Late points earn Cork CFE dramatic win over St Patrick's

WITH five minutes remaining in this thrilling Datapac Ryan Cup final at the Athlone IT Grounds on Saturday, Cork College of Further Education looked to have blown it when substitute Eamon Morrissey's goal gave St Pats a one point lead.

Cork CFE 2-11 St Patrick's College 2-9

However, in a dramatic last seven minutes (two added for injury) three magnificent points on the trot gave the Cork college their first title win in four years. And it was well deserved.

The game was a personal triumph for full-forward Ciaran O'Leary who finished with 2-4, while Brendan Barry and Donal Cronin also made significent scoring contributions.

The teacher training college played with the aid of the wind in the first-half, but struggled for scores against a tenacious Cork defence in which Brian Lane, Alan Guilfoyle and Damien Desmond were outstanding.

It was 0-4 to 0-2 after 25 minutes and, in that time, Kieran Murphy rattled a penalty off the crossbar. Cork threw down the gauntlet in no uncertain manner a minute later when Rick Quigley set up Ciaran O'Leary for his first goal. St. Pats were fortunate to go in at the break a point in front, 0-6 to 1-2, but seconds after the resumption it got worse for them when O'Leary struck for his second goal. And when Brendan Barry added a point Cork were motoring nicely, aided by the wind.

Strong favourites for the title after knocking out the holders the previous day, St. Pats came storming back. Team captain David Herity, who had a splendid match, rifled over a point before substitute Magnus Breathnach kicked home a goal to throw the issue back into the melting pot.

As the tension mounted, the greater stickwork of the Dublin students, particularly that of Liam Walsh, Ciaran Hoyne and Niall Bergin, edged their side in front. And when Morrissey struck their second goal, it looked as if Cork were going home empty handed.

However, there was still a kick left in the Leesiders and with Kieran Murphy hugely influential at midfield, Cork struck over three unanswered points to fashion a thrilling victory, much to the delight of their mentor, former Lord Mayor Tom O'Driscoll.

Scorers: Cork: C. O'Leary 2-4 (0-2 frees); B. Barry 0-4; D. Cronin 0-2; R. Quigley 0-1. St. Pats: M. Breathnach, E. Morrissey 1-0 each; D. Herity 0-3 (0-2 frees); D. Burke 0-2; M. Heffernan, M. Doyle, N. Bergin, L. Walsh 0-1 each.

CORK: P. Waters; D. Desmond, B. Lane, A. Guilfoyle; P. Tobin, J. Grace, D. Collins; K. Murphy, A. Lane; B. Barry, G. O'Sullivan, C. Sheehan; D. Cronin, C. O'Leary, R. Quigley. Sub. J. Lynch for O'Sullivan.

ST. PATS: B. Hoyne; S. Cadigan, R. Gaule, J. Murphy; L. Walsh, C. Hoyne, M. Weafer; M. Doyle, P. Robinson; D. Herity, D. Walsh, N. Heffernan; N. Bergin, M. Breathnach, D. Burke; Subs. E. Morrissey for Heffernan; D. Lally for Gaule.

Referee: B. Kelly (Westmeath).

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