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arklow dash town's treble




Arklow wrecked Newtown's treble hopes by winning the Jim McLaughlin Premier Division Trophy for the first time in their history.

United were bidding to claim the silverware for the third year in a row, but succumbed to the Town in a penalty shoot-out at a sunny Shamrock Park in Rathnew on Sunday afternoon.

Arklow goalkeeper Jason Earls saved former Wicklow League player of the year John Heffernan's spot-kick.

Although PJ Dowling then converted Newtown's second effort, Dean Odlum struck the post with their third attempt.

Having lost the inaugural final of the competition to Wicklow Town back in 2010, survivors from that tie Philip Gleeson and Cormac Hyland, scored their dead-balls along with Alan Werder for Arklow before Jonathan Doyle dispatched the winning 12-yarder.

Having beaten Wicklow Town in the past two finals, Newtown went ahead in the 26th minute.

John Heffernan's free-kick led to some head tennis were Mark Fitzsimons' volley was kept out by Earls' brilliant save with his knees.

From the resultant corner, Heffernan played it short to Martin Melia and got it back to whip in a cross.

Fitzsimons challenged Earls. Referee Paul O'Brien deemed it fair as Jason Collins ghosted in at the back post to head the ball in.

Arklow levelled matters in the 36th minute.

Anthony Kenny swung in a corner which PJ Dowling diverted to his own net with a glancing header under pressure from Willie Kavanagh.

Having been booked in the 33rd minute for handball, Town centre-half Philip Gleeson was lucky to stay on the pitch for a tackle on Dean Odlum when the striker had poked the ball past him in the 51st minute.

But O'Brien didn't produce the expected second yellow card.

Just four minutes later, Gleeson back-headed Lee Kenny's corner onto the crossbar and Darren Doyle got the vital touch right on the line to make it 2-1.

But having not been beaten in normal or extra-time in their previous 25 matches in all competitions this season, Newtown equalised in the 76th minute.

Dowling cut out a pass in his own box and released Dessie Waters to break. With Dean Odlum taking two defenders on the left, Waters fed the unmarked Jamie McDonald on the right channel who drilled low to the net from 14-yards.

Newtown United: Richard Franey; Jamie McDonald, PJ Dowling, Billy Clarkson, Jason Collins; Martin Melia, John Heffernan, Sean Heffernan; Mark Fitzsimons, Dessie Waters; Dean Odlum.

Subs: Cathal McNicholas (for Fitzsimons 68 mins), Colin Odlum (for Sean Heffernan 94 mins), Oisin Greenan, Shane Mooney (both not used).

Arklow Town: Jason Earls; Donal O'Keeffe, Danny O'Hart, Philip Gleeson, Jonathan Doyle; Anthony Kenny, Gearoid Redmond, Cormac Hyland, Lee Kenny; Darren Doyle, Willie Kavanagh.

Subs: Peter Walker (for Redmond 24 mins), Alan Werder (for Darren Doyle 84 mins), Cliff Whelan (not used).

Referee: Paul O'Brien. Assistants: David Earls, Carl Doyle.