In the biggest weekend of GAA action so far in 2016, all eyes will be O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny and Brewster Park, Enniskillen, this Sunday.
The Michael Murphy Sports Donegal Senior Championship has its first action on Saturday and Sunday with the standout game between St. Eunan’s and Kilcar in O’Donnell Park on Sunday (3 p.m.)
On the same day in Brewster Park, the Ulster Championship gets underway with Fermanagh meeting Antrim (4 p.m.) and Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, will be an interested spectator with Donegal meeting the winners on June 12th.
The Donegal club championships (Senior, Senior Reserve, Intermediate and Intermediate Reserve) take the spotlight on the home front with 28 games in total (senior and reserve) down for decision.
There are two senior championship games on Saturday evening (N Conaill v Termon and Dungloe v Bundoran) with the remainder on Sunday afternoon, while in the Intermediate there are five games on Saturday evening with just one on Sunday.
Reigning champions, Naomh Conaill, get their defence of the title underway on Saturday evening when they host Termon, but the main focus of the weekend will be on O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, on Sunday when St. Eunan’s, defeated finalists last year, host perennial hopefuls, Kilcar, who have Martin McHugh back as manager this year.
These clubs have shared the last two U-21 titles, but when it comes to senior level, the Letterkenny club have a great recent record, contesting 11 of the finals in the new millennium.
Kilcar have a talented, young team but they have to find a way to compete at midfield and if they can do that, they could be in the running to bridge that gap back to 1993.
But while the spotlight this weekend is on that game in O’Donnell Park, there will be other competitive games.
High-flying Gaoth Dobhair will be dreaming of bridging that 10-year gap back to 2006 when they host Four Masters in Magheragallon, while St. Michael's know that they have to come good soon if they are to lift that first Dr. Maguire.
See inside for our previews of the senior championship through the eyes of Ardara’s Patrick Gallagher (pages 68, 69) and former Kilcar manager, John McNulty’s view on the big game (Page 70).
See Monday's Donegal Democrat/Donegal People's Press for full coverage of all the games.