Donegal V Mayo

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Donegal 31 22 71% 13 59% +0.62
Mayo 33 26 79% 13 50% +0.73
2012 avg 35.3 27.0 76.6% 14.0 49.8% 0.00

So we have tracked 25 games in 2012, and 36 in 2012, to learn that … goals win games! The returns are remarkably similar. For c20-25 minutes either side of half time Mayo were on top but after letting in two goals they had to have a very good Success Rate to get back into it or score goals themselves. Neither happened.

From play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Donegal 16 7 44% -0.96
Mayo 17 7 41% +0.16
2012 avg 20.1 9.4 46.5% 0.00

Even though the success rates are very similar Donegal’s shooting was relatively poor (they had not returned a negative return in the six previous games). They had 11 shots from in front of the posts missing three from inside the 21m line and three between the 21m & 45m lines. Of course McFadden landed a monster from outside the 45m line so that help keep the Expected Returns up.

In the preview I stated that Donegal would give Mayo chances and it was up to Mayo to convert them. Points from McLoughlin, Conroy & Keegan showed that they had the skill to take their chances however they didn’t take enough. As expected Donegal ‘let’ Mayo take their shots from the wings. 53% of Mayo’s shots came from sectors 4 & 6 however Mayo only converted 22% of them (2 out of 9). When Mayo opened up a bit of space inside they scored – getting 4 from 5 shots (O’Shea’s stumbling shot at goal at the end being the only miss) however Donegal were never going to give enough chances for Mayo to survive inside. They needed to be clinical on the shots Donegal were willing to give them. It just didn’t happen.

From deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
C McFadden (Donegal) 3 3 100% +0.90
M Murphy (Donegal) 3 3 100% +0.68
C O’Connor (Mayo) 6 5 83% +1.10
E Varley (Mayo) 3 1 33% -0.53
2012 avg 6.9 4.6 66.9% 0.00

One of the stand out features from Donegal’s victory over Cork in the semi final was the fact that they only gave away one free from a scoreable distance throughout the entire game. As well as that in the six game leading up to the final opposing free takes had only converted 56% of frees (15 out of 27) which is well below the 2012 average of 67%. The only reason I could attribute opposing free takers having the ‘yips’ against Donegal was the fact that Donegal tended to foul further out the pitch where conversion of the frees was harder. This theory seemed to be further supported by their brilliance in the tackle against Cork.

So what happened in the Final – they gave away 9 frees from which Mayo had a shot (average in previous 6 games was 4.5 frees)? Maybe nerves played a part, maybe the referee played a part but I would suggest that it was Donegal’s start that played the bigger part. Mayo were only going to get back into the game if they scored a goal – or so Donegal believed. And that wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t as blatant as Mayo’s fouling towards the end of the game against Dublin but maybe more a mindset change in the defenders.

After reviewing the quarter final against Down I remarked on how frees from the right hand side of the pitch might be a problem for Mayo if O’Connor was to continue taking them. Varley scored the only such free against Dublin, so without any other evidence to the contrary it appeared that Mayo were set. Whilst it might be harsh to single out Varley’s deadballs when Mayo were missing shots from play they really needed to get all scoreable chances to release the pressure valve.

O’Connor was again excellent with his only miss coming from a free outside the 45m line

Below are the returns for shots from play. A few notes
–> A Dillon only had one shot. Considering he had hit 7 from 8 in the QF & SF I’m sure Mayo wanted to get him on the ball further up the pitch.
–> C McFadden only missed one shot all day – and this was the shot for goal saved by Clarke. What make this more remarkeable is the fact that he scored two points from outside the 45

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
M Murphy (Donegal) 5 2 40% -0.67
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 3 2 67% +0.70
C McFadden (Donegal) 3 2 67% +0.52
M Conroy (Mayo) 3 1 33% -0.11
L Keegan (Mayo) 2 1 50% +0.32
C O’Connor (Mayo) 2 0 0% -0.74
P McBrearty (Donegal) 2 0 0% -0.93
B Moran (Mayo) 2 0 0% -0.98
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