GAA Weekend: Talking points ahead of the weekend
By Brendan Graham
Last Updated: 18/06/17 8:43am
Another feast of GAA action is just around the corner with places in the provincial finals up for grabs - we look ahead to some of the talking points going into this weekend's action.
In Leinster, Offaly and Westmeath will do it all again after their draw last weekend with the Dubs lying in wait for the winners.
The opening round of All-Ireland qualifiers gets underway with Wicklow at home to Laois, Louth taking on Longford, Sligo hosting Antrim and Derry making the trip to Dungarvan to face Waterford.
Roscommon go head to head with Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final , Tyrone will do battle with Donegal while our live Sky Sports game will be from Tullamore on Saturday night when Meath and Kildare target the Leinster final.
'Capturing hearts and minds'
Peter Canavan looks ahead to a weekend where provincial rivalries take centre stage
Can Kildare finally deliver?
Kildare last won the Leinster Senior Football Championship in 2000 while their last final appearance was back in 2009.
Cian O'Neill is the man hoping to improve that record and break the mould of Dublin dominance.
Kildare have a very good record in the qualifiers in recent years but have not been able to solve the Leinster puzzle but they seem to be a team in a good place at the moment and are building momentum following their promotion to Division One.
Along with a fine fourteen point win over Laois in the first round, can this form take them all the way to a Leinster Championship?
Pressure on Kilkenny?
July 2, 2017 will be only the third time since 1996 that the Kilkenny hurlers will not contest the Leinster Hurling final.
There's no doubt of the incredible achievement in accomplishing that feat but with so many retirements and other top teams improving, can Kilkenny sustain the challenge to keep producing All-Ireland winners?
Brian Cody's contribution to hurling and his record as manager over the last 19 years is untouchable but with the whole county demanding All-Ireland titles every year, are Kilkenny now pressure more than ever to deliver?
Welcome back James
James O'Donoghue played just one Championship game last season before he was cruelly struck down by injury but he made a welcome return to the Kerry team on Sunday, scoring nine points in a man of the match display.
The footballer of the year in 2014 looks to be as hungry as ever and back in top form and what a welcome sight that is for GAA fans in Kerry and across the country.
It's always great to see players returning so well from such serious injuries and having a player as talented as O'Donoghue involved in the Championship can only add to the entertainment and enjoyment for people.It's great to see him return.
You can watch the Leinster SFC semi-final, with Meath taking on Kildare on Saturday from 6pm on Sky Sports 5