When Aidan Walsh pulled the strings at midfield for Cork against Down on Saturday, he made life difficult for his good friend Kevin McKernan.
It was an imperious display from Walsh, rated the best midfielder in the country, that ultimately underlined Cork’s last-gasp win courtesy of a goal from Ciaran Sheehan although McKernan’s courageous defiance had much to do with Down entering injury time cushioned by a two-point lead.
Walsh indeed was the first to hail McKernan’s contribution.
“We had been texting each other in the build-up to the game and Kevin played a big part, but I must say I was relieved when we got over the line,” says Walsh.
The midfield powerhouse acknowledges that he faces one of the biggest challenges of his career this weekend.
“I have never played against Tyrone before so this match on Sunday in Omagh will be quite something,” admits Walsh.
“This is a massive, massive game for us and I am glad we’re going there having got two points under our belts.”
His duel with Sean Cavanagh is likely to be a key battle as the Red Hands bid to enhance their drive for a semi-final place and Cork strive to ensure their survival in the top bracket.