Sunday

Joe McDonagh Cup final: Westmeath v Carlow, Croke Park, 13.45

It's a massive game for both of these counties. Whoever wins it will be promoted to the Leinster championship next year which will be a huge reward. Great work has gone on in both these counties for the last number of years in their development of hurling.

Carlow to me, have been the most impressive team throughout the group stages. They topped the group, they beat Westmeath back on 9 June by six points and Denis Murphy, James Doyle are leading their attack.

I fancy them to win it, though Westmeath I think have one of the best full-backs in the game in Tommy Doyle. They've Niall O'Brien and Alan Devine in great scoring form up front so I don't think there'll be a lot in it but I think Carlow will have three or four points to spare in the end.

Verdict: Carlow

Leinster SHC final: Galway v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 4pm

It's unusual for Galway to carry such an overwhelming favourites tag to a Leinster final against Kilkenny, who have obviously been the dominant team in Leinster in the history of the GAA.

But Galway are hot favourites and they seem to be handling the crown of All-Ireland champions well and it's resting very easily on them.

They look very determined, they're just like a team to me that have decided that 'we have a golden team here that can win this All-Ireland and maybe win another All-Ireland.' That's the way they seem to think. Last year has been left behind and they've really impressed me throughout the championship with their attitude as much as their hurling.

To me they look a step ahead of every other team in the country at the moment. That can change with injuries or loss of form but to me at the moment, they look a step ahead.

It's unusual for Kilkenny to be in this position but I would expect a massive showing from them. David Burke was speaking during the week and seems very confident about Galway, and Kilkenny will love that. They have a strong bench and the heat this weekend is going to be a big factor.

Neither team is going to be really used to it so your bench is going to be more important than ever. Kilkenny have a lot of options, we saw that against Wexford. They were able to bring on five lads that made a massive difference so I think the gap will be tighter than the day in Salthill but I still think Galway will have four or five points to spare.

Verdict: Galway

Munster SHC final: Clare v Cork, Semple Stadium, 2pm

This is a mouthwatering fixture. This has been one of the greatest Munster championships, and it would have been very difficult to judge the outcome before it started.

Limerick were being talked about, Tipp were being talked about but I think nobody really saw Clare and Cork ending up in the Munster final, and you can see the demand for tickets, it's been sold out for the last nine or 10 days. 

You've two very attack-minded teams contesting this final. If you look at Cork and the likes of Darragh Fitzgibbon in the middle of the field, Daniel Kearney has been revitalised, Séamus Harnedy is playing brilliantly, Shane Kingston is really coming of age and Patrick Horgan is one of the top three or four forwards in the country.

I think the shackles have come off Clare and it shows you that hurling can change with the puck of a ball and against Tipperary, the ball hit off the post and then Clare brought it up the field and it ends up in the net.

It's like Clare have become a new team in that all the exuberance and the passion is back in the supporters and the players are playing with freedom. You have Tony Kelly in the middle of the field, John Conlon has been warrior like up front and Peter Duggan is playing brilliantly. Shane O'Donnell has that X-Factor and then Podge Collins has come back to himself as well.

I think it's going to be free-scoring, very open and I just have a hunch that Clare will edge it. I just think they have that freedom of expression back in their hurling.

Verdict: Clare

Michael Duignan was speaking to RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

Follow all the hurling games this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the News Now App, watch live on RTÉ2’s The Sunday Game (from 2pm) or listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.