Hanley the hero as Collingwood goes to UCD

A Niall Hanley header after 12 minutes proved enough to give UCD another Irish Universities Collingwood Cup title in the decider against Mary Immaculate College, Limerick at the University of Limerick yesterday.

Kilmallock-born Hanley has proved a match-winner for the Belfield side in the past, clinching a Harding Cup victory for UCD over NUI Maynooth last year, and the second year student was at it again here.

UCD piled on early pressure with most of the danger coming from right winger Stephen Doyle, who was always a threat and he delivered some well-placed crosses.

The Belfield outfit went ahead after a period of sustained pressure when Barry McDonald fired in a corner and Hanley rose highest to place a firm header well out of Carroll’s reach.

Michael Arnold was unlucky with a half chance as determined Mary I battled to make an impression.

A second UCD goal was close to coming when Ross King worked hard to force another corner on the right. But centre back Cormac O’Brochlain failed to hit the target, putting his header from McDonald’s well-taken effort just over the crossbar.

UCD had another great chance to double the lead just before the break. King beat defenders Ian Hughes and John Hutton but his low drive rebounded off the foot of the Limerick side’s upright.

The second half proved to be more of a stalemate. McGinley had to punch clear from Cormac Crowe’s in-swinging corner as Mary I tried to exert some pressure and later Kennedy fired a high free into the UCD area but substitute Niall Wright headed clear.

In the end, UCD held on to record another historic victory.

* UCD’s Mark Langtry was named Player of the Tournament — his late goals in their opening round games against DCU and NUI Maynooth proving crucial.

UCD: M McGinley; T Dent, C O’Brochlain, M Leahy, M Langtry; S Doyle (S Sexton 80), N Hanley (B McCabe 71), S Buckley, B McDonald (N Wright 75); R King (C Morrisson 78), M Arnold.

MARY IMMACULATE: B Carroll; I Lynskey, I Hughes, J Hutton, G Kennedy; D Kirwan (C McGettigan 66 {M Meade 80}), D Higgins, P Pender; P Lane, C Crowe; D Heneghan (D O’Shea 68 {J Duncan 80}).

Referee: G Clancy (Limerick).

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