UCC’s Historical Soccer Year

May 29, 2015  |  News  |  Share

The year 2015 has already been one of the best years ever in the history of the UCC Soccer team. The club managed to win both the Harding and Collingwood Cups for the first time as a double in their history.

Before this year the last time UCC had won the Harding Cup, which is the intervarsity of fresher’s football competition, was back in 1995 while the Collingwood Cup, which is the senior version, was last claimed in 2011.

The senior team in 2011 was managed by current Cork City boss John Caulfield while current first team players Josh O’Shea and Michael McSweeney were part of the successful team. O’Shea won the “Player of the Tournament Award”, and McSweeney captaining the college to success.

UCC hosted the Harding Cup back at the start of February and had to defeat DCU, NUIG and UL in 3 consecutive days to claim the prestigious cup. They were presented the cup by manager of the successful 1995 Harding Cup team Liam McCarthy.

In the Final at the Mardyke a seventh minute strike from striker Pierce O’Riordan was enough to see UCC win despite the best attempts of a UL side containing Limerick FC player Colm Murphy.

The senior team beat defending champions Maynooth University, who are managed by St. Patricks Athletic defender Ger O’Brien, in the Quarter Finals of the Collingwood Cup 7-6 on penalties. In the Semi Finals an 85th minute free kick from former Cork City youths player Jason Abbott was enough to see UCC beat NUI Galway.

The Final, which was played in Eamon Deacy Park, saw UCC win the Collingwood Cup for the 12th time on a 3-1 score line against Trinity  College Dublin thanks to goals from Calvin O’Callaghan, Daniel Pender and Rufus Holmes while there was a good performance on the day from former City player Cathal Lordan, who was with City winning the first division back in 2011. Once again this victory was achieved over 3 matches on 3 consecutive days in winter conditions. The gruelling nature of 3rd level tournament football is what makes the competitions so hard to win every year.

Six players, Jeremy Bridgeman, goalkeeper Charlie Bourneman who made some super saves in the Harding Cup Final, Pierce O’Riordan, Seán O’Mahony, Cian Murphy and Daniel Pender were on both squads which was a serious achievement and became the only UCC students to have ever achieved this prestigious double of intervarsity medals.

The UCC squads that played in both finals:

UCC Collingwood v Trinity: Charlie Bourneman, Andy Gannon, Cian Hill (c), Seán O’Mahony, Cian Murphy, Seán O’Callaghan, Daniel Pender, Jason Abbott, Mark Murphy, Conor Barry, Calvin O’Callaghan

Subs: Cathal Lordan for O’Callaghan (45), Rufus Holmes for B. Murphy (87), Ian Mylod for C. Murphy (89), Pierce O’Riordan for Gannon (89), Jason O’Mahony, Jeremy Bridgeman

UCC Harding v UL: Charlie Borneman, Jeremy Bridgeman, Cian Murphy, David O’Connor, Seán O’Mahony (c), Rob Lynch, Daniel Pender, Darragh Kiely, David Walsh, Pierce O’Riordan, Rueben O’Callaghan

Subs: Ross Broeuheuizen for O’Callaghan (67) John Cotter for O’Riordan (73), Brian Cooney for Walsh (91), Gavin Foley, Dominic Murray, Jack Divane

UCC were winners of the Crowley Cup (Junior Intervarsity’s Competition) in March which gave the college a clean sweep of the knock-out University Soccer competitions. This team was managed by Liam Corbett who was awarded a UCC Sport Hall of Fame award for his lifetime of service to the club in April.

UCC also had a memorable run in the EA Sports Cup. They managed to knock out 2 League of Ireland teams (Wexford Youths & Cobh Ramblers) on the way to the Quarter Finals of the competition. This exciting run came to a shuddering halt at the Mardyke on the 18th May when Dundalk FC put on a master class to put manners on the students. However, it was a great achievement to get this far and UCC were the only non-premier division side to reach the quarter final stage. These young players will have gained valuable experience from this cup journey.

The University honoured the Club with the Team of the Year award recently and many of the players have received awards locally and been recognised in representative sides such as the Irish Amateur team and the World University Games Men’s Soccer team that will travel to Gwangju. South Korea in late June.

*For more information on UCC Sport check out sport@ucc.ie or download the UCC sport app from the app store.

Article by Stephen Walsh

UCC Men's Football

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