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2008 Leinster Senior College's Final

2008 Leinster Senior College's Final 
Athlone CC 0-10
Franciscans, Gormanston 0-9 

A BRILLIANT winning point by young Padraig Cunningham completed an heroic Athlone CC comeback in a thrilling final against Franciscan College, Gormanston at Pearse Park yesterday.

Cunningham, just 15 years of age, scored the winner from a seemingly impossible angle in the 60th minute -- after Athlone had showed huge reserves of courage while playing against the strong wind in the second half. 
That late score was enough to seal Athlone's first ever Leinster Colleges senior 'A' title. 
Athlone failed to exploit the elements in the first half and actually trailed by one point at half-time (0-5 to 0-4). And when Gormanston led by three points (0-9 to 0-6) with about 13 minutes left, it seemed certain that the Leinster title was on its way to County Meath. 

However, the Westmeath side finished strongly and two points by Robert Kenny, either side of one from wing-back Niall Daly, left the sides deadlocked with less than five minutes remaining. 
With an almost gale at their backs, Athlone took the lead through team captain Ian Coffey in the second minute. 
Gormanston soon brought their centre-forward and skipper Mark Battersby back to defence in a bid to curb the threat of Coffey. Battersby also contributed three points from frees to his side over the course of the game. 
Darren Dolan, younger brother of Roscommon's Frankie Dolan, scored Athlone's second point, but that didn't come until the 17th minute -- as Athlone struggled to put scores on the board. 
Dominant Gormanston midfielder David Ryan set up wing-back Ciaran Reddin for a fine point, before Coffey (free) and Franciscan College corner-forward Phil Duffy swapped points. 

Frees at either end by Coffey and Battersby left the sides level approaching the interval, but Gormanston went ahead when impressive full-forward Kevin Whyte hit the target in the 30th minute. 
Early second-half points by Whyte and Ryan put Gormanston in the driving seat, but Athlone rallied with points from Coffey and the now prominent Eoin Sheehy, who was set up by John Egan. 
Further points from Battersby (free) and Whyte restored the Meath side's three-point deficit. However, Athlone carried the day in memorable style with four unanswered points. 

SCORERS -- Athlone CC: I Coffey 0-4 (2fs); R Kenny 0-2; D Dolan, E Sheehy, N Daly, P Cunningham 0-1 each. Gormanston: K Whyte 0-3; M Battersby 0-3 (3fs);C Reddin, D Ryan, P Duffy 0-1 each. 

ATHLONE CC -- J McMahon(Caulry); B Moran(Caulry), A Hanna, N Byrne; N Daly, D Donohoe(Caulry), J Byrne; A Fitzpatrick(Caulry), E Sheehy; I Coffey (capt.), A Ward, J Egan; R Kenny(Caulry), D Dolan, P Cunningham. Subs: J Coyne for Ward (38 mins). Ciaran Allen (Caulry)

FRANCISCAN COLLEGE, GORMANSTON -- E Connolly; P Callaghan, C Lenehan, K Towell; R Tallon, C Mullen, C Reddin; D Ryan, M Reynolds; R Moore, M Battersby (capt.), T McHugh; D Carrick, K Whyte, P Duff. Subs: A Howley for Duffy (50 mins); D Levins for Reynolds (55). 
REF -- D Fahy (Longford).