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Aaron Kernan set for wedding match, then Armagh Championship

By John Campbell

One of Ulster’s top players is targeting a double bonus as the various county championships build up to a climax.

Armagh defender Aaron Kernan is not only eyeing what would be his 10th county senior football championship medal with Crossmaglen Rangers but will also tie the knot this Saturday in Co Clare.

The cultured defender has been an integral part of the Armagh rearguard for several years but right now he is totally focused on striving to bring even more glory to the Rangers who are the reigning Ulster and All-Ireland club champions.

And he is delighted that his wedding to Marianne Watters will not lead to him missing the county final should Crossmaglen overcome Pearse Og at the semi-final stage.

“I would love to play in the final should we reach it. The way that dates are working out this would look possible but we will see what happens,” says Kernan.

Crossmaglen’s stunning record of success is certainly not breeding the slightest element of complacency in their title drive.

“We have a lot of new guys in the current Rangers team and they are very keen to maintain the tradition of success that has been established.

“They know that it will be tough going against Pearse Og in the semi-final as they have a number of county squad members in their side,” explains Kernan.

With the Armagh final scheduled for three weeks from now, Kernan is keeping his fingers crossed that the team will sur

mount Pearse Og as a precursor to setting up a showdown with either Granemore or Ballymacnab.

“Most counties have now reached the quarter-finals stage of their football championships at the very least and the indications are that there will be some very intriguing games in the weeks ahead,” observes Kernan.

“I see that St Gall’s and Lamh Dhearg are already through to the Antrim final while there are a number of leading sides in the closing stages of the Derry and Tyrone championships which should make things very interesting further along the line.”

His three brothers — Paul, Stephen and Tony — will all be on board for the Crossmaglen bid to take a decisive step towards another county final.

“We are not looking beyond this semi-final, though. A couple of years ago Pearse Og beat us at the quarter-final stage so you can take it that the Rangers will not be under any illusions about this task,” adds Aaron.

Meanwhile, Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke is understood to be keen to add a fourth member to his management team.

With Mike McGurn and Paul Grimley already confirmed, O’Rourke is keen to appoint someone from the north of the county as a selector.

Grimley attended Monday night’s Armagh Championship semi-final between Ballymacnab and Granemore as he quickly settles into his new role as No 2 to O’Rourke.

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