Willie Walsh (Cork hurler)

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Willie Walsh
Personal information
Irish name Liam Breathnach
Sport Hurling
Position Centre-forward
Born 1948
Youghal, County Cork, Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Club(s)
Years Club
Youghal
Club titles
Cork titles 0
Inter-county(ies)
Years County Apps (scores)
1968-1975 Cork 13 (9-10)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 3
All-Irelands 1
NHL 3
All Stars 0

William "Willie" Walsh (born 1948) is an Irish retired hurler who played as a centre-forward for the Cork senior team.

Walsh joined the team during the 1968-69 National League and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1975 championship. During that time he won one All-Ireland medal, three Munster medals and three National League medals. Hegarty was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.

At club level Hegarty was a one-time intermediate championship medalist with Youghal.

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

Walsh played his club hurling with Youghal and enjoyed some success during a lengthy career.

In 1969 he was a key member of the team that reached the final of the intermediate championship. Cobh provided the opposition on that occasion, however, Youghal's ability to score goals proved the deciding factor. A 3-9 to 0-13 win gave Walsh an intermediate championship medal.

Minor and under-21[edit]

Walsh first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Cork minor hurling team in 1966. He collected a Munster medal following a 6-7 to 2-8 defeat of Galway. Cork later faced Wexford in the All-Ireland decider, however, a high-scoring 6-7 apiece draw was the result. The replay was much more conclusive with Wexford claiming a 4-1 to 1-8 victory.

By 1968 Walsh had progressed onto the Cork under-21 team and enjoyed immediate success on one of the most successful teams of all-time in that grade. Tipperary were bested by 4-10 to 1-13 to secure a first Munster medal. Walsh was later on the starting fifteen for the All-Ireland decider against Kilkenny. A 2-18 to 3-9 victory gave him his first All-Ireland medal in that grade.

In 1969 Cork had an even more comprehensive victory over Tipp in the provincial decider and Walsh added a second Munster medal to his collection. Old rivals Wexford provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland final and a high-scoring game ensued. A 5-13 to 4-7 victory gave Walsh a second consecutive All-Ireland medal.

Senior[edit]

Walsh made his senior debut during the successful 1968-69 National League campaign for Cork. A 3-12 to 1-14 defeat of Wexford in the decider gave him his first National Hurling League medal. The subsequent provincial decider pitted Cork against reigning champions Tipperary. A 4-6 to 0-9 victory gave Cork a first defeat of Tipp since 1957 while it also gave Walsh a first Munster medal. This victory paved the way for an All-Ireland showdown with Kilkenny, however, the team suffered a setback before the game when midfielder Justin McCarthy broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. In spite of this Cork led at the interval and looked a good bet for the victory, particularly after Kilkenny forward Pat Delaney left the field on a stretcher. The Rebels were still to the good coming into the last quarter, however, Kilkenny scored five unanswered points in the last seven minutes to win by 2-15 to 2-9.

In spite of the All-Ireland defeat, Cork regrouped during the 1969-70 National League. It was a successful campaign for the Rebels as an aggregate 5-21 to 6-16 defeat of New York gave Walsh his second National Hurling League medal. The subsequent championship campaign saw him win his second Munster medal as Tipperary were accounted for by 3-10 to 3-8. Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland final with Wexford providing the opposition in the very first eighty-minute championship decider. The game saw a record 64-point score line for both teams as Cork's Eddie O'Brien scored a hat-trick of goals to give Cork a considerable lead. At the full-time whistle Cork were the winners by 6-21 to 5-10, giving Walsh an All-Ireland medal.[1]

After being dropped from the team for a number of seasons, Walsh won his third National League medal in 1974 as Cork defeated Limerick on a huge score line of 6-15 to 1-12.

The following year Walsh won his third Munster medal following a 3-14 to 0-12 defeat of reigning provincial champions Limerick. Cork were later defeated by Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Inter-provincial[edit]

Walsh also had the honour of being selected for Munster in the inter-provincial series of games. He made his debut with the province in 1970 and was a regular at various times until his retirement in 1975.[2] He enjoyed little success in this competition as Leinster dominated at the time.

In 1970 Walsh won his sole Railway Cup medal following a 2-15 to 0-9 defeat of arch-rivals Leinster.

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

Youghal
Cork
Munster

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Simon (11 September 2011). "O'Brien hails Corbett's hat-trick heroics". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA website. Retrieved 2 March 2013.