O'Neill holds nerve to steer UCD into final clash with UL
A Gary O'Neill penalty seven minutes from the finish was enough to see UCD past Maynooth University in a tense semi-final at The Farm.
The Belfield side, who have won the competition a record 42 times, will face University of Limerick – seeking a maiden title – in the decider at The Mardyke Cork (4.00pm).
UL came from a goal down to edge out 10-man Trinity College after extra-time.
In UCD’s clash with Maynooth, neither side could create any worthwhile scoring opportunities in a tight first half with UCD skipper O’Neill having a couple of half-chances that never tested Michael Kelly in the Maynooth goal.
A deep free-kick from Stephen Dunne into the UCD goalmouth looked dangerous but centre-back Maxi Kouogun managed to clear, and later Dylan Kavanagh’s low drive was easily dealt with by UCD keeper Niall Corbet.
The second half saw little change with both sides keeping the game tight. UCD’s Timmy Molloy got through but fired his effort over the bar while at the other end Jake Corrigan saw his header from a Kavanagh cross taken off the line by Kouogun.
The deadlock was finally broken on 83 minutes when Maynooth substitute Karl Keogh handled a Molloy shot and O’Neill coolly beat Kelly from the spot to secure a 1-0 victory.
Trinity took the lead against UL when full-back Brian Foley headed home an Eoghan Vaughan corner on 34 minutes.
Ayman Ben Mohamed might have double their advantage early in the second half before he saw red for an off the ball incident midway through the half.
AJ O’Connor rescued UL with a header from a corner four minutes from time to send the tie into extra-time and the Limerick side clinched the win in the final minutes when the unmarked Oisin McMenamin headed past a helpless David Minihane from Oisin Hassett’s long throw-in.
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