SATURDAY

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final
Cork v Waterford, Semple Stadium, 7.15pm

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A final
Down v Westmeath, Semple Stadium, 4.45pm

Allianz Hurling League 2B final
Derry v Sligo, Ederney, 4pm

Allianz Hurling League 3A final
Tyrone v Armagh, Owenbeg, 2.30pm

Allianz Hurling League 3B final
Fermanagh v Longford, Carrick-on-Shannon, 5pm

TV
Live coverage of Cork v Waterford on TG4, Down v Westmeath is live on TG4 online. Both games live outside Ireland on GAAGO.

Highlights of the weekend's action on Allianz League Sunday on RTÉ Two and RTÉ Player from 9.30pm.

ONLINE
Live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app.

RADIO
Live updates and commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.

WEATHER

A mix of showers and sunny spells. Showers will be most widespread during the morning and early afternoon, with drier and sunnier weather developing towards the end of the day. Highest temperatures of 7 to 11 degrees in a light to moderate northerly breeze. For more see met.ie

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Tasty appetiser in store

Tis only the league finals. But with championship so close you can taste it, Saturday's games have added appeal.

How seriously will the teams approach it? Very, if Waterford's demolition of Wexford last weekend is anything to go by.

The Déise were mad for goals: five scored and another three chances well saved by Mark Fanning. They gave up very few green flag opportunities in return, hauling down men when needed (Wexford probably should have had two penalties), and frequently picked off their opponents' puck-out.

One of those interceptions was made by Austin Gleeson, who then stuck the ball in the net but will miss this final due to his foolish red card late in the game.

Though the Waterford panel looks about the deepest in the country and Pauric Mahony isn't a bad man to be able to bring in. They hammered Wexford without Conor Prunty, league top-scorer Stephen Bennett (6-40), and Jamie Barron as well.

Make no mistake, Liam Cahill's game plan is one designed to beat Limerick. But will it work against Cork as well?

It will if they allow untracked runners to follow the ball into the left corner on top of the irrepressible Dessie Hutchinson, who will either go for goal himself or lay it off for a better placed team-mate.

Cork have been playing slick running hurling for a few years now but the one thing you would have doubted is their ability to match the other contenders in the physicality stakes. They only matched Limerick for the first 15 minutes of last year's All-Ireland final and were bullied off the pitch for the remainder.

But there seems to be an added steeliness to the Rebels this year. They seem to have twigged what Limerick and Waterford already knew: hurling referees let a lot of fouls go so it makes sense to push your luck.

Coming back from six points down against Kilkenny was a statement of intent from Kieran Kingston's men. Not to mention being able to take off Patrick Horgan and Shane Kingston well before the end. But they will need to be tighter in the full-back line against a rampant Waterford attack who have scored an average of three goals a game this year.

A first league title since 1998 would boost the confidence. As it would confirm the status of Waterford as the likeliest challengers to Limerick's crown.

A good run out for their meetings in a fortnight's time against the champions (Cork) and Tipperary (Waterford) will still be the priority but unless Cork are planning another rope-a-dope strategy for Limerick (it didn't work last year) an entertaining tussle should be in store.

Dónal Óg Cusack's verdict: "Waterford's 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."

Joe Fortune is in his first year in charge of Westmeath

Gunning for the big time

Earlier at Semple Stadium, Down and Westmeath meet in the Division 2A final, with the prize of replacing Offaly in the top tier at stake.

Westmeath, who will play in this year's Leinster championship, were always fancied to be here but made hard work of it. They had to beat Kerry in a semi-final last week after losing to Carlow and Down in the group stage, the Mourne men winning by two points in Mullingar.

Down topped the table by two points so can feel a bit aggrieved that they have to play this final at all but they can't afford to dwell on that if they want to secure Division 1 status for the first time since 2007.

Anthony Daly's verdict: "Down are going very well. Looking at the Kerry games, there's a fair line of form there, the Kerry team on both days were very similar. But you would feel that Westmeath, having played in the Joe McDonagh final and Leinster, have the big-day experience. You would have to be impressed with Down but I think Westmeath will have too much."

DIVISION 2B

Derry swept into the final, winning all five games, whereas Sligo won two, lost two and drew one of their five.

That was enough to get them into the semi-final however, where they staged a great recovery to beat Donegal by a point last weekend.

Derry and Sligo met in the first round of this year's campaign, with the Ulstermen winning by 2-14 to 1-14.

Victory would ensure back-to-back promotions for Sligo.

DIVISION 3A

Tyrone topped the group while Armagh reached the final after beating Roscommon in the semi-final last weekend. Tyrone beat Armagh by ten points in round three of this year’s campaign.

DIVISION 3B

Fermanagh won all four games to top the group while Longford won three of four, losing only to Fermanagh (1-10 to 0-11) in round two. Longford earned their place in the final by beating Leitrim in the semi-final last weekend.