McCarthy still harder than a brick wall 4 months ago

McCarthy still harder than a brick wall

James McCarthy looked around the field, he looked around the stadium and then he looked at the Kerry boys as if to say, boys, is there anyone else?

It'd take a brave man.

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The Ballymun defender was supposed to have been injured coming into this game but, in the 54th minute, as he launched into a one-man-crusade against Kerry's attackers, the truth is that he looked the furthest thing from injured.

Adrian Spillane looked more like the injured one.

The Templenoe player made the bold and rather unwise decision to try and run through the Dubliner but he soon discovered, just like Diarmuid O'Connor did a couple of seconds later, that you'll find no joy if you spend your time running at brick walls.

You just bounce back off them.

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O'Connor was beaten to the ball and then floored before McCarthy lined up another Spillane, and it wasn't long before Killian was licking his wounds to the sounds of roars that could have been heard about five miles away.

The truth is that James McCarthy has been doing this for years. And years. He wasn't done there  and it was only five minutes later when he dragged Dublin back into the game with one of the points of the day, followed by a powerful punch to set up Ciaran Kilkenny for another score.

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It was dogs-of-war sort of stuff and it was McCarthy at his inspirational best.

It's no wonder he was praised so highly on Monday's GAA Hour Show.

"One player I want to mention is James McCarthy," began Darran O'Sullivan.

"I for one hope that's not the last we see of him I know he's had injury troubles this year but like what a rolls royce.

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"He kicked an incredible score as well in the second half. Even his reaction to the score, like the camera zoomed in and he was so fired up and he was just one of the focal points that got them going."

Finian Hanley reckons he's one of the best ever and Eamon McGee is hoping that those genes are put on ice.

"No way he'll retire. Not a hope," said Hanley.

"He's so committed to the cause....The kick-out he broke after the score, and they got a score out of that, it was just like, it wasn't the hardest thing in the world to do to break a kick-out but he got a clean hand on it and his demeanour after that was just business. 'Get up lads. Get up off yer holes, we're going at this big-time.'

"You know and that fed Kilkenny, that fed Costello and then they started moving but like Jesus Christ, the guy is like...I hope he gets the 9th All-Ireland.

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"It's the player that I loved if I was to pick, you know we all have our players we'd love to take and James McCarthy was at the top of the list all day, it's just someone that, he had the steel, there's badness in him too but he's just so fit, strong and he's a great footballer and like Finian I don't think he'll retire but when he does, we just have to make sure we keep his genes on ice somewhere that we can replicate that footballer all the time hey."