Collingwood Cup 2012 Quarter Final: UCD AFC 3-1 NUI Maynooth, aet

UCD AFC overcame stubborn opposition in the form of NUI Maynooth.UCD_v_Maynooth_21_02_12


UCD came from behind, for the second game in a row, to book their place in the semi final of the Collingwood Cup. NUI Maynooth provided the opposition in a blustery UL Bowl and nearly held on for a famous victory. UCD's spirtit and talent won out in the end as the Belfield Students fought back to equalise before the end of 90 minutes and then went on to dominate the extra time period, running out 3-1 winners.


Mark Langtry was at it again as he popped up late in the game to equalise and once into extra time UCD ran riot and scored two more goals. Ross King and Stiofain Sexton put their names on the score sheet to ensure UCD go into the last 4.


It could have been so different had Maynooth held onto their unlikely one goal advantage. UCD began the game on the front foot and dominated possession early on. Maynooth threatened UCD only on the break or as a result of the Dublin students' lack of concentration at the back. UCD's best chances fell to Ross King and Sean Buckley but on both ocasions their efforts flew over the crossbar.


Maynooth were not to be taken lightly however and created chances of their own. The best of them came from a set piece that drifted into the UCD penalty area. Mark McGinley, hero in the previous game, came and missed the ball. He could only watch as it looked as though Maynooth would break the deadlock, it was not to be, and UCD and McGinley breathed again.


The first half ended scoreless and the second started in much the same manner, scoreless and with UCD on top. This changed ten minutes after the restart. A long ball into the heart of the UCD defence caused consternation and as it bounced up McGinley came to take control, an awkward bounce took the ball away from the UCD keeper and into the path of Maynooth's striker. The striker's path was blocked in the lightest manner possible but the referee pointed to the spot. Former UCD player, Craig Mooney stepped up and dispatched the penalty cooly.


UCD were behind for the second time in as many matches and drew on every resources to get back into the game. Injuries did not help their cause, the lion hearted David O'Connor was withdrawn with Robbie Keogh stepping into the breach, filling the captain's armband admirably. Twinkle toed Tyrone McNelis threatened to light up the tournament again but again injury robbed UCD of his services as Stiofain Sexton was called upon to take his place. UCD used all five substitutes available as Brian O'Brolchain, Cillian Morrison and Niall Hanley replaced, Michael Whelan, Mike Arnold and Barry McCabe.


The kitchen sink was long gone before UCD began flinging the all other available utensils in Maynooth's direction in an effort to create an equaliser and prolong their stay in this year's competition. It did not appear to be on the cards as Sean Buckley and David O'Connor failed in front of goal and Brian O'Brolchain saw a shot fly wide.


With the kitchen well and truly demolished it was almost time to start on the rest of the house as UCD became desperate. With 5 men up front it seemed like Maynooth would hold out and record a famous victory. Mark Langtry and more particularly Ross King had other ideas. With the ball at his feet, King spotted the run of Langtry, with royal precision he slipped Langtry in on goal and the wing man repeated yesterday's trick as he slid the ball under the Maynooth keeper.


UCD were back level and it was no less than they deserved. A frantic fifteen minutes of football had given them the one chance they needed and Langtry was on hand to take it. He was on the end of another hand minutes later as Maynooth began to lose the cool and were reduced to ten men. Langtry's place in the UCD fashion show was not threatened thankfully as UCD began the first period of extra time a man to the good.


They soon became a goal to the good as UCD sprung to life just as their opponents were beginning to crumble. Brian O'Brolchain burst up the wing and advanced on the box, Maynooth sent their keeper and defender to join him and in the ensuing challenge the ball sprayed across the box to where Stiofain Sexton was waiting. Sexton made no mistake and UCD took the lead for the first time in the game.


The game was put to bed by Ross King when he collected a sublime ball into the box, his first effort was parried back into his path and he made no mistake with his finish past the keeper. The scoreline finally reflected UCD's dominance but not after a resolute Maynooth challenge was broken down.


UCD take on the Royal College of Surgeons in the Semi Final of the 2012 Collingwood Cup on Wednesday.


UCD AFC: McGinley, Langtry, O'Connor (Keogh), Dent, Wright, Buckley, McCabe (Hanley), King, McNelis (Sexton), Arnold (Morrison), Whelan (O'Brolchain)