‘We’re up against a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal on Sun­day’

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LEIGHTON GLYNN

IF Leighton Glynn is suc­cess­ful on Sun­day, it will be his 20th time to se­cure a Se­nior cham­pi­onship medal across the two codes. The Rath­new cap­tain thinks it will be his 28th fi­nal – a stark con­trast to Bless­ing­ton side who are fac­ing their maiden voy­age to Aughrim for a county fi­nal.

And Glynn has a warn­ing for Bless­ing­ton: he thinks Rath­new have left their best un­til last. The 35-year old be­lieves that his side have only showed their best hand in patches but he feels that it should all come to­gether for them on Sun­day as he looks to cap­tain Rath­new to vic­tory for the first time in his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

De­spite hav­ing fea­tured in al­most 30 county fi­nals, the thrill has never di­min­ished for Glynn who is happy with his side’s per­for­mances to date but knows that they are ca­pa­ble of more.

“It’s the same feel­ing, the same ex­cite­ment com­ing up to them and the same feel­ing if you win it and the com­plete op­po­site if you lose them. The older you get, the less op­por­tu­ni­ties you’ll get to be in them so they mean just as much as the first.

“I think we’ve played to near our best in patches. Maybe we had 20 min­utes in the Balt­in­glass game, we played very well against An­nacurra in the sec­ond half of the sec­ond day and we played pretty good for most of the Kil­te­gan game. I wouldn’t say we’ve hit our best but we’ve played well in patches, we haven’t put it to­gether for a full 70 min­utes.

“I think we can if we ap­proach it the right way. A lot of things would have to fall into place but that’ll be the aim on Sun­day and we’ll be aim­ing to­wards that.”

Glynn is not alone in amass­ing enough gold to re­fill a mine and one look around the Rath­new chang­ing room is sure to make even the hardi­est of Bless­ing­ton men of­fer their op­po­nents a re­spect­ful nod. Glynn is wary that Bless­ing­ton’s star­va­tion of suc­cess could be their most po­tent weapon.

“The big thing is that you know each guy has your back. If you make a mis­take, they’ll be there to help you out and you’ll be there for them.

“A lot of us have played for so long to­gether – the best part of us be­tween my­self, Nicky (Mer­nagh), James (Stafford), Peter (Dig­nam), (Damien) Power, Enan (Glynn) – the likes of us have been there nearly 15 or 16 years so we know each other inside out and we know what we can do. It helps.

“We’re up against a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal on Sun­day. They haven’t been in a fi­nal in 29 years so in their heads, they prob­a­bly have noth­ing to lose. It’s been so long since they’ve been here that they’ll be think­ing all the pres­sure is on us. They’re there on merit. They beat the only team that have beaten us in Wick­low this year which is St. Pat’s and Bless­ing­ton beat them com­fort­ably enough so we’ll be up against a com­pletely dif­fer­ent an­i­mal than we’ve been used to.”

It isn’t the first time that Glynn has worn the arm­band on county fi­nal day. He ac­tu­ally did so twice in 2007 but Balt­in­glass would even­tu­ally best Rath­new that year after a re­play. Glynn ap­pre­ci­ates the hon­our but is happy to forgo the in­di­vid­ual glory as long as it is a man in a red and green jer­sey that lifts the tro­phy.

“I don’t care who lifts it as long as we can get the win.

“Ob­vi­ously it’d be nice be­cause I’ve never done it be­fore but I hon­estly wouldn’t care who goes up to col­lect the cup as long as we can get over the line.”

Rath­new cap­tain Leighton Glynn in ac­tion against Mikey English in the semi-fi­nal against Balt­in­glass.

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