Sunday 22 September 2019

It was hard to blame people who wrote us off - Walsh

Aidan Walsh and Cork got their season back on track with victory over Limerick. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Aidan Walsh and Cork got their season back on track with victory over Limerick. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

In an era that revolves heavily around sports science, there is still no replacement for the pain of defeat.

Few predicted victory for Cork on away soil against an all-conquering Limerick outfit after their inept display the previous week, but Aidan Walsh believes it turned out to be "perfect preparation".

The Rebels were brooding and the reigning All-Ireland and league champions felt the brunt of their wounds as John Meyler's men produced a scintillating performance to blow the Munster SHC wide open.

Walsh admits that "everything was going against us" but they channelled that hurt to get their season back on track with scarcely any resemblance to their ineptitude against Tipperary.

"People were writing us off all week and it was hard to blame them, really. When you lose a home game as convincingly as we did last week, it didn't bode well," Walsh said.

Delighted

"The boys made some big calls - myself, Rob Downey making his championship debut, Mark Ellis didn't play any league, they were big calls and I'm delighted.

"Rob Downey was excellent, Mark Ellis was outstanding, Deccie Dalton came on and got two points, Niall O'Leary, second championship game.

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"We've a 39-man panel and we've shown that fellas can come in. Mark Ellis wasn't even on the panel last week and he comes in and plays like that, that just shows the character of the group.

"We knew that we could create the opportunities and we took them. In fairness to 'Hoggie' (Patrick Horgan), he missed two or three frees but then he bounced back straight away, that shows the character of the man."

That character has been questioned given Cork's tendency to blow hot and cold in recent seasons but Walsh was one of many heroes with a selfless display in attack.

The Kanturk forward may not have been on the scoreboard but the former Young Footballer of the Year - who concentrated his attention solely on the small ball this season - has no problem being the provider.

The 29-year-old was the link man for a host of scores and regularly did the dirty work as marquee attackers like Horgan, Seamus Harnedy and Alan Cadogan thrived around him, and he's happy in his role.

"I know I don't have the skill of the Hoggies or the Lehanes or the Cadogans, but I know when they do get the ball, they'll do the damage. I'm happy enough to work hard," he said.

"I run as much as I can, run myself into the ground and make space for the boys, get the ball and give it to the shooters. Most teams have someone like that and I'm happy, if I'm given the opportunity, to do it."

Cork have nearly three weeks off before hosting a struggling Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Walsh hopes they have turned the corner and can maintain the standards they set last Sunday, although he isn't taking that for granted.

"We know ourselves that if we work hard and do our job, we'll be there or thereabouts. At the end of the day, any fella can have an off day but nobody stops you from working hard," Walsh said. "Nobody stops you from running. You mightn't get the first ball, you mightn't get the second ball, but if you keep showing, keep working, the breaks will go for you.

"The first two or three balls, I missed them, but you keep plugging away and you have fellas around you encouraging each other. We're just looking forward to training for the next few weeks.

"Our next game is a home game, which is a great incentive as well. We love playing in front of our own fans, they travelled in numbers to Limerick and we're delighted to get the win for them."

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