Wednesday 21 February 2018

Watch: An emotional James McCarthy lost for words as he reflects on the 'toughest game' he's ever played

James McCarthy of Dublin in action against Tom Parsons of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
James McCarthy of Dublin in action against Tom Parsons of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Dublin midfielder James McCarthy said that Sunday's All-Ireland final win over Mayo was the toughest game that he's ever played.

A late Dean Rock free clinched Dublin their third consecutive All-Ireland title as Jim Gavin's side prevailed over Mayo for the second consecutive year.

McCarthy said that he was exhausted after the game but that a half-time team talk helped rally the Jacks in the second-half.

"I never played in a game that was so tough to be honest with you," said McCarthy.

"It was just end-to-end and the hitting, and the tackling, and the running... I'm just exhausted, but I'm very happy.

"We were under the kosh in the first-half and Mayo probably should have been a couple of more scores ahead than they were. We just hung in there.

"We went in at half-time and said that we wanted to have no regrets. We just came out and gave everything we had and it brought us the victory."

McCarthy added that he never doubted his side's ability to come back and that their victory was a testament to their togetherness as a squad.

"No, never," replied McCarthy when asked if he had any doubts in the second-half.

"We're so tight as a group. We've been together for so long and we really backed each other up to the hilt. If I don't step up one day someone else will step up, or Cian O'Sullivan will step up or someone else.

"That is the biggest strength of our team is the collective... I'm just lost for words. I'm lost for words."

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