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New York Hero Could 'Smell' Leitrim Complacency During Historic Win

8 April 2023; Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy celebrates with Shane Carthy of New York after the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship quarter-final match between New York and Leitrim at Gaelic Park in New York, USA. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
By PJ Browne Updated
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Shane Carthy said being part of the New York team which won its first ever Connacht Championship game ranks near the top of his career highlights.

Carthy - who was born in New York and made his inter-county debut with the exiles as a 17-year-old - won two All-Irelands with Dublin during the Jim Gavin era. He also won an All-Ireland club title with St Vincent's in 2014.

The 31-year-old was one of the heroes for New York in their victory over Leitrim on Saturday. In injury time, he kicked an equalising point which took the game to extra-time. New York eventually won 2-0 on penalties.

8 April 2023; Shane Carthy of New York in action against Shane Quinn of Leitrim during the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship quarter-final match between New York and Leitrim at Gaelic Park in New York, USA. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

"It's madness," Carthy told the Long Hall podcast after the game.

"It's hard to put into words, honestly. It feels like one big dream. We came full circle. Playing at 17, going on and playing with some unbelievable teams. This is up there as one of the highlights of my career. I can finish my inter-county career a happy man!


"We just found a way to win. We just knew when we got to extra-time, we felt quietly comfortable that we were going to win the game.

"We were dogged and determined. No disrespect to Leitrim, after 15 minutes, I could smell that they were a little bit complacent. I've been on the other side of that before. Sometimes when you look into the eyes, you can see it. By that stage, it's too late. Nothing really went their way. Stuff went our way."

Carthy told The Sunday Game that he'd torn his right quad muscle during the build-up to the match, and so had to kick with his left.


Shane Carthy post-match interview after New York vs Leitrim



"At the end, I asked Davy (referee David Coldrick) how much was left and he said, 'This is the last play of the game'. I cramped up trying to turn into my right, so I had to turn onto my left. I just threw my leg at it, and it somehow went over the bar, and we went into extra-time," said Carthy.

"Sometimes, everything comes right. We said before the game that everyone's career was coming to this moment right now, and we have to seize the moment. We just found a way to do that. No one was thinking two or three steps ahead.


"When [Johnny McGeeney] called me in January, I thought this was all behind me. I probably owe him everything now. In fairness, he was so accommodating. He said, 'Whatever you can find... Come down for training'. I was doing everything that I could to be here. It's just a group that you want to be with. You just want to be around the lads.

"We went for a coffee there this morning, a few of us. We just felt like, 'I can't see us losing this game'. To be here talking about us winning is still just a big dream. I'll wake up [on Sunday] and maybe it will sink in."

17 March 2014; St Vincent's players, from left to right, Shane Carthy, Tomas Quinn, Ruairi Trainor and Gavin Burke celebrate after the match. AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Castlebar Mitchels, Mayo, v St Vincent's, Dublin. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Before the game, Carthy received messages from friends in Ireland. One from St Vincent's teammate Nathan Mullins - son of club and Dublin legend Brian Mullins - was cemented in his memory.

"Honestly, I was balling my eyes out," Carthy said about the scenes after Mikey Brosnan kicked the winning penalty for New York.


"I've a few mates at home that were texting me before the game. My buddy Nathan Mullins texted me - I was very close with Brian Mullins - he just said that 'My dad's with you today'.

"For whatever reason, it stuck with me. It was my grandfather's 17-year anniversary dead today, but something like that, I just felt like everything was coming for this moment and it just all came together at the end and we found a way to win.

"The All-Ireland club final was probably the highlight [of my career]. This is right up there with it. This is history. New York had never won a game. And to be part of that team is, it's madness really."


See Also: Delighted New York GAA Players React On Instagram To Historic Win

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