCC stumble into the semi finals
Ross Taheny headed a dramatic DCU winner in the last minute of extra time against NUI Galway to give the Glasnevin side a last gasp 3-2 quarter final win and keep their bid for a first ever Irish Universities Collingwood Cup success very much alive.
Jack O'Connor had DCU in front on 63 minutes after Galway went a man down with first half substitute Conor Melody receiving his marching orders coming up to the hour mark.
Galway continued to press for an equaliser and were helped by some
nervous defending by the Glasnevin side.
The ten men finally made the breakthrough in the last minute of normal
time with a brilliant Maurice Nugent strike for a deserved equaliser.
Conor Barry the gave the Tribesmen an early advantage in extra time with another splendid goal but back came DCU and Colm Callinan touched home the equaliser after a goal mouth scramble as the second period was only a minute old.
Taheny's firm header from a Luke Kelly free kick finally won the day for Declan Roche's side with a minute to spare.
A surprisingly sluggish UCC had Daniel Pender to thanks for a 1-0 winover a dogged Trinity College to set up a semi final clash against DCUfor what will be a quick repeat of last week's CUFL Premier Division semi-final which UCC won 1-0.
Pender shot home the winning goal on 30 minutes and even the benefit of this early boost failed to spur on the Cork side who fielded AmateurInternationals Sean McLoughlin, Sean O'Callaghan and Shane Daly-Butz in their starting line up.
There was late drama in a pulsating quarter final tie at Maynooth when a last minute cracking drive from Shane Stack fired University of Limerick
into the semi final in a shock 2-1 defeat for the much fancied hostsMaynooth University.
Stephen Dunne had put the home side in front just before the break of a
first half that Maynooth had dominated.
The Limerick side defeated finalists in last season's decider responded in fine style on the resumption and went on to take control of the game.
However they had to wait until 15 minutes from the finish before Garbhan Coughlan pulled them level with a goal at the second attempt after his initial effort was blocked by Dunne.
The dramatic late finale then saw UL grab the 89th winner when Stack
crashed in a fierce drive from 25 yards that came off the underside of the Maynooth crossbar and bounced down over the goal line.
UL will now get their chance to avenge the disappointment of losing out to a late UCD goal in last season's decider at The Mardyke when they have a rematch against the holders in the semi final after UCD accounted for Queens University Belfast at Leixlip.
Ben Hanrahan struck the only goal with seven minutes remaining in a hard fought quarter final tie that had it fair share of chances for both sides with UCD probably having the better ones.
A fairly even opening half remained scoreless at the break thanks to
Queens keeper Conor Lally who kept out decent strikes from Samir Belhout, Daire O'Connor and Jason McClelland.
While at the other end Conor O'Donnell was also on top of his game saving well from Matt Hughes and Gareth Orr.
UCD went on to dominate the second half but found it difficult to beatthe 'Queens 'keeper despite O'Connor and Belhout going close again on several occasions.
The decisive goal finally arrived on 83 minutes when 75th minute substitute Hanrahan got clear on the right and cut into the Queens areato beat Lally with a low drive at his far post.