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'He’s the best team player that’s ever played for Waterford – simple as'

Derek McGrath lauded Michael Brick Walsh after yesterday’s final.

Michael Walsh in action against Joe Canning.
Michael Walsh in action against Joe Canning.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

WITH FOURTEEN MINUTES left on the clock at Croke Park yesterday, Waterford supporters rose in unison to acclaim one of their heroes.

Brick Walsh was called ashore after the latest example of his unstinting effort and commitment in the Waterford jersey.

At 34 years of age, the Stradbally veteran was lining out for the 70th time in the hurling championship arena for his county.

And again he was a highly influential presence. He may not have set the net dancing like he did against Kilkenny and Cork earlier in this summer but was the architect on this occasion four minutes in to feed Kevin Moran for an early Waterford goal.

Along with Kevin Moran, Brick was the only survivor from Waterford’s final day of misery in Kilkenny in 2008.

A debutant back in 2003, he strove yesterday to finally get his hands on that coveted medal in the deciding clash of the 2017 championship.

Victory did not come their way, Galway proving too strong.

It may have been the final act of a career that has yielded three Munster senior medals and three All-Star awards.

His manager had no reluctance in heaping tributes upon Walsh afterwards.

“He’s the best team player that’s ever played for Waterford – simple as,” reflected Derek McGrath.

“There’s no debate, that’s what he is. His humility and his crankiness at times, he’s just a different gravy.

“The chap has three kids under five and he’s just a brilliant man.

“He doesn’t get enough credit for his guile as well. He gave the pass to Kevin for the first goal, he was outstanding.

“In retrospect maybe we shouldn’t have brought him off so early.”

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