|Irish name||Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh|
7 September 1977 |
Castlelyons, County Cork
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|NHL||1 (1 as sub)|
Timmy McCarthy (born 7 September 1977 in Castlelyons, County Cork) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays hurling with his local club Castlelyons and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team from 1999 until 2009.
Timmy McCarthy was born in Castlelyons, County Cork in 1977. He grew up on the family farm and was educated at the local national school in Castlelyons and subsequently attended nearby St. Colman's College, a famous hurling nursery in Fermoy. It was here that his hurling talents first came to the fore. McCarthy won two Dean Ryan Cup winners' medals in the early 1990s before being made captain of the college senior team in 1996. That year he guided his team to the Dr. Harty Cup title. St. Colman's later qualified for the All-Ireland colleges' final with St. Kieran's College of Kilkenny providing the opposition. The Cork team never really troubled their Kilkenny counterparts, as it was St. Kieran's who recorded the victory with a 1-14 to 2-6 score line
McCarthy currently works as a farmer.
McCarthy plays his club hurling with his local club in Castlelyons and has enjoyed much success. He was not long on the team when Castlelyons reached the final of the Imokilly junior championship. Fr. O'Neill's provided the opposition on that ocacsion, however, Castlelyons were defeated by a solitary point.
McCarthy first tasted victory with the club in 1997 when Castlelyons reached a second consecutive divisional final in the junior grade. Bride Rovers provided the opposition, however, they were no match for a superior Castlelyons side who won the game by 1-16 to 0-9. This victory resulted in McCarthy's club representing Imokilly in the county championship. Castlelyons reached the county final at the first time of asking, with Courcey Rovers providing the opposition. A close game developed, however, at the full-time whistle McCarthy's side had recorded a 2-9 to 1-11 victory, giving him a coveted county junior championship winners' medal. This victory also allowed Castlelyons to be promoted to the intermediate grade. 1997 also saw McCarthy enjoy success with Imokilly in the senior championship. After defeat in 1996 the divisional side reached the final of the county senior championship. That game saw Sarsfield's roviding the opposition, however, an Imokilly goal proved decisive. A 1-18 to 2-12 to score line gave the divisional side the victory and aloowed McCarthy to add a county senior championship winenrs' medal to his ever-growing collection.
In 1998 McCarthy's clun continued their dominance of the club scene. The club reached the final of the intermediate grade with east Cork neighbours Killeagh providing the opposition. The game was another close affair, however, Castlelyons powered to a 2-12 to 2-9 victory. Once again, this victory allowed Castlelyons to be promoted to the senior grade. While McCarthy was enjoying a great run of success with his club, 1998 also saw him line out in a second consecutive countys enior championship final with Imokilly. Mighty Blackrock, the kingpins of club hurling in Cork, were the opponents. On the day they proved no match for the divisional side who won by 1-10 to 1-5. It was a second consecutive senior winners' medal for McCarthy.
Because of Castlelyons's promotion to the senior grade in 1999, McCarthy was ineligible to line out with Imokilly for an assault on the three-in-a-row. Since this promotion the club has enjoyed little success as a member of the top table in club hurling in Cork.
Minor, under-21 & intermediate
McCarthy's hurling skills at colleges and club championship levels brought him to the attentions of the Cork inter-county selectors and he was soon picked for the minor teams in both hurling and Gaelic football. In 1995 he won his sole Munster minor winners' medal in hurling as Cork trounced Waterford by 3-18 to 0-10. Around the same time as this victory McCarthy also lined out in the Munster minor football decider. Tipperary were the opponents, however, at the end of a close game McCarthy ended up on the losing side by 2-6 to 0-10. Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland minor hurling final against Kilkenny with Deane lining out at centre-forward. The game turned into a rout as Cork won easily, giving McCarthy a coveted All-Ireland winners' medal in the minor grade.
Two years later in 1997 McCarthy was a dual player in the under-21 grade. He won a Munster hurling title in this grade that same year as Tipperary were narrowly defeated, thanks to a late, late goal from McCarthy. On the football scene, Cork were defeated by Kerry in a replay of the provincial decider. The subsequent All-Ireland under-21 hurling final saw Cork take on Galway and McCarthy lining out in his usual position in the forwards. Cork were victorious on that occasion on a score line of 3-11 to 0-13 giving McCarthy a coveted All-Ireland under-21 winners' medal.
In 1997 McCarthy was also a key member of the Cork intermediate hurling team. He won a Munster title in this grade that year, following a three-point win over Limerick in the provincial decider. An All-Ireland final appearance beckoned for Cork, with Galway lining out as the opposition. Inanother close game Cork just about shaded a victory with a 2-11 to 1-12 score line. This win gave McCarthy an All-Ireland intermediate medal to add to his collection.
1998 saw Cork maintaining their provincial dominance with McCarthy collecting a third consecutive Munster under-21 medal with a 3-18 to 1-10 victory over Tipp. For the third year in-a-row Cork played in the All-Ireland final and, for the second consecutive year, Galway were the opponents. In a close game Cork just about secured a 2-15 to 2-10 win. It was McCarthy's second consecutive All-Ireland under-21 winners' medal.
McCarthy's move onto the Cork senior team was a natural progression. He made his senior debut in the 1997-98 National League. Cork reached the final that year, however, McCarthy played no part in the defeat of Waterford. It was a welcome return to the big time for Cork.
In 1999 Cork were back in their first Munster final since 1992 and McCarthy was named on the starting fifteen. Clare, the team that had won three of the last four provincial titles, together with two All-Ireland titles, provided the opposition and were very much the favourites going into the game. An exciting contest unfolded with Joe Deane scoring a key goal after an excellent pass from Seánie McGrath. A score line of 1-15 to 0-14 gave Cork the victory and gave McCarthy his first senior Munster title. Cork later defeated Offaly in one of the games of the year to set up an All-Ireland final meeting with arch-rivals Kilkenny. A wet and windy day meant that the classic game that everyone expected failed to materialise. Both sides shot seventeen wides over the course of the seventy minutes as a young and inexperienced Cork came back from five points down to win by 0-13 to 0-12. It was Cork’s first senior All-Ireland title since 1990 and it was also McCarthy's first in the senior grade.
In 2000 Cork were the favourites to retain their All-Ireland title. The team got off to a good start by retaining their Munster title, however, Tipperary put up a good fight but Cork won by 0-23 to 3-12. Cork’s next game was an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Offaly. While Cork were expected to win the game without breaking a sweat Offaly caught McCarthy's side on the hop and recorded a 0-19 to 0-15 win.
While the Cork hurling team should have gone from strength to strength as a result of a solid foundation at minor and under-21 levels the opposite happened. Embarrassing defeats in 2001 and 2002 saw the Cork hurling team reach rock bottom and call a players' strike just before Christmas in 2002. McCarthy played a low-key role in the strike, however, he was fully supportive of some of the more outspoken members of the panel. Had the strike failed it could have meant the end of his and his teammates' careers, however, in the end the county board relented and met the demands. Although still amateur sportsmen the Cork senior hurling team were treated as professional athletes.
In 2003 the Cork players were vindicated in taking a stand as the team reached the Munster final for the first time in three years. Waterford provided the opposition on that occasion as one of hurling’s modern rivalries began in earnest. An exciting game resulted between the two teams; however, victory went to Cork by 3-16 to 3-12. It was McCarthy's third Munster medal and it gave a signal that Cork were back. McCarthy's side were hot favourites going into the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final against Wexford, however, it was far from a walkover. In one of the most exciting games of the championship both sides finished level: Cork 2-20, Wexford 3-17. Both sides met again six days later with Cork making no mistake and taking the spoils on a score line of 3-17 to 2-7. This win set up an All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny. In another thrilling game of hurling both teams were level for much of the game, exchanging tit-for-tat scores. A Setanta Ó hAilpín goal steadied the Cork ship, however, a Martin Comerford goal five minutes from the end settled the game as Kilkenny went on to win by 1-14 to 1-11.
2004 saw Cork reach the Munster final once again and, for the second consecutive year, Waterford provided the opposition. In what many consider to be the greatest provincial decider of them all, both sides fought tooth-and-nail for the full seventy minutes. Unfortunately for McCarthy Cork lost the game by just a single point on a score line of Waterford 3-16, Cork 1-21. Although Cork surrendered their provincial crown they were still in with a chance of landing the All-Ireland title. After maneuvering through the qualifiers, a series of games which saw McCarthy rekindle his form, Cork reached a second consecutive All-Ireland final and, once again, Kilkenny provided the opposition. This game took on a life of its own for a number of reasons. Chief among these was the fact that Kilkenny were attempting to capture a third All-Ireland in-a-row and go one ahead of Cork in the All-Ireland roll of honour. The game was expected to be another classic; however, a damp day put an end to this. The first-half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans. The second-half saw Cork completely take over. For the last twenty-three minutes Cork scored nine unanswered points and went on to win the game by 0-17 to 0-9. It was McCarthy's second All-Ireland winners' medal.
In 2005 Cork were on form again. They won back the provincial crown that year with a 1-12 to 1-16 victory over Tipperary. It was McCarthy's fourth Munster winners’ medal as Cork went on the march for glory once again. In the All-Ireland semi-final against Clare their championship campaign was nearly derailed when they fell behind by seven points at the start of the second-half. A huge performance by Cork turned this deficit around and McCarthy's side eventually went on to win the game by 0-16 to 0-15. While it was expected that Cork and Kilkenny would do battle again in a third consecutive All-Ireland final Galway were the surprise winners of the second semi-final. It was the first meeting of Cork and Galway in an All-Ireland final since 1990 and even more daunting was the fact that men from the west had never beaten Cork in a championship decider. Once again neither side broke away into a considerable lead, however, at the final whistle Cork were ahead by 1-21 to 1-16. For the second year in-a-row Cork were the All-Ireland champions and McCarthy collected his third winners’ medal.
2006 saw Cork turn their attentions to a first three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles since 1978. The team’s championship campaign got off to a good start with a 0-20 to 0-14 defeat of Clare in the opening round of the Munster championship. The subsequent provincial decider saw Cork take on Tipp for the second consecutive year. McCarthy collected a fifth Munster title that day as Cork recorded a 2-11 to 1-11 victory over their old rivals. Subsequent victories over Limerick and Waterford saw Cork qualify for their fourth consecutive All-Ireland final and for the third time Kilkenny were the opponents. Like previous encounters neither side took a considerable lead, however, Kilkenny had a vital goal from Aidan Fogarty. Cork were in arrears coming into the final few minutes, however, Ben O'Connor goaled for Cork. It was too little too late as ‘the Cats’ denied ‘the Rebels’ the three-in-a-row on a score line of 1-16 to 1-13.
In 2007 Cork were out for redemption, however, their championship ambitions were hampered from the beginning. The so-called Semplegate affair resulted in Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Donal Óg Cusack and Diarmuid O'Sullivan being suspended for a crucial Munster semi-final clash with Waterford. In spite of being without three of their best players Cork put up a good fight but only lost by a goal. After maneuvering through the qualifiers Cork reached the All-Ireland quarter-final. Once again Waterford provided the opposition as the game controversially ended in a draw – 3-16 apiece. The replay was less exciting; however, it was still a good game as Waterford triumphed by 2-17 to 0-20.
The activities of the Cork footballers and their reaction to the appointment of Teddy Holland as their new manager impacted greatly on the preparations of the Cork hurling team. The entire panel went on a sympathy strike and missed the opening games of the National League. In the end the Cork hurlers returned to duty, with their first championship game being a Munster semi-final with Tipperary. In the lead up to the game there was speculation as to the formation of the Cork team as it was believed that some of the ‘old guard’ would be blending into the background. Cork lost by six points and had to take their chances in the win-or-bust qualifiers. A goal by Joe Deane in their next outing helped Cork to limp over the finish line against Dublin. The team’s overall performance was less than impressive in the 1-17 to 0-15 win. Cork’s next game saw Galway, a team regarded as one of the best in the country, provided the opposition. The first-half was a poor affair with Cork’s goalkeeper, Donal Óg Cusack, being sent off. In the second-half Cork took charge with Joe Deane giving a great display and scoring four crucial points from play to help his team to a 0-23 to 2-15 victory and a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Clare were the opposition on that occasion and, once again, Cork gave a poor first-half display. The second-half was a different story with Cork taking charge once again and securing a 2-19 to 2-17 victory. This win allowed Cork to advance to the All-Ireland semi-final where Kilkenny provided the opposition. It was the first time that these two teams met in the championship outside of an All-Ireland final. That game was an intriguing encounter; however, ‘the Cats’ won the day by 1-23 to 0-17.
Following the defeat there was speculation that some of the veterans on the Cork team, including McCarthy, would retire. While Joe Deane and Diarmuid O'Sullivan did hang up their hurleys, McCarthy decided to embark on his eleventh championship campaign. There was also speculation surrounding manager Gerald McCarthy's future as his two-year contract came to an end with the defeat by Kilkenny. He was later re-appointed for a further two-year term by the Cork County Board, in spite of the majority of the players not wanting him to stay on. The players on the 2008 panel then refused to play or train under Gerald McCarthy. (see 2008-2009 Cork players strike). McCarthy accordingly began the 2009 National League campaign with a new squad, none of whom had been able to make the previous year's panel. After months of pressure McCarthy eventually stepped down as manager and the old '2008 panel' returned.
Following the resolution to these difficulties Cork were defeated by Tipperary on a score line of 1-19 to 0-19 in the opening round of the Munster campaign. After a convincing win over Offaly, Cork's next assignment with Cork was a win-or-bust All-Ireland qualifier meeting with Galway. Cork faltered in the final ten minutes as 'the Tribesmen' knocked 'the Rebels' out of the championship by 1-19 to 0-15. This defeat once again created speculation that McCarthy would retire from hurling and that Cork's so-called 'golden generation' would not play together again.
McCarthy has also played with Munster in the inter-provincial championship. He first lined out for his province in 2007 as Munster recorded a controversial victory over Connacht under lights at Croke Park.
- Cork Senior Hurling Championship:
- Winner (2): 1997, 1998
- Cork Intermediate Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1998
- Cork Junior Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997
- East Cork Junior Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997
- Runner-up (1): 1996
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship:
- Munster Senior Hurling Championship:
- Winner (5): 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006
- Runner-up (1): 2004
- National Hurling League:
- Winner (1): 1997-98 (sub)
- Runner-up (1): 2002
- All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997
- Munster Intermediate Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997, 1998
- Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1997, 1998
- Munster Under-21 Football Championship:
- Winner (0):
- Runner-up (1): 1997
- All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1995
- Munster Minor Hurling Championship:
- Winner (1): 1995
- Munster Minor Football Championship:
- Winner (0):
- Runner-up (1): 1995
- Railway Cup:
- Winner (1): 2007
- Corry, Eoghan, The GAA Book of Lists (Hodder Headline Ireland, 2005).
- Walsh, Denis, Hurling: the Revolution Years (Penguin Ireland, 2005).
- "Profile of Timmy McCarthy". www.hoganstand.com. 1998-04-17. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
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- "JUNIOR A HURLING CH/SHIP 1926-2008". Cork GAA. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
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- "Intermediate Hurling Finals 1970 - 2003". Cork GAA. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
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- "The Banner is lowered as restless Rebels rule once more in Munster". Irish Examiner. 1999-07-05. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
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- "Cork’s 49ers repel resilient Tipp". Irish Examiner. 2005-06-27. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "Double delight as Rebels triumph". Irish Examiner. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "Calm champions just won’t let go". Irish Examiner. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "A glorious 29th for Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-07-22.