The 2007 All-Ireland hurling final was something of a non-event. Kilkenny put 2-3 past Limerick in the opening 10 minutes of a game which they never looked like losing. They would eventually win the game and their 30th All-Ireland title by seven points.
Tommy Walsh, along with a solid defensive performance, contributed two points to the Cats' total of 2-19 that day.
The nine-time All-Star's career comes under the Laochra Gael spotlight on TG4 at 9:30pm this evening (h/t Irish Examiner).
In it, Walsh reveals that he had far from ideal preparation for that game against Limerick. Unable to sleep the night before the match and not wanting Brian Cody to find out about a possible illness, Walsh slipped off to the hotel toilets to catch a little bit of shut-eye.
Before the match, for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to sleep and it felt like I had a flu. I remember we had our pre-match meal in the Crowne Plaza (hotel) a few hours before the game and I’ll never forget after the meal I slipped off to the toilets and I lied down on the floor and went for a little sleep for an hour.
I obviously couldn’t tell Brian Cody because if I told him I probably wouldn’t be playing the match. There is one thing worse than losing and that’s not playing and nothing was going to stop me playing in that final.
Walsh retired in 2014, aged just 31, with nine All-Ireland medals. That season he played a bit-part role for the first time under Brian Cody.
That his brother Padraig was the one to take his place on the team was one some solace.
For the previous 11 years, once I was fit Brian Cody always picked me. Then in the first few league matches I wasn’t starting so I knew straight away they were going to be trying out different things this year. I was training from November to May that year and played something like two or three matches so I was very frustrated.
It was very hard being dropped but the one thing that was making up for it was Pádraig was playing instead of me. You’re always hoping the best for him.
Walsh also spoke about the drawn 2012 All-Ireland final against Galway.
We felt like we had thrown it away. I’ll never forget Brian Cody brought us into a hotel room and just basically laid it on the line. And he said, ‘What have we to be disappointed about? We have to wait three weeks,’ he said.
He said he would wait three months, three years to play in an All-Ireland final. And suddenly we went out of that room not how disappointed we were but how lucky we were that we were getting another chance to play in an All-Ireland final.
You can watch the trailer for tonight's Laochra Gael below.
— Laochra Gael (@Laochra_Gael) April 12, 2017
Via The Irish Examiner
Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE