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UCD Bowl | Fri 26th March - KO: 7.45pm

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St Colman's Park | Sat 3rd April - KO: 7.00pm

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UCD Bowl | Fri 9th April - 7.45pm

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v Cabinteely

UCD Bowl | Fri 16th April - KO: 7.45pm

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v Athlone Town

UCD Bowl | Fri 26th March - KO: 7.45pm

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v Cobh Ramblers

St Colman's Park | Sat 3rd April - KO: 7.00pm

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v Bray Wanderers

UCD Bowl | Fri 9th April - 7.45pm

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v Cabinteely

UCD Bowl | Fri 16th April - KO: 7.45pm

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UCD into Collingwood Semi Final

UCD beat Mary I Limerick 2-0 in today's 1/4 final

  UCD CREST2

 UCD 2-0 Mary I Limerick, Collingwood Cup 1/4 final, by Mick Leahy

After receiving a first-round bye in this year’s tournament, UCD faced up against Mary Immaculate teaching college from Limerick in today’s Collingwood Cup quarter-final. Despite dominating the game, it took until the last 10 minutes for UCD to take the lead and win comfortably in the end.

 

Conditions were typical for an early-round Collingwood game. A bumpy pitch and a strong breeze hindered any passing football, with many early moves breaking down. UCD dominated from the outset, with Morrison, Belhout and Hanley all coming close in the first-half. Mary I only threatened from a couple of set-pieces, with their best chance coming when Mark McGinley dropped a long ball into the box, losing the ball in the air due to the reflection from his shiny new pink boots. A crunching Tomas Boyle tackle and a deserved yellow card was the only other piece of action for the UCD defence in a solid first-half performance.

 

UCD continued their dominance in the 2nd half but were frustrated by a well-organized Mary I team who defended admirably. As time ticked by, UCD became increasingly anxious as Mary I continued to defend resolutely. As captain David O’Connor quizzed the ref on some questionable time-wasting, the ref becoming tired with DOC’s constant nagging, responded by telling DOC to keep quiet and attempt to improve his own performance! In a 2nd-half flashpoint, Sami Belhout broke through and went down (too) easily in the box. The Mary I defender wasn’t pleased with Belhout’s exaggerated fall and decided to let Sami know. Belhout responded in true style by telling him to ‘learn to play football properly’ before he critiqued the winger’s play.

 

UCD eventually broke the deadlock in the 80th minute. After sustained pressure, a lobbed ball from Benson into the box, flicked on by Brien O’B, left Niall Wright 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper and the part-time actor finished calmly into the bottom corner. Soon after, another ball over the top by Benson left Cillian Morrison clean through on goal. Morrison managed to beat the keeper to the ball and stab it towards goal. Just as the ball crossed over the line, the retreating Mary I defender made sure it was a goal by (accidentally) powering a header into the net.

 

The last five minutes passed by without incident as UCD saw the game out comfortably. While it was not the most stylish display, the team produced a professional performance, exactly what was needed on the day in the conditions. A semi-final against hosts UUJ (Jordanstown) now awaits on Wednesday afternoon, in what will be UCD’s fifth Collingwood semi-final appearance in a row.

The Boys In Blue play the University of Jordanstown tomorrow (Weds) in the semi final with a 2.30pm kick off. Updates on twitter @UCDAFC and facebook.com/UCDAFC

Report by @mick_leahy