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ALL SET FOR COLLINGWOOD OPENERS

Four sides will kick off their bid for the Collingwood Cup when first round ties in the 2020 Irish Universities blue ribband trophy, once again sponsored by Rustlers the Irish fast food brand, take place early in November.

The latter stages of the competition which will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin are set for Dublin venues from February 3-5 with the final expected to take place in either Dalymount Park or Trinity’s College Park.

By JOHN HUDSON

The Irish Universities confirmed details of their three main cup competitions at a meeting of members in Dublin last weekend with the first round Collingwood Cup draw plus the full Harding Cup draw been made .

In the Collingwood Cup first round Ulster University will face Mary Immaculate College Limerick at a Dublin venue while Maynooth University have home advantage against NUI Galway.These tie are to be played in the week commencing November 4 next.

The two first round winners will then join the other six sides which include hosts Trinity College Dublin and the top five  ranked sides from the past five Collingwood Cups – UCC, UCD, University of Limerick, DCU and Queens University Belfast in the quarter final draw which is expected to take place in early December.

The Harding Cup which is confined to first year university students, has been moved forward in the season calendar and it will now be played from November 18-20 with Queens University Belfast making a welcome return to the competition after an absence of several years as this season’s hosts.

The quarter final draw: UCC v NUI Galway; DCU v UCD; Trinity College Dublin v Queens University Belfast; Maynooth University v University of Limerick.

Semi Finals: UCC/NUI Galway v DCU/UCD; Trinity College Dublin/Queens University Belfast v Maynooth University/University of Limerick.

Maynooth University is the venue for the Crowley Cup and it is set to take place from March 6-8. This popular cup competition and is restricted to university footballers who did not figure in the 2020 Collingwood Cup.

Universities chairman Terry McAuley is looking forward to the new season and is pleased that Rustlers will continue their link.

“We are delighted that Rustlers are still on board as our main sponsor and with their support and the assistance of Mark Scanlon and the staff in the FAI Third Level Football Department we have been able to heighten the profile of these cup competitions and also live stream both the Collingwood and Harding finals to a wide audience.

“The coming year is a significant one for the Collingwood Cup, the oldest surviving all island football competition which was first played for in 1914, and although we celebrated it’s centenary with UCD hosting the 2014 competition at Belfield it wasn’t actually played for on each of those 100 years”, explained McAuley.

“The competition was suspended in 1915 during the First World War and part of the Irish War of Independence and didn’t resume until 1920. While a dispute between the Irish Football Association and the FAI forced the 1932 and 1933 competition to be held over. So 2020 will be the actual 100th playing of the Collingwood” added McAuley.

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