Charlie McCarthy v Patrick Horgan: Vote for Cork's best city hurlers

In the Battle of the Bridge, the Echo is asking you to pick your favourite players since 1972 north and south of the River Lee
Charlie McCarthy v Patrick Horgan: Vote for Cork's best city hurlers

Have your say in The Battle of the Bridge.

WITH your help, we’re looking to pick the best hurler from either side of St Patrick's Bridge from the last 50 years of action.

The Echo has pitched some of Cork’s finest hurling stars from the northside and southside of Cork city together for a series of fun head-to-head battles. Your votes will decide who goes through and you can see the full list of 16 northside and 16 southside players here.

We're now down to the last eight. 

Today's match-up is Charlie McCarthy v Patrick Horgan. 

CHARLIE McCARTHY (St Finbarr's):

CHARLIE McCarthy was undoubtedly delighted to have recently lost one of the many accolades that he holds.

Until this season, McCarthy was the last man to coach St Finbarr’s to a county senior hurling title, having been in charge as they beat Carbery after a replay in 1993. At the time, few could have thought that they would still be waiting for the next one in 2022 – even though he has been succeeded by Ger Cunningham, the corner-forward still has more than enough honours to his name.

Across a 15-year inter-county career, he scored 24-149, a tally that puts him fifth on the all-time Cork scorers list and a record of more than a goal every two games.

A dual minor in 1964, he scored 3-1 in the All-Ireland hurling final win over Laois and almost achieved a double but the footballers lost out to Offaly. That same year, he was part of a youthful Barrs side that lost the county final to Glen Rovers but they came back strongly the following year to defeat UCC.

He had made his senior debut for Cork that year and won senior and U21 All-Ireland medals in 1966 as the county claimed the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the first time since 1954. It would be the first of five Celtic Crosses for Charlie, the last of those as captain in 1978, while he finished with nine Munster championship medals. 

Charlie McCarthy shoots for goal against the Glen.
Charlie McCarthy shoots for goal against the Glen.

He finished as the top scorer in the 1970 championship, which Cork won, while his first All-Star came in 1972, when the county lost the final to Kilkenny. Further All-Stars followed in 1977 and 1978 – in 2001, to celebrate 30 years of the scheme, he was named at right corner-forward in the Supreme All-Stars team. Another victory in 1978 came when he captained Munster to the Railway Cup.

With the Barrs, he finished with five county titles, four Munster wins and two All-Ireland championships.

He was also involved in inter-county management: in 1985, along with Johnny Clifford he led the Cork minor hurlers to Munster and then All-Ireland glory. Three years later, when Clifford was forced to resign as senior manager due to health reasons, McCarthy was appointed but 1988 proved to be a disappointing year as Tipperary were on a high after the famine-ending previous year while Cork were in a lull between the 1986 and 1990 triumphs.

McCarthy bounced back from that to guide the Barrs to the Seán Óg Murphy Cup in 1993, yet another distinction to be added to the long list.

PATRICK HORGAN (Glen Rovers):

THE only current player to be included in this illustrious list and with every justification. One of the modern era’s greatest forwards, he has given the Glen and Cork outstanding service and that continues right up to the present day.

He has lined out in all six forward positions and he is the leading scorer in championship, surpassing some of the game’s greatest players, including Joe Canning and Henry Shefflin. There have been times when he almost single-handedly made the difference between the winning and losing of games.

Glen Rovers' Patrick Horgan shoots over a point from Bishopstown's Kevin O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Glen Rovers' Patrick Horgan shoots over a point from Bishopstown's Kevin O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

In a glittering career, he is still waiting to win a Celtic Cross as an All-Ireland senior winner and, although now in the autumn of a glorious career, the cause still endures that can be rectified. Of course, great players from many eras end their careers without that honour but that never diminished or lessened the contribution that they made.

Horgan is the holder of two county senior medals with the Glen in 2015 and 2016 and on both occasions was a massive contributor, winning the man of the match award in 2016. Those achievements rank as his proudest days with a hurley in his hand, something that he is rarely without.

 Glen Rovers' Patrick Horgan fighting for this ball with Gary Norberg, Blackrock. Picture: Dan Linehan
Glen Rovers' Patrick Horgan fighting for this ball with Gary Norberg, Blackrock. Picture: Dan Linehan

One of best dead-ball experts of all time, his points from those situations have won many a game. He is an inspirational figure to thousands of youngsters on Leeside and he is the player that they seek out in the immediate aftermath of a game.

He has been recognised by the All-Star selectors on four occasions and has been chosen for a host of other honours too. He remains as devoted to the game as he was when his career was only in its infancy stage and his unique talents are hailed everywhere.

While Limerick are the undisputed kingpins at the moment, there is was every chance that Cork would have got another final crack off them this season if the Glen great had been on the field from the outset against Galway.

Despite all his achievements in the game he still retains that burning desire to improve. 

He recently stated: "Going down training and just trying to be a small bit better all the time, that keeps me going and it’s an obsession of mine."

The fervent hope of every Cork supporter is that he will get that All-Ireland medal but one way or the other he will always be one of the greatest players that his club the Glen and Cork ever produced. When he secures possession, a score usually follows, a true great.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more