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Aaron makes a break for glory

By John Campbell

Aaron Kernan is no stranger to injury worries. Earlier this year he endured a traumatic spell when a broken arm disrupted his involvement as Crossmaglen Rangers successfully pursued their goal of landing the Ulster and All Ireland Club football titles.

Today, though, Aaron is fitter than ever and ready to help the Rangers retain their provincial crown when they meet St Galls in Sunday's final at Pairc Esler, Newry (2pm).

But he's certainly taking nothing for granted against the Antrim champions.

"While we are very happy ourselves to be in the final, we know that St Galls will put it up to us. They have a lot of quality in their side, especially in attack and they have a fair bit of experience in there too. They won't be standing back," states Aaaron.

It was his cool, purposeful play, particularly in the first-half, that helped Rangers chisel out their one-point win over Tyrone champions Dromore last week-end.

It was a tough, tense semi-final for the Rangers who were without Stephen Kernan, John Donaldson, Cathal Short and Francie Bellew.

"When you look at these boys, you see the depth of experience that is out of our side right now. Dromore gave us a very stiff test and we had to work very hard to win. The fact that we got those two goals in the first half was great but they came very strongly at us after the break and we were lucky that my brother Tony sent over that '45' near the end to give us the win," says Aaron.

His own reading and distribution were such that he was able to prise openings in the Dromore defence for his forward colleagues but he is in no doubt that the St Galls defence will be keen to erect the barricades on Sunday.

"They have a few Antrim county players at the back and I don't think it will be too easy to get past them. Besides, they have a fair bit of experience overall and that will stand to them," observes Aaron.

His free-taking from the right side of the park has helped to underpin Rangers progress but rarely has he landed a more important score than the one which he steered over in the 42nd minute last Sunday. At that stage, the sides were deadlocked at 2-4 to 0-10 and Dromore were looking capable of bossing the match even further.

"I was happy enough to see that free go over. It probably gave us a bit of breathing space," says Aaron.

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