DCU are one win away from claiming the Collingwood Cup for the first time in their history.
They’ve advanced to the decider courtesy of a 5-1 victory over University of Limerick, the runners-up in 2019.
In tomorrow’s final, DCU will take on Ulster University, who were 2-1 winners against defending champions University College Cork.
Having caused a shock by defeating University College Dublin via a penalty shootout yesterday, the margin of victory was much greater today for DCU. However, the game was still in the balance until the closing stages.
UL actually went in front at the AUL Complex, with Oleg Vyschun firing the Limerick side ahead in the 29th minute.
A brace from Jack O’Connor had DCU in the ascendancy at the break, and the score remained 2-1 right up until the 89th minute.
Sean Cronin then scored to put DCU out of sight, before stoppage-time goals from David Mugalu and Cronin put some gloss on the scoreline.
Ulster University had their noses in front in the second minute of their clash with UCC thanks to Nathan Best, but Matthew McKevitt had the holders level on 16 minutes.
The decisive goal came in the 70th minute through Niall McGinley, as UCC’s hopes of a first successful defence of the silverware since 2005 came to an end.
Speaking after the match to the head of DCU football, Fran Butler, he sights this achievement as a marvellous and unexpected success for DCU sport.
“Throughout the history of DCU we have never been in a final. Especially how poor we performed in the league and the draw we had in the first round of the Collingwood against UCD, I think we can be honest and say that nobody was really expecting us to be in the situation we are in, so we are delighted to be here,” said Butler.
Talking about the opposition Butler has sighted UU as a dark horse who like DCU can cause an upset.
“Like ourselves Ulster University got to the final by beating one of the best teams in the competition (UCC). The tricky thing for us is we don’t know that much about them, they seem to be a bit of an unknown, which is worrying because this is our first ever final so naturally nerves will kick in to our players early on, but if we play the way we have been playing the past two days, nothing will stop this DCU team from being history makers,” Butler told the College View.
This is 100th annual Collingwood Cup final, to be contested tomorrow at 5:00 in Dalymount Park.
Conor Breslin & Shane Brennan
Image Credit: DCU Soccer