Tommy Walsh (hurler)


Tommy Walsh (hurler)

Infobox GAA player
code= Hurling
sport = Hurling


name = Tommy Walsh
irish = Tomás Breathnach
fullname =Thomas Walsh
placeofbirth = Tullaroan
countryofbirth = County Kilkenny
bday=27
bmonth=5
byear= 1983
dyear=
dday=
dmonth=
feet = 5
inches = 10
occupation = Bank Official
county = Kilkenny
province = Leinster
club = Tullaroan
clposition = Half-back
clubs =
clyears =
clapps(points) =
clcounty =
clprovince=
clallireland =
counties = Kilkenny
icposition = Left half-back
icyears = 2003-
icapps(points) = 29 (1-28)
icprovince = 5
icallireland = 3
nhl = 3
allstars = 5
clupdate=
icupdate= 8 September, 2008

Tommy Walsh (born 5 May, 1983 in Tullaroan, County Kilkenny) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays hurling with his local club Tullaroan and has been a member of the Kilkenny senior inter-county team since 2003.

Biography

Tommy Walsh was born in Tullaroan, County Kilkenny in 1983. He received his primary education locally before later attending St. Kieran's College, a famed hurling nursery in Kilkenny. It was here that Walsh’s hurling skills were developed and nurtured by the many hurling enthusiasts there. In 1999 he tasted his first major success when he captured both Leinster and All-Ireland Colleges' titles. Walsh later studied at University College Cork where his hurling talents were once more evident on the university's Fitzgibbon Cup team. He currently works as a bank official with the Bank of Ireland.

Playing career

Club

Walsh plays his local club hurling with Tullaroan, one of the most famous and successful clubs in the county. He has enjoyed some success at underage levels; however, he has yet to win a senior county title.

Minor & under-21

Walsh first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Kilkenny minor hurling team at the turn of the century. He won his sole Leinster title in this grade in 2001, however, his side were later defeated by Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. Walsh later moved on to the county under-21 team with whom he won his first Leinster title in that grade 2003. He later lined out in the under-21 championship decider with Galway providing the opposition. Kilkenny won that game by 2-13 to 0-12 with Walsh collecting a coveted All-Ireland medal. 2004 saw Walsh add a second Leinster under-21 medal to his collection. Once again ‘the Cats’ reached the All-Ireland final, however, on this occasion Tipperary provided the opposition. Kilkenny were the outstanding team on the day and recorded a 3-21 to 1-6 victory over their near rivals. It was Walsh’s second All-Ireland under-21 medal and his last outing in that grade.

enior

Walsh was still a member of the under-21 panel when he made his debut with the Kilkenny senior hurling team in 2003. He began the year by collecting his first National Hurling League medal before later making his senior championship debut. For the fifth year in-a-row Kilkenny were the masters of their province and Walsh collected his first senior Leinster title following an eleven-point victory over Wexford. The subsequent All-Ireland final saw ‘the Cats’ take on arch-rivals Cork. It was a close and tense affair as the Leinster men never led by more than four-points. Kilkenny only secured victory with a late Martin Comerford goal and won the day with a 1-14 to 1-11 score line. Walsh won his first senior All-Ireland medal that day and he was later honoured with his first All-Star award.

In 2004 Kilkenny were aiming for an unprecedented third All-Ireland victory in-a-row, however, the team was now under severe pressure from all quarters. For the first time in seven years Kilkenny failed in their bid to become Leinster champions as a last-gasp Wexford goal ended an almost unprecedented run of success. Kilkenny took the scenic route via the scenic route via the qualifiers system; however, after a scare against Clare they still reached the All-Ireland final. Once again Cork provided the opposition on a gloomy and overcast day. The sides were level for much of the game; however, in the final twenty minutes Cork scored nine points without reply and secured the victory. Kilkenny ended the year with no silverware. In spite of this Walsh was still presented with a second All-Star award.

Kilkenny were back in form in 2005 with Walsh adding a second National League medal to his ever-growing collection. He later collected a second Leinster title as ‘the Cats’ had a narrow win over reigning provincial champions Wexford. While a third successive All-Ireland showdown with Cork seemed extremely likely, Galway defeated Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final in one of the most exciting games of the decade. In spite of this defeat Walsh later collected a third All-Star award.

In 2006 Walsh captured another National League medal, his third in four years. He later won a third Leinster title following another victory over Wexford before later lining out in his third All-Ireland final. The game that everyone had predicted would happen in 2005 was now taking place as Cork squared up to Kilkenny for the third time in four years. The Leesiders were aiming for a third All-Ireland victory in-a-row; however, revenge was foremost in the minds of Kilkenny as it was Cork who denied their three-in-a-row bid in 2004. On the day Kilkenny were far too strong for Cork with Walsh playing a key role in the half-back line. The score of 1-16 to 1-13 gave Kilkenny a 29th All-Ireland title and gave Walsh a second All-Ireland medal. He was later presented with a fourth consecutive All-Star award.

In 2007 Walsh captured a fourth Leinster medal following another facile victory in the provincial final. Once again Kilkenny later qualified for the All-Ireland final where, surprisingly, Limerick provided the opposition. Kilkenny got off to a flying start with Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin scoring two goals within the first ten minutes. Unfortunately, Shefflin sustained an injury during the game and had to retire at half-time. Kilkenny hung onto this lead and went on to win the game, giving Walsh a third All-Ireland medal. Walsh’s brilliance throughout the campaign was acknowledge once again when he picked up a fifth consecutive All-Star award.

2008 saw Kilkenny launch an all-out attack in an attempt to capture a third All-Ireland title in-a-row. The team had an easy passage through the Leinster Championship, however, the opening half of the provincial final against Wexford gave ‘the Cats’ another minor scare. In the end Walsh collected his fifth Leinster medal after a 5-21 to 0-17 victory. This victory allowed Kilkenny to advance directly to the All-Ireland semi-final where arch-rivals Cork were the opponents. The game was an interesting encounter; however, Kilkenny claimed a 1-23 to 0-17 victory. The subsequent All-Ireland final saw Kilkenny take on Waterford. It was their first meeting in the championship decider since 1963. A classic game of hurling was expected by many, however, Kilkenny started much stronger. Two goals by Eddie Brennan after twenty minutes effectively killed the game; however, ‘the Cats’ ploughed on to record an enormous 3-30 to 1-13. It was Walsh’s fourth All-Ireland medal and, more importantly, the team made history by capturing their elusive three-in-a-row.

Provincial

Walsh has also lined out with Leinster in the inter-provincial hurling competition and has enjoyed some success. He captured his sole Railway Cup medal in 2006.

Teams


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