16 April 2008
Annual Representative Game for Hooper Cup played at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa, Cork on Wed April 16 2008 (report from Irish Daily Star)
Colleges FAI 0
Irish Universities 1
Austin Friel 33.
For Dungannon Swifts striker Austin Friel it was a case of have boots will travel as he bagged the only goal direct from a sweetly struck free to send the Colleges FAI tumbling to another defeat at hands of the Irish Universities.A much changed Universities side quickly put behind them the prevous day’s disappointing performance against the Defence Forces to record three in a row victories over the Colleges in the annual Hooper Cup game at Cork.
Friel a student at Magee College,Derry had lined out for Dungannon in the Setanta Cup tie with Drogheda on the Monday night and then flown down to join up with Universities squad in Cork the following morning. And the journey was made well worth while as he went on to play a leading role in the Universities successful bid to retain the cup.
The Dungannon man was always in the thick of the action and on 34 minutes he engineered the lone goal after been taken down on the edge of the box by Colleges’ centre back Paul Andrews.The lively little striker quickly picked himself up and cooly curled a superb free into the top corner of John McGuinness’ net for a glorious winner.
A blustery cross field breeze tended to make conditions difficult but both sides managed to play some football of quality and ambition.
Pat Mullins and Seamus Connelly had early chances to put the Universities ahead only for weak and wayward finishing to let them down.Then following Friel’s strike winger Ger O’Callaghan twice might have extended the lead but McGuinness saved comfortably on both occasions.
Friel always busy up front got the better of the Colleges’ defenders yet again but McGuinness did well to keep his effort out too.
Stephen Roche then went close to equalising just before the interval heading John Tierney’s fine cross over under pressure from full back Seamus Connelly.
In the opening minutes of the second half the Colleges’ nearly pulled level when Cathal Fahy brought the best out of Universities ‘keeper Sean Coffey with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.
Universities skipper Dave McCullough a Portadown regular was having an outstanding game in midfield tidying up everything that looked anyway threatening.While James O’Sullivan and Evan O’Reilly were also making their mark in that area too.
Paul Walsh linked up well with Friel and O’Callaghan and several times they were unlucky to see their efforts just miss the target.While midfielder John Tierney worked hard to keep the Colleges in touch.But fowards Fahy and Mark Sherlock failed to make any impression on the solid UCD centre back pairing of Pat Mullins and Rory Keaveney.
The Colleges best spell came in the final ten minutes with a succession of dangerous corners.First Frank Browne was unlucky with a header, then Keaveney cleared off his line from Tierney and Mullins got in a great block on Fahy’s low drive as Liam Murphy’s charges desperately chased an equaliser that never came.
Colleges FAI:John McGuinness (IT Tallaght),Mark Cowman (CSN),Ciaran Greene (IT Sligo),Frank Browne (Garda Col) Paul Andrews (Col Ide), Shane O’Leary (Cork IT). Richard O’Hanlon (Sallynoggin Col),John Tierney (Limerick IT), Mark Sherlock (Garda Col),Cathal Fahy (Athlone IT), Stephen Roche (DIT).Subs:Stephen Doran (Col Ide) for Sherlock 57,Paul Doohan (Letterkenny IT) for Andrews 65,Richard O’Farrell (DIT) for O’Hanlon 80, Eoin Forde (CSN) for Roche 80.Unused:Edward Deegan (DIT ), Gary Philpott (Cork IT).
Irish Universities:Sean Coffey (UCD), Seamus Connelly(NUIG), Ciaran Boyd (Jordanstown),Pat Mullins (UCD), Rory Keaveney (UCD),Evan O’Reilly (Trinity) David McCullough (Queens), James O’Sullivan (UCD), Ger O’Callaghan (UCD),Paul Walsh (UL), Austin Friel (Magee).Subs:Stephen O’Brien (UCC) for Boyd 55. Unused:Eugene Greaney (UL), Ciaran Forde (UCC), Colin Hyland (Trinity), Johnny Reynolds (Jordanstown),Danny Duggan (UCC), Gary Liggett (Jordanstown), Niall O’Carroll (Trinity).
Referee:Aidan O’Regan (Cork).
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