Cathal Naughton (born 3 July 1987) is an Irish hurler who played as a left wing-forward for the Cork senior team.
Born in Newtownshandrum, County Cork, Naughton first played competitive hurling during his schooling at Charleville CBS. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of sixteen when he first linked up with the Cork minor team, before later joining the under-21 side. He made his senior debut during the 2006 National Hurling League. Naughton went on to play a key role for Cork and won one Munster medal as a non-playing substitute. He was an All-Ireland runner-up on two occasions.
As a member of the Munster inter-provincial team Naughton made a number of appearances without winning a Railway Cup medal. At club level he is a two-time Munster medallist with Newtownshandrum. In addition to this he has also won two championship medals.
Throughout his career Naughton made 36 championship appearances for Cork. His retirement came following the conclusion of the 2013 championship.
Naughton enjoyed a successful soccer career with Charleville A.F.C. with whom he won many honours and also played with the Limerick Schoolboy League in the Kennedy Cup. He spent a year at the Nottingham Forest F.C. academy in his teens and he was offered a contract with the club but declined the offer in favour of continuing his education at home. He was also invited to try out for Manchester City F.C.. At home, Naughton played representative soccer with Ireland on four occasions at under-17 level.
Now Naughton plys his trade with Granagh United (GUFC) in the Limerick Desmond league first division. Naughton has been in free scoring form so far this season. Last year he guided GUFC to the desmond league division two title.
In 2005 Naughton was captain of the Charleville CBS senior hurling team. He won a Munster Colleges Senior B Hurling Championship medal following a 3–9 to 0–8 defeat of St. Clement's College. Charleville CBS later faced Enniscorthy CBS in the All-Ireland decider. Two goals by Paul O'Neill and substitute David Murphy in a twenty-minute period of extra time, allied to an goalkeeping performance from Niall Maher, were the decisive factors in Enniscorthy CBS's 3–8 to 0–13 victory.
In 2005 Naughton had just turned eighteen-years-old when he was a key member of the Newtownshandrum senior hurling team that faced Cloyne in the championship decider. In spite of a stop-start nature to the game, Newtown built up an unassailable seven-point half-time lead. The North Cork club eventually won by 0–15 to 0–9, with Naughton collecting his first championship medal. He later added a Munster medal to his collection following a narrow 0–16 to 1–12 defeat of Ballygunner. On 17 March 2006 Newtownshandrum had the chance to take a second All-Ireland crown in three years when the team faced Portumna in the All-Ireland decider. Seventeen-year-old Joe Canning hit 1–6 while also setting up Niall Hayes for a second goal, as Naughton's side faced a 2–8 to 1–6 defeat.
After failing to retain their championship titles and defeat to Erin's Own in the county final in 2007, Newtownshandrum reached the decider again in 2009. A massive 3–22 to 1–12 defeat of reigning champions and favourites Sarsfield's gave Naughton a second championship medal. Once again it was Ballygunner who provided the opposition in the provincial decider. Newtown stood strong in the face of a 'Gunner comeback and a 2–11 to 2–9 victory gave Naughton a second Munster medal.
Naughton first lined out with Cork in the minor grade in 2004. He won his first Munster medal that year as Cork ended Tipperary's hopes of four-in-a-row with a 2–13 to 3–8 victory.
The following year Naughton was still eligible for the Cork minor team as he captured a second consecutive Munster medal following a 2–18 to 1–15 defeat of Limerick. Cronin top scored with 1–10.
Naughton subsequently joined the Cork under-21 team. He won a Munster medal in this grade in 2007 following a 1–20 to 0–10 trouncing of Waterford.
On 9 April 2006 Naughton made his senior debut in an 0–18 to 0–16 National Hurling League defeat by Clare. He was later included on Cork's championship panel, winning a Munster medal as a non-playing substitute following Cork's 2–14 to 1–14 defeat of Tipperary. He made his championship debut on 6 August 2006 in a narrow 1–16 to 1–15 defeat of Waterford. Naughton was surprisingly sprung from the bench in that game and scored 1–1 inside two minutes. His introduction was seen as the winning of the match for Cork. On 3 September 2006 Cork faced Kilkenny in the All-Ireland decider. Neither side took a considerable lead, however, Kilkenny had a vital goal from Aidan Fogarty. Cork were in arrears coming into the final few minutes, however, Ben O'Connor goaled for Cork. Naughton was introduced as a substitute once again, however, he failed to repeat the heroics of the semi-final as the Cats denied the Rebels the three-in-a-row on a score line of 1–16 to 1–13.
Naughton lined out in his second Munster decider as a substitute in 2013, however, Cork faced a 0–24 to 0–15 defeat by Limerick. On 8 September 2013 he lined out against Clare in his first All-Ireland final. Three second-half goals through Conor Lehane, Anthony Nash and Pa Cronin, and a tenth point of the game from Patrick Horgan gave Cork a one-point lead as injury time came to an end. A last-gasp point from corner-back Domhnall O'Donovan earned Clare a 0–25 to 3–16 draw. The replay on 28 September was regarded as one of the best in recent years. Clare's Shane O'Donnell was a late addition to the team, and went on to score a hat-trick of goals in the first nineteen minutes of the game. Patrick Horgan top scored for Cork, however, further goals from Conor McGrath and Darach Honan secured a 5–16 to 3–16 victory for Clare.
Naughton has also lined out Munster in the inter-provincial series of games. He played once for his province in a 2–14 to 1–12 semi-final defeat of Ulster in 2008.
Naughton is the youngest of three sons born to Dermot (1958–2009) and Josephine Naughton. He was educated at the local national school in Newtownshandrum before later attending Charleville CBS. He later completed a marketing degree at the Cork Institute of Technology before later completing a masters in business. Naughton currently works as a business development manager with Classic Drinks and Christys Wines and Spirits.Charleville CBS
Munster Colleges Senior B Hurling Championship (1): 2005
Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 2005, 2009
Cork Senior Club Hurling Championship (2): 2005, 2009
Munster Senior Hurling Championship (1): 2006 (sub)
Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship (1): 2007
Munster Minor Hurling Championship (2): 2004, 2005