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Saturday 20 January 2018

Boland late show delivers more glory to UCD

UCD2 University of Limerick 1 Collingwood Cup Final

University College Dublin captain Gary O'Neill lifts the cup (SPORTSFILE)
University College Dublin captain Gary O'Neill lifts the cup (SPORTSFILE)
Geoirgie Kelly, University College Dublin, celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's first goal (SPORTSFILE)
Brian Nolan, University of Limerick, in action against Tom O'Halloran, University College Dublin (SPORTSFILE)
Mark Boland, University College Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal (SPORTSFILE)

Substitute Mark Boland's late goal clinched a dramatic victory for UCD at The Mardyke as they came from behind to edge out University of Limerick and claim their 43rd outright victory in the competition.

UL had looked the more likely side to score in a tightly contested opening half played in constant heavy rain, although UCD had plenty of possession.

And the Limerick men duly went in front when a cracking 20-yard volley from striker Garbhan Coughlan beat UCD keeper Niall Corbet to put UL ahead on 19 minutes with what was probably the goal of the tournament.

Skipper Jonathan Hanifin had played in the UL striker with a well delivered ball over the top of the UCD defence and Coughlan took a neat touch to fire an unstoppable right-footed effort over Corbet's head.

Coughlan then tested Corbet with a couple of other good chances but the UCD keeper did well to keep them out.

Later Brian Nolan struck the bar as UL sought to increase their advantage before the break.

UCD did respond and Gary O'Neill fired a low drive past the post and Tom O'Halloran put a header from Gareth Coughlan's cross over the UL crossbar.

A Georgie Kelly header from Coughlan's neat cross into the box had UCD back on level terms ten minutes into the second half and the Belfield side began to look the stronger side.

UL then suffered a major blow midway through the second half when influential midfielder Nolan and centre-back Paudie O'Connor both went off with injuries.

Ryan McLaughlin might have put UCD in front with four minutes remaining but UL keeper Andrew Walsh palmed away his header from an O'Neill free.

The winner then arrived in the late drama as the rain continued to pour down and it was UCD skipper O'Neill, a Kerry native, who set it up when he picked out Boland with a well delivered cross and the striker coolly beat Walsh to give the Dublin side a deserved win.

UCD - N Corbet; D Tobin, M Kouogun (R McLaughlin h-t), T Dent, S Coyne; G Coughlan, G O'Neill, T O'Halloran (M Boland 70), T Molloy, J McClelland; G Kelly.

UNiVERSITY OF LIMERICK - A Walsh; A J O'Connor, P O'Connor (K Hayes 74), A Cowap (B Hooton 62),, J Hanifan; A McGrath, C Maguire, B Nolan (I Fletcher 68), J Collins, O McMenamin, G Coughlan.

Ref -R Murphy (Cork)

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