Collingwood side lose out to eventual champions UCC

Gerard Grimes

DCU senior soccer team

DCU’s Collingwood Cup side finished as runners-up in the Farquhar Cup final at this year’s tournament in UL.

Johnny McDonnell’s side were drawn against eventual champions UCC in the quarter-final draw of the Collingwood, losing 2-1 to the Cork outfit.

Garan Manley and Simon Falvey gave UCC an early lead before Ruadhan Feeney’s late goal brought an intriguing ending to the quarter final tie.

DCU dropped into the secondary tournament, the Farquhar Cup, where they were drawn to face Maynooth University in the semi-final.

The tie ended 3-3 after normal time after Jack O’Connor and Brian McGivern scored braces for DCU and Maynooth respectively in the first half.

The second half saw Caoimhin Kelly sent off for Maynooth, who went 3-2 up through Daniel Grant before Feeney again struck late on, in this last minute, to bring the game to extratime.

Two goals in extra time from Gavin Kearney, and a second of the game from Feeney were enough to see DCU win 5-3 against the ten men of Maynooth and progress to the final.

Queen’s University Belfast were the opponents in the Farquhar final and again the game went to extra time, as Feeney again scored before Daire Rooney equalised for Queen’s.

Goals in extra time from Calum Byers and Ronan Young won it for Queen’s as DCU fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Following their league campaign, DCU had gone into the Collingwood without any pressure on their shoulders, but top scorer Ruadhan Feeney admitted they naturally felt disappointed following the Farquhar final.

“Initially due to our poor performance in the league and not having to worry about anything other than the Collingwood itself, I feel we went into the tournament knowing we had nothing to lose.

“Despite a poor start we really took the game to UCC and if I’m not mistaken hit the woodwork three or four times,” Feeney told The College View.

“Our good reaction to going two goals down showed that we could really take the game to any team in the competition.

“The next day our game vs Maynooth was tense and tight but towards the end of the game we had them under serious pressure like the UCC game the day before.

“Eventually our determination and quality showed and we were rewarded unlike the first day,” Feeney said.

“Naturally we were all disappointed (to lose the final), we wouldn’t be playing at that level if we weren’t, but overall I think a medal to show for our hard work and dedication through some tough games throughout the year.”

“The team we had was a young team, full of freshers that learned quickly the demands of intervarsity football along with a coaching staff that encouraged us throughout the year.

“We never thought of stopping or quitting,” Feeney, who played for Longford Town’s U-19 side in the SSE Airtricity League last season, said.

Feeney was DCU’s top scorer this season, scoring nine goals in eight games – five in the league and four in three games in the Collingwood, in comparison to none last season.

However, despite his impressive goalscoring form, which continued into the Collingwood, Feeney said he had a poor tournament himself.

“On a personal level this season was immense. Despite my form fluctuating and I go as far as to say I had a poor Collingwood Cup, my confidence that if I got myself into the box I would score, was always there.

“Although I had a great season where I played some of the best football of my life, I have to say that the group of lads I played with and the ever inspiring coaching staff were the reason I could sustain my goalscoring record.

“Going out onto the pitch I knew I could play my football with ease and confidence because we had such a great group.”

Gerard Grimes.

Image Credit: thirdlevelfootb / Twitter