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UCD WIN THE COLLINGWOOD CUP

placeholder UCD retained the trophy they won in 2009 to make it three University and College trophies in the first three months of 2010. With the start of the Airtricity on Friday night UCD can start the season on a high having won the Collingwood Cup, the premier University tournament, producing a performance of grit and determination holding strong through extra time and then the inevitable penalty shoot out to win 4-2, after a scoreless match. To win the Collingwood Cup requires immense skill but also strength in depth and a willingness to go the extra mile. UCD and NUIG were worthy winners of this accolade competing in their fourth match in four days. Desire brought them to this stage and UCD proved that their desire was marginally greater holding strong to lift the prestigious cup. UCD entered the game with an unchanged team from their semi final victory retaining the goalkeeper and back four that had performed so heroically against University of Ulster, Jordanstown. Tired legs and an unwillingness to give anything away provided a tight first half devoid of any real chances. The second half mirrored the action of the first save for a stand out chance for either team. The first fell to David McMillan who sent a header just wide from a Paul Corry free kick. McMillan could have done little more as he redirected the header which saw the Galway Number 1 leap across in a desperate attempt to save his clean sheet, he need not have bothered as the ball flew past the post and he breathed a sigh of relief. Galway's best chance came from another set piece as the unlikely hero of the UCD Collingwood Cup team, Mark McGinlay, tipped a screaming effort onto the post and lept up to see the ball cleared to safety. This would not be the young Donegal man's last noteworthy action. The classic 'hard fought' final was beginning to develop as time crept towards the allotted ninety and through two periods of extra time. Both teams became more conservative almost willing the agony of penalty shoot outs to arrive to end the spectacle. The full time whistle was finally blown and spot kicks were ordered. The stage was set and into the lime light dove Mark McGinlay, determined to do his utmost to ensure the Collingwood Cup made the long trip back to Belfield. Saving two penalties ensures he will indeed have every right to sleep with the cup ala Steven Gerrard all those years ago. UCD came out on top and as player of the tournament, Mick Leahy, raised the cup above his head the celebratory cries from the UCD players and staff reflected an incredible achievement in just three short months. '2010 has already been kind to UCD, long may it continue' ' Mick Leahy UCD: McGinlay, O'Connor, Leahy, Kelly, Timmons, Fallon, Corry, Langtry, McMahon, Belhout, McMillan Subs: Creevy for Fallon (55), Melvin for Belhout (55), Houston for Kelly (85), Falconer for Melvin (100)