|Irish name||Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh|
7 September 1977 |
Castlelyons, County Cork, Ireland
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 21:44, 6 August 2014.|
Born in Castlelyons, County Cork, McCarthy first played competitive hurling whilst at school at St. Colman's College. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Cork minor teams as a dual player, before later joining the under-21 and intermediate hurling sides. He made his senior debut during the 1998 National Hurling League. McCarthy went on to play a key part for Cork, and won three All-Ireland medals and five Munster medals. He was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.
As a member of the Munster inter-provincial team on a number of occasions, McCarthy won one Railway Cup medal. At club level he is a two-time championship medallist with divisional side Imokilly. McCarthy also won several championship medals with Castlelyons.
Throughout his career McCarthy made 47 championship appearances for Cork. His retirement from inter-county hurling was confirmed on 12 January 2010.
McCarthy enjoyed much success during his tenure as a student at St. Colman's College. After winning two Dean Ryan Cup medals, he was appointed captain of the senior team in 1996. He won a Harty Cup medal that year following a 3–19 to 1–4 trouncing of Nenagh CBS. All-Ireland kingpins St. Kieran's College provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland final. A 1–14 to 2–6 defeat was the result on that occasion.
In 1997 McCarthy helped his club Castlelyons to the final of the county junior championship. A late point from a penalty earned Castlelyons a hard-fought 2–9 to 1–11 victory over Courcey Rovers. It was McCarthy's first championship medal.
After gaining promotion to the intermediate grade, Castlelyons qualified for the decider at the first time of asking in 1998. A 2–12 to 2–9 defeat of Killeagh gave Castlelyons the victory and gave McCarthy a championship medal.
McCarthy also played a key role for the Imokilly divisional team during their most successful period in the senior championship. In 1997 he won a championship medal following a 1–18 to 2–12 defeat of Sarsfield's. McCarthy added a second senior championship medal to his collection in 1998 as Imokilly retained their title with a 1–10 to 1–5 defeat of Blackrock.
Minor, under-21 and intermediate
McCarthy first played for Cork as a dual minor in 1995. After being shocked by Tipperary in the Munster football decider, he later collected a Munster medal with the hurlers following a 3–18 to 0–10 trouncing of Waterford. Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland final against Kilkenny with McCarthy lining out at centre-forward. The game turned into a rout as Cork easily won by 2–10 to 1–2, giving McCarthy an All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship medal.
McCarthy was a regular member of the under-21 team in 1997 as Cork faced Tipperary in the provincial decider. With time running out Tipp were leading my two points, however, McCarthy scored a vital goal after a remarkable solo effort to secure a 1–11 to 0–13 victory. The subsequent All-Ireland decider saw Galway providing the opposition. Cork made amends for their defeat by Galway in the previous year's semi-final with a 3–11 to 0–13 victory. Not only was in McCarthy's first All-Ireland medal in the grade but it was Cork's 100th All-Ireland championship in the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
1998 saw Cork maintaining their provincial under-21 dominance with McCarthy collecting a second Munster medal following a 3–18 to 1–10 victory over Tipperary. For the second year in-a-row Cork later faced Galway in the All-Ireland decider. In a close game Cork just about secured a 2–15 to 2–10 victory, with McCarthy adding a second All-Ireland medal to his collection.
By this stage McCarthy had also been added to the Cork intermediate hurling team. He won a Munster medal in this grade in 1997 following a 1–15 to 1–12 defeat of Limerick. McCarthy later collected an All-Ireland medal following a 2–11 to 1–12 defeat of Galway.
McCarthy was added to the Cork senior panel for the 1998 National Hurling League. He was an unused substitute as Cork defeated Waterford by 2–14 to 0–13 in the league decider. McCarthy was later included on Cork's championship panel.
On 13 June 1999 McCarthy made his senior championship debut for Cork in a 0–24 to 1–15 Munster semi-final defeat of Waterford. After a seven-year hiatus Cork subsequently claimed the provincial title. A 1–15 to 0–14 defeat of three-in-a-row hopefuls Clare gave McCarthy his first Munster medal. Cork later faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland decider on 12 September 1999. In a dour contest played on a wet day, Cork trailed by 0–5 to 0–4 after a low-scoring first half. Kilkenny increased the pace after the interval, pulling into a four-point lead. Cork moved up a gear and through Joe Deane, Ben O'Connor and Seánie McGrath Cork scored five unanswered points. Kilkenny could only manage one more score – a point from a Henry Shefflin free – and Cork held out to win by 0–13 to 0–12. It was McCarthy's first All-Ireland medal.
McCarthy won a second Munster medal in 2000, as Cork retained their title following a 0–23 to 3–12 defeat of Tipperary.
Embarrassing defeats for Cork in 2001 and 2002 saw the team reach rock bottom and call a players' strike just before Christmas in 2002. Had the strike failed it could have meant the end of McCarthy's and his and his teammates' careers, however, in the end the county board relented and met the demands.
In 2003 Cork's players were vindicated in taking a stand as the team won the provincial decider following an exciting 3–16 to 3–12 defeat of Waterford. The subsequent All-Ireland final on 14 September 2003 saw Cork face Kilkenny for the first time in four years. Both teams remained level for much of the game, exchanging tit-for-tat scores. A Setanta Ó hAilpín goal gave Cork the advantage, 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.
After facing a narrow 3–16 to 1–21 defeat by Waterford in one of the greatest Munster finals of all-time in 2004, Cork worked their way through the qualifiers. McCarthy was dropped for Cork's game against Tipperary, however, he was introduced as a substitute and scored a goal that turned the game in Cork's favour. He later regained his place on the starting fifteen for Cork's All-Ireland final meeting with Kilkenny on 12 September 2004. The game was expected to be a classic, however, a rain-soaked day made conditions difficult as Kilkenny aimed to secure a third successive championship. The first half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans, however, 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 medal.
McCarthy won his fourth Munster medal in 2005 following a 1–21 to 1–16 defeat of old rivals Tipperary. On 11 September 2005 Cork faced surprise semi-final winners Galway in the All-Ireland decider. A sixteenth minute Ben O'Connor goal gave Cork the platform needed to withstand a Galway fightback through a Damien Hayes goal, which brought Galway within a point with twenty-one minutes remaining. Galway failed to score for the last ten minutes as Cork claimed a 1–21 to 1–16 score line. It was McCarthy's third All-Ireland medal.
Cork retained their provincial crown in 2006. Goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack stopped two certain goals in the first half to help Cork to a 2–14 to 1–14 victory and a fifth Munster medal for McCarthy. On 3 September 2006 Cork had the opportunity to become the first side in nearly thirty years to secure three successive All-Ireland champions as they faced Kilkenny in the decider. 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 scored a late goal for Cork. It was too little too late as the Cats denied Cork on a score line of 1–16 to 1–13.
In spite of having contested the four previous All-Ireland finals, Cork's fortunes took a downturn over the following few years. A winter of discontent followed for the Cork senior hurling team following the unwanted reappointment of Gerald McCarthy as manager. Following a strike by the players the amanger eventually stepped down in March 2009. In spite of being one of the striking players, McCarthy returned to inter-county hurling under new boss Denis Walsh.
McCarthy played his last championship game for Cork on 18 July 2009 in a 1–19 to 0–15 All-Ireland qualifier defeat by Galway.
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 2–22 to 2–19 victory over Connacht under lights at Croke Park.
- St. Colman's College
- Dr. Harty Cup (1): 1996 (c)
- Cork Senior Hurling Championship (2): 1997, 1998
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (3): 1999, 2004, 2005
- Munster Senior Hurling Championship (5): 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006
- National Hurling League (1): 1998 (sub)
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship (2): 1997, 1998
- Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship (3): 1996 (sub), 1997, 1998
- All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship (1): 1995
- Munster Minor Hurling Championship (1): 1995
- Railway Cup (1): 2007
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