Cormac Walsh is well fitted to the mould of the modern-day wing-forward. He covers the ground, takes his scores and gets through an amount of work that often goes unseen. The Midleton man’s positivity and openness is as impressive as his on-field exploits and he has very much enjoyed his side’s run to Sunday’s Cork SHC final.
“It’s been very good the last few weeks. We played Bishopstown in April and then we’d a three/four-month gap and it’s difficult to keep going, so this year we actually took a bit of a break for a while to keep lads fresh and built it back up again when we knew who we were playing after the draw.
“Then we went out against the Glen first and it’s always tough after the long break to see how the game will go. You can be flat, but we got off to a good start. They put up a great fight and we just scraped over the line with a one-point win, and then you get a bit of a buzz and momentum from that and we carried that into the Newtown game.
Again, in the Newtown game, it was probably an awkward game for us, because they play a different system to a lot of teams in Cork and we found it difficult to cope with. They’re a well-coached team. We were comfortable in the game and then we conceded a goal, they got a point to go a point up, but we took confidence from the Glen game and we knew that we had enough and, luckily, we got two points to win.
“Then we’d the Rockies, who are one of the most solid teams out there. They’re really well drilled and they’re tough. They’re all very big, strong men.”
The result against the Glen, winners of two of the last three county-championships, was a particularly sweet one for Midleton. It wasn’t just the win, it was the nature of it, coming from behind to secure victory by the minimum. The Magpies had too often come away disappointed from such encounters and ditching that habit has had a positive impact on the group.
“It makes a big difference, because there’s been a lot of years where we’ve been on the wrong side of those games, losing by a point or two. You get a good bit of momentum from knowing we have the capacity to come out on top in these games, so we’ve taken great confidence from that now and we’ll hopefully bring it into the final.”
Another modern mould that Walsh fits into is that of the young veteran. Though only 24, he already has a keen sense of the passage of time, particularly when counting back the five years to 2013 and the last time Midleton claimed county senior honours.
“This is my seventh or eighth year playing and it has gone by so quickly. 2013 was my second or third year playing senior and you think that [success] is going to be the norm and that every year we’re going to be there or thereabouts and it’s just not the case.
Looking back, we probably should have at least made one or two finals. They’re difficult things to get to, and we really realise that fact after the last few years. Even getting to a final is great, because we’ve had so many near misses over the years, but obviously you’d like to go on [and win it] again.
Imokilly provide the opposition on Sunday, and Walsh is well aware of the quality they will be facing.
“Imokilly, obviously, have a fantastic team. They have a bit of individual brilliance with the likes of Séamus Harnedy and Paudie O’Sullivan and Colm Spillane. They’ve so many good players. Then again, because we’re so familiar with them, being in the same division, we went to school with a lot of them, played with a lot of them, so we know them.
“You’re not going to be frightened of them. It’s not going to be anything new. You’re just playing against people like yourselves. Then again, on any given day anything can happen, but obviously it’s going to be very, very tough with what they have.”