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Composed Walsh makes mark on St Kilda debut

Tommy Walsh made a very composed debut for St Kilda in their 44-15 demolition of Brisbane Lions in the NAB Cup yesterday morning.

Walsh got on plenty of ball and finished with seven disposals and two uncontested marks as he swept along the St Kilda half-back division in the reduced two-quarter round-robin format that is being used in the AFL's pre-season competition this year.

The Tralee native's accuracy with his passing was notable too, with his disposal efficiency coming in at 86pc, which, in effect, meant that he was off target with one kick.

The former Young Footballer of the Year, who won an All-Ireland with Kerry in 2009 before departing for Melbourne, faced a much stiffer test later on in the Etihad Stadium against an apparently rejuvenated Essendon outfit under new coach James Hird.

With Michael Quinn not named in the match-day squad, the anticipated clash of the Irish never materialised, but Walsh played his part as the Saints drew 38-all, Mark Williams kicking a goal right on the siren to snatch a draw for the Bombers and secure both sides' progress to the knockout stages.

Walsh finished with four touches, which again placed him around the average for his team.

While there are a number of big guns to return to the Saints' line-up, the 23-year-old definitely created a good impression and will be hoping to retain his place for the qualifying finals next weekend.

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