Championship 2024 Blog

5 reasons to watch GAAGO this weekend

Mike Finnerty | 10 April 2024

After last week's victory over Westmeath, will Wicklow’s fairytale continue against Kildare?

Can Kildare finally get going?

It’s been quite a while since Kildare went into Leinster championship action with such low expectations.

But after seven successive defeats in Division 2 of the Allianz League saw them relegated to the third tier, Lilywhite supporters will be hoping the team’s luck turns against Wicklow.

Glenn Ryan’s third season in charge has not gone to plan so far, with Kildare’s only competitive win of the year so far coming in the O’Byrne Cup against Carlow three months ago. So it’s win or bust in Portlaoise.

Will Wicklow’s fairytale continue?

Very few people outside Oisin McConville’s camp saw last Sunday’s ambush of Westmeath coming.

But that one point win against the Division 3 league champions has catapulted the Garden County into a Leinster quarter-final next Sunday.

Prior to last weekend, one win (over Limerick by a point) in seven league matches had seen Wicklow relegated to Division 4.

But now they will feel that Kildare are there for the taking and a spot in a rare Leinster semi-final is a real possibility.

Another big chance for the Wee County

Last year’s Leinster finalists will be eyeing up another shot at a first provincial title since 1957 as they start their championship journey on Sunday.

But to have any chance of doing that, Louth must first get the better of Wexford in the quarter-final.

New manager Ger Brennan, who has picked up where Mickey Harte left off last summer,  will have learned a lot from Louth’s erratic Division 2 campaign.

But now it’s time to put that into practice.

What are Wexford going to come up with?

Being the underdogs in big championship games has never bothered Wexford, so that tag will suit them just fine against Louth on Sunday.

But despite the odds being stacked against them, John Hegarty’s team will feel they have an outsider’s chance.

Wexford just narrowly missed out on winning promotion from Division 4 in the league after winning five of their seven games, and their decent form caught a lot of people’s attention.

Time will tell if the veteran Ben Brosnan and company can pull off a shock.

No shortage of expert opinions

Sunday’s double-header of quarter-finals at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise means that GAAGO’s championship team will be out in force.

Our coverage of both games will be presented by Grainne McElwain with expert opinion and analysis from Paddy Andrews, Aaron Kernan and Marc Ó Sé.

Dave McIntyre and I will be on commentary duty for Louth v Wexford and Kildare v Wicklow respectively, while our reporter on the day is Aisling O’Reilly.