History will be made Sunday when our own Aaron Walsh-Barry lines out at wing-back for the Cork minor hurlers and joins an illustrious list of Carrigtwohill men to have worn the red and white in a Munster final.
This will be Cork’s first appearance in a minor provincial decider since 2008 when they defeated Tipperary by a solitary point. Tipp were reigning All-Ireland minor champions at the time and held that distinction at the beginning of this year but after an epic two-game series, played out over the last 10 days, the premier county were duly dispatched. In the first game, Cork were wilting after an impressive opening twenty minutes and Tipp were marauding through their wing-back line. With half-time not coming soon enough and Denis Ring unwilling to wait any longer he called on no. 19, Walsh-Barry, to plug the gaps, which he duly did. His impressive performance in the drawn game earned him the full sixty for the replay which was played out on a glorious day in Páirc Uí Rinn in front of an official crowd of 8,142. Another fine performance followed which will see him take to the field wearing no. 5 in front of a sell-out crowd in Thurles. It will be a far cry from the 4, 500 that watched the drawn game there last Thursday week.
Making history will be nothing new for Walsh-Barry as he was a key member of the Cork team that claimed the Munster title in the inaugural U17 competition earlier this year. A busy week for Aaron will not end on Sunday however as Carrig’s minor hurlers will take on Valley Rovers in championship in Ovens next Tuesday evening.
His teammates and clubmates will be parking up earlier than usual in Thurles and there will be no strolling in at half-time of the minor game. There will be plenty of jostling for barriers on the terrace and shimmying to seats in the stand for the 2 o’clock throw-in. We wish Aaron and the Cork team the best of luck this coming Sunday and hope that he enjoys the experience.
Many thanks to Paul Flynn at Carrigtwohill Sports Photography for use of his photos.