Sunday 15 September 2019

Carlow win no surprise to Dublin's McCarthy

James McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
James McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Dublin star James McCarthy insists he was not that surprised by the two upsets in the Leinster SFC over the weekend, writes Donnchadh Boyle..

Longford beat Meath and Carlow dismissed Kildare to give a novel look to the last four teams standing in the province. But going on the form Longford showed in the league and the experience he had of playing Carlow last year, McCarthy insists those results are not that much of a surprise.

"From the outside looking in, you wouldn't expect those results," McCarthy began. "But Longford probably should have been promoted from Division 3. They seem to have a bit of form and they seem to be a united bunch.

"I suppose it was a bit of a shock, yeah. But then, Carlow beating Kildare, I know Kildare were hot favourites for that as well. But I know from first-hand last year, they give you a belly full of it.

"They're good a team. So it's not that big a surprise."

"That's what struck me about them (Carlow). They're big, physical, strong. If you went into them, you were getting a good clip. They have big, strong men around the park. They're a tough team to play against, so I'm not surprised.

"They seem to have huge momentum and there seems to be a huge buzz around the county. So look, they're going to give any team a go now."

McCarthy helped Dublin to a facile win over Wicklow in their Leinster championship opener. It was their 22nd consecutive win in the province, equalling a record set by Dublin from 1974-1980.

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"In fairness, we played very well in the first half. We were very sharp. It was good after the break. Just to get together again, get a game together. We were sharp. We played good football in the first half. We played well. So it was good.

"You want to pay your biggest respect to Wicklow. We went with the strongest team we could. And that's the best way to pay our respects. And we played really good football - particularly in the first half. We were sharp.

"Things have been going well the last couple of weeks. We've been pushing each other hard. So it was just good to get out and get a game."

They will get a chance to break that record when they face Longford in the Leinster semi-final on June 10.

"I think they're in a different place now. They seem to have a tight group and they're playing for the management. So I think it'll be a different game in two weeks' time. I remember we played them two years ago in the O'Byrne Cup and they beat us and we had a strong team out at that as well. So it's going to be a tough game."

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