old foes meet again in collingwood final

06 February 2018

The very first RUSTLERS IUFU Collingwood Cup Final in 1914 was contested between Queen's University Belfast and University College Dublin in Dalymount Park. 104 years later, the two sides will take the field again for Ireland's oldest active football tournament in the Queen's University Upper Malone Sports facility.

Twenty-Four-time champions Queen's progressed to their first Collingwood Cup final since 1995 with a dramatic 4-3 victory over defending champions UCC in Belfast today. It was the hosts who raced into a 2-0 lead after only 3 minutes, firstly Eamon Fyfe poked home from inside the box after UCC failed to clear a corner and this was quickly followed by a second as Matt Hughes headed passed Cathal O'Hanlon in the UCC goal.

UCC didn't let their heads drop and responded almost immediately as Matthew McKevitt cut in from the left-hand side to score. The holders got back on level terms after 20 minutes through Garan Manley but the goals continued to flow and Fyfe put Queen's back in the lead with his fifth goal of the tournament. Queen's stretched their lead again before half-time when Daire Rooney scored his sides fourth goal, this time Fyfe turned provider with a fine cross from the right wing and Queen's brought a two-goal advantage into the interval.

UCC pushed hard in the second half to get back into the game and they got their reward with 18 minutes remaining when David Dalton made it 4-3 but despite some let pressure Queen's defence held firm to secure their second 4-3 victory in two days after they overcame Trinity College by the same score on Monday.

46 times champions UCD made it to the final with a controlled display against city rivals DCU. Second half goals from Liam Scales and Georgie Kelly were enough to see off Declan Roche's Glasnevin side.

In a tight first half amidst a blizzard of snow, both sides cut each other out with resolute defending. There was a feisty midfield battle as DCU duo Jamie Lennon and Eric Whelan refused to give the UCD pair of Gary O'Neill and Timmy Molloy an inch in the middle of the park.

In the second half with the snow still flowing, the game began to open up as both sides looked to gain the advantage. Ross Taheny was guilty of missing an outstanding chance in front of goal as Gavin Kearney's powerfully hit free kick was parried by Conor Kearns to the feet of Taheny but the Sligo man could not keep his effort below the cross bar.

Just after the hour mark, UCD made the breakthrough. A corner from O'Neill was flicked across goal by Kelly and Scales headed home with DCU strongly questioning a push in the build-up.

A few moments later it was two as Daire O'Connor burst down the right flank to square it to Molloy and the Galway man guided the ball into the path of Kelly at the back post who made no mistake from 6 yards out.

DCU tried desperately to find a lifeline back into the game but Kouogun and Collins were powerful at the back. With the game ticking away from DCU, a late challenge from Lennon on O'Neill caused an altercation between both sides and the referee took offence to verbals coming from UCD's Josh Collins and dismissed the Belfield man, who now misses the final. However it would not stop UCD seeing out the whistle and making it to the final once more.

The final will take place at 2:30pm on Wednesday afternoon and will be live streamed through FAI Third Level Football on Facebook.

RUSTLERS 2018 IUFU Collingwood Cup Final
Queen's University Belfast v University College Dublin, QUB Upper Malone (2.30)

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