Kev revved up for derby day

Kevin Braniff
Kevin Braniff

Kevin Braniff is hoping his first return to Shamrock Park since he left Portadown last season will be a winning one.

And the Glenavon striker has the sterling work of the Glentoran groundsman to thank for him making the game.

“To be honest with all that rain on Saturday morning I didn’t think there was a chance the match would go-ahead,” said Kevin who was serving a one match suspension.

“Had it not, then I would be sitting in the stands on Saturday. I am looking forward to the game, but with all this rain we have had and more expected I am not looking forward to the pitch. It will be like a ploughed field.”

Kevin got some stick from the Ports fans when the sides met at Mourneview Park and he is expected more of the same on Saturday.

“Yeah, I’m sure I’ll get some stick but I’m well used to it by now. The main thing is for us to try and get the win which will put us above them. Both teams are played well at the minute so I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the game.”

Kevin is enjoying his settled role with Glenavon and the partnership with Eoin Bradley. “It’s nice to play in your favourite position week in and week out. I like to be a sort of a roving striker that can move about and it is working well. Eoin is always looking to get in behind and that suits me perfectly.”

Manager Gary Hamilton, despite playing such a key role last week, will revert back to the bench while Shane McCabe is out through suspension.

“They beat us convincingly in the last game, but based on our last three away performances if we can repeat that on Saturday then we can get something out of the game,” said the boss.

“We have to put in a good performance against a strong team. They have a striker in Gary Twigg who can score a goal in a split second and Peter McMahon is another player who has caused us trouble in the past, but they are solid all over the pitch.

“Both teams have goals in the locker, but it could end up scoreless. I would not be unhappy if it ended that way. The key is to make sure we give it 100 per cent.”