THE saying that goals wins matches was certainly the case for Araglin's Junior hurlers as they progressed to meet Doneraile in the Shreelawn Oil JAHC final after they overcame Newtownshandrum in the semi final at Castletownroche on Saturday.
The winners got off to the best possible start and inside the opening minute Mark Hickey was on hand to score the first of their three first half goals. Newtown recovered well from this set back with Jamie Reidy featuring strongly at centre back and over the next couple of minutes Reidy scored two long range points that were quickly cancelled out by two James Kearney frees for Araglin 1-2 to 0-2.
Newtown narrowed the deficit to two points soon after when an Araglin clearance went astray with Michael Maguire picking up possession to score a fine point. Exchanges were keenly contested for a while before Araglin moved a step closer to place in this years final in the 24th and 25th minutes when they breached the Newtown backline for two goals. The first of these came when Richie Whelan was first to react to finish to the net from close range after Kevin Fitzgerald's attempt for a point was saved on the line by the Newtown keeper Shane Sheerin.
From Araglin's next attack a delivery by Dave Browne found its ways into the Newtown net off Mark Hickey as the winners built up a 3-2 to 0-3 lead.
The remainder of the half saw Newtown after making a number of positional switches stage a late rally. Richard Farrissey had a point from a free. In the 28th minute good work by Michael Curtin set up David Geary for well taken goal. Araglin responded with a point apiece by Vincent O'Donoghue and James Kearney as the half time whistle approached with Newtown completing the first half scoring in injury time when Denis O'Mahony reeled off a late point as they trailed at the shortwhistle 3-4 to 1-5.
On the resumption Newtown were expected to mount a serious second half challenge but in truth it never really materialised with a solid Araglin defence where Shay Russell, Brendan Allen, Paddy Kenneally, Paul Hickey and the Keane brothers Brian and Liam holding firm as they kept their opponents at bay. Instead the entire third quarter was very much point for point with Araglin maintaining their half time lead when ahead 3-6 to 1-7 at the three quarter stage.
Over the next couple of minutes both teams struck a number of wides before Araglin moved six clear in the 52nd minute when Brendan Allen, Brian Keane and Vincent O'Donoghue all combined well to set up the hardworking Tom Kenneally for a long range point. Newtown refused to surrender and gave themselves a lifeline when Richard Farrissey had two points in quick succession by the 55th minute.
However, try as they might they were unable to breach the Araglin defence for a goal to set up a grandstand finale and instead it was late points by Vincent O'Donoghue and Tom Kenneally that set Araglin on their way to a deserved victory.
ARAGLIN: M Lyons, L Keane, S Russell, B Keane, B Allen, P Hickey, P Kenneally, T Kenneally 0-2 (1f), S O'Gorman, V O'Donoghue 0-2, D Browne, R Whelan 1-0, K Fitzgerald 0-1, M Hickey 2-0, J Kearney 0-4 (3f). Subs: D Drislane for S O'Gorman (inj), T Browne for D Drislane.
NEWTOWN: S Sheerin, S O'Connor, T Buckley, W Coughlan, J Herlihy, J Reidy 0-2 (0-1f), B Morrissey, N Thompson 0-1, K Coughlan, M Maguire 0-2, D Lane, D Geary 1-0, P Slattery, R Farrissey 0-4 (0-2f) M Curtin. Subs: C Herlihy for P Slattery, D O'Mahony 0-1 for S O'Connor, B Clifford for W Coughlan, T McNamara for J Herlihy, C Morrissey for M Curtin.
Referee: Justin Murphy (Castletownroche)