“AND Aaron Kennedy has read that well and is coming strongly out of defence.” In the second half of Glenn’s Ulster quarter-final win over Kinawley, the centre half-back was probably mentioned more than any other player during the live radio commentary.
Fermanagh GAA covered the game for the world to listen to, and commentators Pauric McGurn and Richie O’Callaghan would get excited as their county champions broke forward only for disappointment to creep into their voices as Kennedy consistently seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
It was as good a time as any to produce one of his best performances of the season, but all of Tony Bagnall’s players are going to have to produce 7/10s and above if they are to trouble heavyweights Magheracloone on Sunday.
“The Kinawley match was a big achievement for us because it was the first game we had ever won in Ulster,” said Kennedy.
“We went in as massive underdogs but we worked very, very hard.
“Tony made us aware at the start of Ulster that if we took our chances we might get over the line. We also knew that you don’t get as many chances in Ulster as you might in Down.
“We were maybe that little bit more clinical on the day against Kinawley but Magheracloone will be a different test altogether. Once again we’ll be going in as massive underdogs.
“We played them four or five years ago (in a challenge game). They were a senior club for the last 20 years and just dropped down this year.
“They were very physical, played with a lot of intensity and I think they just got the better of us that day.
“We know that we need to really lift everything from the last game.”
Youngster Patrick Brooks grabbed an early goal in the quarter-final while Jack McCartan was a constant menace throughout. Mattie Bagnall should also return to the attack having only been fit for a cameo last time out.
Kennedy believes that there is real talent there in the squad but also knows that they must step it up at the Athletic Grounds.
“We went three points up and I think we only got one score after that, we had to take on a lot of pressure in those final 10 minutes. Kinawley missed a penalty and had a couple of goal chances while we took ours.
“It’s those small things that matter. That good start really helped us in the end. It gave us the belief that we could go on and win the game. It maybe wasn’t the prettiest of football but we but in so much effort.
“There were a lot of things we need to improve on though from that performance. We gave the ball away cheaply but we are definitely on the right path.
“As long as your work-rate is high and your intensity is good, the other things can often take care of themselves.”
The majority of this Glenn panel has been previously coached by Aaron’s father John, who is now in his second year managing Armagh club Dromintee.
“He is just telling me to work hard and to try and keep my game as simple as possible,” Kennedy said of his father. “My game is based on keeping the score down, filling holes, doing the ugly stuff that has to be done.
“He is just over the moon at Glenn’s progress, like we all are.”