Trinity College Dublin have won the Collingwood Cup in football only twice in their history but when they won the last of those in 1997, they had a striker who bagged two goals who was really a lot more used to kicking the ball over the bar.
Hugo MacNeill went on to an illustrious Rugby career but was supposed to be recovering from an injury when he was asked to play in the Collingwood Cup.
“I reasoned that I’d be able to just stand up front, not have to do much running, and be there should the ball come near me,” said MacNeill speaking to Sport for Business on becoming a Trinity Sport Ambassador.
“It did that twice and I was lucky enough to nudge it in the right direction.”
“I loved my time at trinity but on the sporting field we were never able to get the better of UCD in the Annual Colours match so it was football that gave me the sporting highlight of my college life.”
“Even when I went on to study at Oxford, we lost to Cambridge as well so this was it.”
MacNeill was back on the Trinity campus yesterday to do the draw for the Collingwood cup, sponsored by Rustlers, in the iconic Pavilion Bar.
The students are deep in exam mode now so the bar was probably a little quieter than normal and it was quieter still when Trinity were drawn to play against holders UCC in the Quarter Finals.
The Collingwood Cup is one of the oldest trophies in Irish sport with the first final having taken place between UCD and Queens University Belfast at Dalymount Park in 1914.
It has continued to be played between Colleges from North and South of the border since then, with a few breaks and 2020 will be the 100th staging. Trinity is hosting and the hope is that the Final this year will return to the famous home of Bohemians.
There are two big derbies in the Quarterfinal draw with UCD facing DCU and Ulster university taking on Queens University Belfast.
“It is a great honour to host the tournament and play our part in its rich history,” said Trinity Head of Sport Michelle Tanner. “And it was great to welcome back our one time two-goal history maker Hugo MacNeill to help conduct the draw.”
The action takes place next February
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Image credit: FAI