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Freshers win the Harding Cup!

After a long weekend involving three games in three days, our freshers came out on top against DCU in the Harding Cup final on Sunday to bring the cup back to Belfield! UCD Harding Cup 2016

With seven universities entering the competition, the quarter final draw saw us paired against UCC "B" on Friday afternoon with the game being played on the astro in Mervue United. Led by our new club captain Gary O'Neill, our freshers team were determined to stamp their mark on the competition. An early Daire O'Connor goal gave us the lead, and saw us head into half time with a narrow one-nil lead. However in the second half the flood gates opened and saw us add a further seven goals to our tally with goals from Gary O'Neill, Darragh Black (x2), Georgie Kelly, Rob Nolan, Dan Tobin and another from Daire O'Connor.

The semi-final saw us paired against a strong University of Limerick side who overcame UCC "A" 2-1 in their quarter final. In a similar fashion to our opening game, we started the stronger of the two sides with Georgie Kelly scoring inside the opening 15 minutes, and Darragh Black added another just before half time. However that is where the similarity to our opening game stopped, as a strong second half from UL saw them pull a goal back after sixty minutes. Josh Collins and Jonathan Farrelly marshalled their defence well however and saw our the closing stages of the game to advance to the final against DCU who had defeated Maynooth in the semi-final.

Due to the atrocious weather conditions in Galway and pitch availability, Sunday's final was switched to the astro in Athlone IT. After the game finished 0-0 it went to extra time, and determined not to let it go to penalties, Dan Tobin set off down the right wing and his brilliant ball looked to have picked out the unmarked Georgie Kelly in the box, however in a last ditch attempt to cut the cross out the DCU defender turned the ball into his own net. 

Congratulations to Diarmuid McNally and Tony Sheridan on winning their tenth Harding Cup with the club since they took over our universities teams in 2001. We would also like to thank the rest of the coaching staff and in particular Tomas Boyle and Ger Barron for their brilliant work with the team.

Results: 

Quarter Final: UCD 8 - 0 UCC "B" - Goals: Daire O'Connor x 2, Darragh Black x 2, Gary O'Neill, Georgie Kelly, Rob Nolan, Dan Tobin

Semi Final: UCD 2 - 1 UL - Goals: Georgie Kelly, Darragh Black

Final (AET): UCD 1 - 0 DCU - Goal: Own Goal

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Gavin Sheridan, Darragh O'Neill

Defenders: Sean Byrne, Josh Collins, Jonathan Farrelly, Dermot O'Kelly, Michael O'Tearnaigh, Robert Phillips, Gerry Sheehan, Daniel Tobin

Midfielders: Darragh Black, Daniel Carroll, Eoin Duffy, Jason McClelland, Daire O'Connor, Gary O'Neill, Conor Prendergast, James Shiggins, Hayden Turner

Forwards: Georgie Kelly, David McLaughlin, Robert Nolan