28 February 2017
Two first half goals from Evan Boyce and Eoin Whelan proved to be enough for NUI Galway to edge out IT Tallaght on a narrow 2-1 score line and capture the Colleges and Universities Division One title in the final at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown.
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NUI GALWAY 2 IT TALLAGHT 1
The added bonus for John (Jumbo) Brennan¹s side now is promotion to the
Premier Division next season after they missed out on going up in 2015 following defeat to Colaiste Stiofan Naofa in the decider.
Galway made full use of the strong wind at Abbotstown by and were two goals ahead in the opening 20 minutes.
Barry put the first one away in fine style after 13 minutes when he connected perfectly with Phil Akinbami¹s headed clearance to beat Tallaght keeper Darren Brennan from 25 yards.
With Galway powering forward at ever opportunity Whelan added the secondfive minutes later from close in after a through ball from Boyce was deflected into his path.
Tallaght finally got into the game in the final quarter of the half and might have pulled a goal back.
Phil Halligan forced goalkeeper Eoin Curry into a couple of last gasp saves while Luca Lovic fired wide from a free kick.
Having the benefit of the elements in the second half looked like it would give Tallaght the upper hand but they failed to press home the advantage apart from Halligan¹s goal early after the resumption.
Goalkeeper Brennan set the score up with a long clearance and Halligan ran on to take control of the ball and guide it past Eoin Curry.
The Galway Œkeeper sustained a hip injury in attempting to keep out Halligan's effort and was replaced by Andrew Dwyer shortly after.
Unfortunately Tallaght¹s lack a finishing edge up front ultimately cost them in the end. Lovic had a shot blocked for a corner, Jamie Mulhall and Jordan Andre both put decent chances wide and Halligan over hit a free kick.
Full credit to Galway they defended in depth and withstood the challenge to take the honours. Conor Barry might have added to their total in the closing minutes but was foiled by Brennan's brilliant double saves.
NUI GALWAY: Eoin Curry; Stephen Quinn, Paul Healy, Maurice Nugent, Gary
Kineen; Chris Reed, Evan Nugent, Conor Barry; Allie Sanusi, Alan Murphy, Eoin Whelan.
SUBS: Andrew Dwyer (for Curry 52 mins), Joe Hynes (for Reed 60 mins), Josh Marvesley (for Murphy 60 mins), Garet Burns (for Whelan 81 mins), Rory Brennan, Johnny Kennedy, Neil Conlon.
IT TALLAGHT: Darren Brennan; Adam Maher, Aaron Connolly, Mark O¹Hagan,
Phil Akinbami; Luke Lovic, Ruairi Fortune, Phil Halligan, Jamie Mulhall,
Jordan Andre; Michael Abondein.
SUBS: Lee Yeates (for O¹Hgan 79 mins), Rob McNeill (for Fortune 87 mins), Ganiyu Muftau, Ciaran McHugh, Adam Ibraham, Jordan Ojo, Karl Skinner.
REFEREE: Tony McGuinness Assistants: Colin Duffy, Martin Browne