Holders UCC were denied a second successive Collingwood Cup final appearance, going down 2-1 to Ulster University after a thrilling semi-final at the AUL Complex.
A first-minute goal from Nathan Best gave the northern side the perfect start after the winger cut inside from the left wing and his stunning right footed finish beat Cork keeper Arthur Nganou.
Matthew McKevitt pulled the holders level 10 minutes later.
Niall McGinley’s goal from a corner 20 minutes put Ulster University back in front.
UCC went close through McKevitt but the equaliser never arrived and they bow out for another year.
Surprise package DCU defied the odds to reach a first final. Guided by experienced coaches in two former League of Ireland stalwarts Declan Roche and Johnny McDonnell, the Glasnevin side followed up the quarter-final penalty shoot out win over UCD by knocking out last year’s beaten finalists University of Limerick with a 5-1 win at the AUL Complex to book a place in tomorrow’s final against Ulster University at Dalymount Park (5pm).
Winger Oleg Vysuchan had given the Limerick side the lead on the half hour but striker Jack O’Connor fired DCU level minutes later with his well placed free kick.
O’Connor grabbed his second just before the break.
In an amazing finale, DCU managed to net three quick goals with first Sean Cronin following up to beat UL keeper Sean McCormack after O’Connor’s shot came off the post.
Substitute David Mugalu added a fourth and midfielder Cronin crowned a top performance with his second to advance to the decider.