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Boys in Blue into Harding Cup final

The Harding Cup... Road to the final (pic goalkeeper Niall Corbet in action for the U19s)

niallcorbet

 

UCD 5-1 University of Limerick, Harding Cup ¼ final, Friday 8th Feb

UCD advanced to the semi finals with this emphatic  win at the University of Ulster, Coleraine on Friday morning.

Both teams started very well with the first ten minutes very even. UCD began to get a hold on the game then and Marcus Byrne chased the UL centre back down and nicked the ball off him and finished past the keeper to make it 1-0.

The second goal came from a brilliant back heel flick from Brian Reilly which left Marcus Byrne with a simple tap in at the back post. Soon afterwards UL broke down the middle and took a shot from edge of the box that was well saved by Niall Corbet who then got straight back up and made a great save from the rebound. 

Just as half time was approaching good play by Colin Jones and a nice through ball to Marcus Byrne, left him one on one with the keeper and he took the ball around the keeper and finished it off to complete a first half hat trick. 

After completing his hat trick Marcus then had to come off at half time after taking a knock late in the first half and was replaced by Joe Keohane. The second half started just as the first ended with UCD pushing on and looking to go further ahead. 

UCD finally got the fourth goal after a great cross from Mark Murnaghan found Brian Reilly on the edge of the box who finished it off with a brilliant volley into the top corner. 

After a couple more changes UCD pushed on and looked for more goals and were awarded a penalty which was well saved by the UL keeper. 

Murnaghan was finally rewarded for his hard work when he was picked out at the back post with a great ball from Quinn that left him with a simple tap in. 

Late in the second half limerick pushed on and looked to get a consolation goal and were awarded a penalty and Corbett was sent the wrong way. 

Man of the Match: Luke Dunne 

UCD team: Niall Corbett, Ciaran Quinn, Stephen McAuliffe, Stephen Moran, Declan Keaney, Luke Dunne, Brian Reilly, Robert McDaid, Colin Jones, Marcus Byrne, Mark Murnaghan

Subs: Joe Keohane for Marcus Byrne, Adam Muldowney for Brian Reilly, Brian Allen for Declan Keaney, Eoin Monaghan for Stephen Moran

 

UCD 1-0 NUI Galway, Harding Cup semi final, Sat Feb 9th

UCD started the game very brightly in an end to end game that Diarmuid McNally had tipped to be "a 1-0 either way".

Both teams created some half chances early on with UCD slightly edging the possession with tackles flying in as both teams battled hard to get a grip of the game. 

UCD flew out of the blocks in the second half as they looked to gain control of the game and their hard work was rewarded when in the 55th minute Colin Jones broke through and slid the ball past the on rushing keeper to give UCD a deserved lead, his second goal in as many games.

The game  was a tight affair after the goal with both teams having some good possession. NUIG had a great chance on the break and the shot was lucky to come off the post and across the face of the goal only to be cleared by Eoin Monaghan. 

As NUIG pushed on for the equaliser UCD did very well to hold on for the win and the defence dealt brilliantly with a couple of late chances as Galway threw everything at them. 

UCD take on Trinity College in the Harding Cup final today (Sunday) in Coleraine at 1pm

Man of the match: Robert McDaid

Starting Team: Niall Corbett, Ciaran Quinn, Stephen McAuliffe, Stephen Moran, Declan Keaney, Luke Dunne, Brian Reilly, Robert McDaid, Colin Jones, Marcus Byrne, Mark Murnaghan

Subs used: Eoin Monaghan for Stephen McAuliffe

 

UCD play Trinity College in today's final at 1pm, updates on twitter @UCDAFC and facebook.com/UCDAFC

Reports thanks to Conor McCarthy