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16th Oct 2022

“I’m a bit battered after it.” – Shane Walsh comes through the wars to inspire Kilmacud Crokes

Niall McIntyre

Kilmacud Crokes 0-11 Na Fianna 0-10

There were shocks in Wexford, Monaghan and Leitrim on a blockbuster day of county final action.

But the biggest and best show of all was in Dublin, as after all the talk and all the controversy, Shane Walsh walked the walk in Parnell Park, and inspired Kilmacud Crokes on county final day.

The man-of-the-moment kicked 0-4 from play in their one point win over Na Fianna and from start to finish, he was the best player on the pitch and, whatever way you look at it, he was the difference between winning and losing.

“I’m a bit battered after it,” said Walsh afterwards, as he sported a Terry Butcher style head-bandage during his TG4 man-of-the-match interview.

“When I was in the back of the ambulance, I was just waiting to get back out there. There was a bit of an issue getting the stitches done but I was waiting to get back out there.”

Walsh had been injured in the first half, when a stray and seemingly unintentional Glenn O’Reilly boot caught him in the ear, but after spending some time in the ambulance, he returned for the second half to kick three huge scores from play.

They were three brilliant scores, and with his shimmying and driving, his stopping and starting, and then his deadly finishing, he’s almost impossible to stop in this kind of form.

Na Fianna will be disappointed with the black card their stalwart David Quinn received with 15 minutes to go but they will also be disappointed with how wasteful they were down the home straight, when they kicked wide after wide. Aaron Byrne had been brilliant for them in the first half and while Conor McHugh also looked dangerous, Lar Norton’s side just couldn’t get their danger-men on the ball.

So it’s two-in-a-row for Kilmacud Crokes, their quest to make up for last year’s All-Ireland final defeat lives on.

Watch Walsh’s man-of-the-match interview here.