Aidan Walsh was the only change to the Cork full-forward line on Sunday in Limerick from their Munster Championship opener against Tipperary seven days earlier, replacing Shane Kingston.
He was the only forward not to score and yet his contribution was vital in winning clean possession from puck-outs, something Cork struggled to do in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, and making himself a general nuisance for the out-of-form Limerick defence to cope with, especially in the second period.
His role created space and opportunities for Cork other forwards to shine on the scoreboard and Walsh was happy to give them the limelight.
“I know I don’t the skill of the Hoggies or the Lehanes or the Cadogans, but I know when they do get the ball they’ll do the damage,” he said.
“I’m happy enough to work hard, run as much as I can, run myself into the ground and make space for the boys, get the ball and give it to the shooters.
“Most teams have someone like that and I’m happy if I’m given the opportunity, to do it.”
Whether they want to admit it or not, beating the All Ireland champions in their own backyard was a statement of intent from Cork, especially given that they were written off by many following their seven-point loss to Tipperary a week earlier.
It was a major turnaround for John Meyler’s side and their seven-point win in the Gaelic Grounds means the scoring difference is now back to zero, something that could prove useful in the final stages.
Walsh was delighted that his side answered their critics and that Meyler’s “big calls” were justified.
“People were writing us off all week and it was hard to blame them, really,” he said.
“When you lose a home game as convincingly as we did last week, it didn’t bode well.
“The boys made some big calls – myself, Rob Downey making his championship debut, Mark Ellis didn’t play any league, they were big calls and I’m delighted.
“Rob Downey was excellent, Mark Ellis was outstanding, Deccie Dalton came on and got two points, Niall O’Leary, second championship game. We’ve a 39-man panel and we’ve shown that fellas can come in.
“Mark Ellis wasn’t even on the panel last week and he comes in and plays like that, that just shows the character of the group.”
A trip to Walsh Park to face Waterford is next on the cards for the Rebels and Walsh is fully aware that they will have to back up Sunday’s performance.
“It’s only two points at the end of the day, but we’ve three weeks now to prepare for Waterford, which will be a massive game.
“We’ve a lot of work to do, but we’ll be looking forward to it. It’ll be a big boost to the group and a lot of fellas didn’t make the panel so they’ll be chomping at the bit to try to get in.
“Alan Cadogan was on the bench and he hadn’t played, it was his first championship game in two years. He showed he’s an outstanding player and we’re lucky to have players of that calibre to come off the bench.
“Conor [Lehane] was a huge loss, but we were delighted for Cadogan, he’s had a tough year but he came in and did that today.”