They say persistence pays off and it sure did for UCC at The Markets Field in Limerick on Wednesday afternoon, as they secured Collingwood Cup glory for the 14th time in their history.
UL were hoping to secure the Collingwood crown for the very first time and took the lead in this encounter.
But UCC showed their character to turn things around after trailing with less then five minutes of normal time remaining.
Former Cork City U19 keeper and UCC keeper David Coffey was forced into an excellent stop with less than a minute on the clock, reacting well to deny Adam Foley for UL.
UCC came into the game a little bit more and had a very good opportunity to take the lead when Matthew McKevitt’s low drilled effort was saved by Sean McCormack in the UL goal, following a well-worked move involving Ronan Hennessy and Simon Falvey.
Rob Slevin went close after his headed effort hit the crossbar from a Garan Manley corner.
While UCC also hit the post moments later, when Falvey’s wonderful touch and turn set up Patrick Crowley, but his low effort came back off the post.
Alan Murphy then drilled the ball home emphatically to give UL the lead in the 37th minute.
UCC looked to push for a leveller at the start of the second half, including a dangerous ball in from Crowley which was cleared, as they kept possession well but were seeing little in the way of clear cut chances.
The likes of Garan Manley and Gordon Walker did their best to try to forge an opening.
The latter, who impressed for Cobh Ramblers last year in the EA Sports Cup final, cut the ball back to a dangerous position in the box, but the UL defence were to clear once more.
UCC’s persistence was to pay off as they got an equalizer in the 85th minute.
Patrick Crowley’s cross picked out Falvey, who showed great predatory instincts in the box to finish well.
The game went to extra time and UCC took the lead in the 92nd minute.
A finely delivered corner kick by Manley picked out Rob Slevin and he hit the target with a powerful header.
David Coffey: Gordon Walker, Ben McAuliffe, Ethan Hurley, Rob Slevin, Garan Manley, Dylan Scott, Ronan Hennessy, Simon Falvey, Patrick Crowley, Matthew McKevitt.
Darren Mannix for McAuliffe(59), Liam Cronin for Scott(70), Brian Mulcahy for Falvey (95), John Buttimer for Crowley (100), Tom O’Donovan for Walker(110).
Sean McCormack: Shane McCallion, Ryan Doherty, Ian Fletcher, Jack Lynch, Dylan Sheehan, Killian Hayes, Ed O’Dwyer, Adam Foley, Sean McSweeney, Alan Murphy.
Andy Quaid for Sheehan(59), Sean Madigan for Foley(75), Illiah Coerrchan for Hayes(79), Donal O’Connell for Quaid(87) Referee: Nigel Casey.