Cork and Waterford playing in Thurles for some silverware on a Saturday night in springtime is about as good as it gets when it comes to hurling league finals.

You've the setting of Semple Stadium, you have the stars, you've the plot - a long-standing feud between neighbours who have both experienced false dawns in recent years - and you have the subplot we all know that no matter how good it gets tomorrow night, and it could turn into a serious shootout, it has to be viewed as a prequel to the winners playing Limerick come the summer.

That's blockbuster stuff to look forward to.

This Waterford team are promising to be as good for hurling as some of their great teams of yesteryear. It was fun to watch them attack Wexford's goal last Sunday.

They were ravenous for green flags and ruthless, regardless of the scoreboard. Even cranky old hurling fundamentalists were writing sad ballads begging Davy Fitz to come back again to Wexford with his sweeper system - all was forgiven.

That was a Waterford team that started without any of the Bennett brothers, Conor Prunty, Jamie Barron or Pauric Mahony. They've grown into a squad with depth as well as a clear game plan. Their trigger happy forwards will be a serious test for Cork, who were a little bit dozy at the start against Kilkenny last weekend.

Cork had to work hard for 70 minutes in that game and they found they still had problems in some familiar places. But in the end they found a way through to victory, which has to be a huge confidence boost.

Austin Gleeson getting himself sent off has tipped the scale back a little bit in Cork's favour but, due to the depth of the Déise squad, not as much as it might have done in other seasons.

For that reason I'm making Waterford slight favourites for victory.

The Division 2 final pairs Westmeath and Down and is the curtain raiser in Thurles.

Down had two points to spare when the sides met in the round robin a few weeks ago, however, since then, Westmeath had good wins away to Kildare and home to Kerry last Saturday.

I fancy Westmeath to reverse fortunes on this occasion and bounce back to Division 1.

Dónal Óg Cusack was speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland