Tipperary Vs Kerry

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate
Tipperary 30 25 83% 10 40%
Kerry 37 27 73% 16 59%
avg 41.8 28.3 67.7% 14.1 49.8%

Thanks Tipp! One week after saying we might not see another 80% shot rate this year Tipperay only go and give us 83%.

When Galway returned a shot rate of 80% it was due to a soft Roscommon defence. This time however I’m more inclined to attribute the high shot rate to Tipperary’s patience in working what little attacking ball they had into shooting positions. It was their shooting from play, after working hard to get the opening, that let them down.

In 2010 Kerry were very good at limiting the opposition to below average possessions – this seems to have continued through to 2012. It will be a blog post for later in the year but understanding how much attacking ball the opposition is going to “let” you have should be a big part of a manager’s equation for when to introduce second half substitutions. Kerry don’t give you as many possessions as other teams – you need to get your subs on earlier if you want to them to affect the scoreboard.

That’s 2 teams so far this year that have had a shot rate over 80%. This could be a blip or the emergence of a trend – a deliberate possession based approach worked on over the Winter to counteract the mass defences. Time will tell.

From play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Tipperary 17 5 29% -3.20
Kerry 17 9 53% +1.07
avg 21.1 9.3 44.0% 0.00

From deadballs

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
B Sheehan (Ker) 8 5 63% -1.20
C Cooper (Ker) 2 2 100% +0.12
A Maloney (Tipp) 4 3 75% +1.18
M Quinlivan (Tipp) 4 2 50% -1.50
team avgs 7.3 4.8 66.5% 0.00

Tipperary worked hard to keep the ball and get into shooting range – and then blew it. 12 of Tipperary’s 17 shots from play were from in front of the posts (sections 5 & 8) however only 4 of these were converted. That won’t cut it in any game -let alone one against Kerry.

Kerry were Kerry – efficient at converting possession to shots and above average with their shooting accuracy. The one real drawback of note would be their deadball striking. Brian Sheehan is a very good free taker but against Tipperary he was below average. He missed 2 frees inside the 45m and the ones he converted were not sufficiently difficult enough to bring his performance back up.

One thing that Kerry are very good at is working the ball into positions that are favourable to their forwards. The below shows where they took their shots from and compares it to what Donegal & Galway did.

Segment 1-3 4&6 5 7&9 8
from play 0% 40% 20% 10% 30%
in total 4% 50% 14% 7% 25%
from play 0% 36% 21% 21% 21%
in total 0% 38% 22% 19% 22%
from play 0% 24% 29% 18% 29%
in total 4% 22% 33% 11% 30%

Now this comes with a big caveat in that it is each teams first game of the year but Kerry’s shooting is conspicuously weighted towards the sections directly in front of goal. 63% of their shots came from in front of the goals (section 5 & 8) as oppossed to 44% and 39% for Galway & Donegal respectively. They are taking shots from areas that favour their forwards; ones that consistently have a better success rate. Once we have a few games for each of the main protagonists we’ll have a better view of the individual team’s tactics re where they want to shoot from.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
C Cooper (Ker) 4 2 50% +0.33
P Austin (Tipp) 4 1 25% -1.30
P Acheson (Tipp) 3 2 67% +0.80
Declan O’Sullivan (Ker) 3 2 67% +0.73
A Maloney (Tipp) 3 1 33% -0.32
Darran O’Sullivan (Ker) 3 1 33% -0.57
K O’Leary (Ker) 2 1 50% +0.01
H Coghlan (Tipp) 2 1 50% -0.08
G Hannigan (Tipp) 2 0 0% -0.80
M Quinlivan (Gal) 2 0 0% -1.10

Quinlivan had a tough day all round. Kerry’s big guns, whilst not firing, were adequate.


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4 Responses to “Tipperary Vs Kerry”

  1. Padraig Says:

    Recently discovered your blog, really interesting stuff. I’m a fan of US sports and find the game stats can provide some very useful insight to the games, so great to see something like this for gaelic football.

    To my untrained eye, it seems that Kerry use a kind of ‘bend but don’t break’ defence, a bit like a prevent-defense in American Football, where you concede ground in front of the attackers but don’t give up a long-range killer ball. So that might partly explain the high shot-rate that Tipperary had in that game (and low success-rate), i.e. they essentially concede the opposition low percentage, long-range shots. (might be interesting to see if other of Kerry’s opponents have an above-average shot-rate when playing them)

    It was a weird game though, Kerry were way below par and Tipperary had some terrible finishing. Hope you’ll be covering Kerry vs. Cork in 2 weeks, should be some good stuff there.

    • dontfoul Says:

      I’m writing a blog based purely on empirical data … but my response to this is based on gut feeling.

      I think the Kerry – Tipp game was jsut a case of ‘first game syndrome’ with Kerry never really being threatened. I understand the “bend don’t break” analogy but if that’s Kerry then what was Donegal last year and Dublin in 2010? If I had to force a NFL comparison for Kerry it would be a “time of possession” defence. They stop the other team having possessions by simply hanging on to the ball longer than other teams. I think Rob Carroll (@gaelicstats on Twitter) stated that Kerry last year had the game with the most hand passes (in rebuttal to Pat Spillane’s critique of Donegal) – they do this to keep possession and thus keep the ball out of the opposition’s hands.

  2. Action81.com » Tactics not Passion: Previewing Cork vs. Kerry Says:

    […] inside the Tipperary 45 in the whole game. Dontfoul, a Gaelic Football analytics site, found that efficient as Kerry were when they got into Tipperary territory, they had a hard time getting there. Distribution from the […]

  3. We meet again… who’ll come out on top in clash of Cork and Kerry? | Irish Free Press Says:

    […] inside the Tipperary 45 in the whole game. Dontfoul, a Gaelic Football analytics site, found that efficient as Kerry were when they got into Tipperary territory, they had a hard time getting there. Distribution from the […]

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