dublin derby set to kick off harding cup

16 January 2018

For the first time in their history, Dublin City University are set to host the 2018 Rustlers IUFU Harding Cup.

DCU Head Coach Declan Roche will pit his first year side against keen rivals UCD when the three day tournament gets under way in Dublin from February 22-24.

Roche steered DCU to a first time success in this unique competition which is confined to university freshers last year beating UCC with an extra time winner at College Park.

DCU Director of Sport and Healthy Campus James Galvin and last year's winning skipper Jamie Lennon conducted the draw for the 2018 tournament with the majority of the games set to take place at the AUL Complex and the final in Tolka Park on Saturday afternoon February 24.

It promises to be a historic occasion for the Glasnevin university who recorded their first ever Harding Cup success last year on a memorable afternoon at College Park with a dramatic extra-time victory over University College Cork.

The leading Irish fast food brand Rustlers - part of the Kepak Group - are now the main sponsors of the Harding Cup as part of their overall agreement to support all men's and women's Third Level Football competitions throughout the island of Ireland.

The Harding Memorial Trophy, to give the competition its full title, was first played for in 1970 when it was presented to the Irish Universities Football Union by the late Albert W Harding (Bert) Chairman of UCD AFC 1970-1975 who had previously served for many years as the distinguished Honorary Secretary of the Dublin Amateur Football League.

The Harding Cup remains unique among Third Level Football cup competitions as it's strictly restricted to first year university students who get just one opportunity to play in it.

IUFU Chairman Terry McAuley expressed his delight at DCU Soccer Club's agreeing to host this year's Harding Cup.

'On behalf of the Irish Universities Football Union I wish to congratulate DCU Soccer Club on offering to host the 2018 Rustlers Harding Cup. It's a big undertaking for them but with the full support of DCU President Professor Brian MacCraith, Director of Sport and Healthy Campus James Galvin and Ken Robinson Chief Executive DCU Sport plus the expertise of Soccer Development Officer Fran Butler, his Head Coach Declan Roche and the DCU Soccer Club committee I have no doubt that it will be a very enjoyable and successful three days of football for first year students to experience' said McAuley.

Speaking at today's draw, Cian O'Donnell, Rustlers Assistant Brand Manager said "Today's draw whets the appetite for what should be a fantastic few days of football at Dublin City University in February. Rustlers is proud to be supporting Irelands young footballing talent as part of our overall commitment to University and College Football, and we are looking forward to our first experience of this cup competition.

2018 RUSTLERS IUFU Harding Cup

Quarter Finals
University of Limerick v Maynooth University
UCC v NUI Galway
Trinity College Dublin v Mary Immaculate College Limerick.

All games to be played on Thursday February 22 at AUL Complex KO 2pm.

Semi Finals
Trinity College Dublin/Mary Immaculate College Limerick v University of Limerick/Maynooth University

Both games to be played on Friday February 23 at AUL Complex ko 2pm

2018 RUSTLERS IUFU Harding Cup Final

Tolka Park, Saturday 24th February 2pm

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