DCU through to Collingwood Cup semi-final – DCU 3 NUIM 1

DCU saw off a brave NUI Maynooth this afternoon with a largely impressive, if at times inconsistent performance which has taken them one step further to their first ever Collingwood Cup. They will play UCC in tomorrow’s semi-final, after the Cork side demolished Queens by 5-0 in this afternoon’s other quarter final. Earlier in the day UUJ beat RCSI by 4-0 and UCD knocked out Mary Immaculate College with a 2-0 victory. The hosts and the champions will also play tomorrow afternoon.

First half goals for DCU from Daniel Mahon and Philip Kavanagh were supplemented by David Lodola in the second, which was a just reward for his tireless work from start to finish. A header from Maynooth’s Mark Nataro only served as consolation for his side’s unrelenting endeavour. Even when the game was over as a contest after Lodola’s deft finish three minutes after the break, Maynooth never gave up the ghost and, if not for some last ditch defending from Mark Logan and David Gaul, in addition to some fine saves from Ben Dale, it could have been extra time all over again.

That said, DCU dominated key areas and, in the end, could have gone up a couple of gears if needed. Rory Dunleavy and Stephen Traynor dominated the midfield, allowing DCU dictate the pace of the game which neutralised Maynooth as an attacking threat for well over an hour. Maynooth’s woes were by compounded by David Gaul, who nullified Niall Conron, their main offensive threat.

DCU should have been a goal to good in the opening seconds after Daniel Mahon struck the upright, after being put through by Stephen Traynor, right form the kick-off . An almost identical incident occurred eight minutes later, only this time, Mahon forced a fine save from Anthony Forard. When Mahon did score in the 28th minute, it was from the most difficult chance of the three; having chased down a Traynor pass, he then lobbed Forard with the outside of his right boot.

Five minutes from the break Philip Kavanagh doubled DCU’s lead, firing home Connor Ralph’s corner to the back post. After the hour mark DCU eased off and their concentration lapsed. Maynooth then enjoyed a purple patch of sorts, with Jamie Airey and Keith Boyle in particular, making a nuisance of themselves. In the end, much like yesterday, DCU were good for the win.

Tom Rooney, at UUJ

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