Cork V Mayo 2013 League

In a one point game the disparity in shooting accuracy will always be a point of emphasis. The below table shows that whilst the two teams had the same amount of possession Mayo were far more clinical with the shots they got off.

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Cork 36 26 72% 10 38% -2.454
Mayo 36 22 61% 11 50% +0.5572
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

Cork can take solace from the fact that they only allowed Mayo to convert 61% of their possessions into shots. Mayo on the other hand will be comforted by the fact that when they did get their shots off their shooting was of such a high order. This of course was highlighted by Cillian O’Connor’s two sidelines but more of that anon.


Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Cork 17 6 35% -1.145
Mayo 15 6 40% -0.0999
2012 avg 20.14 9.36 46.47%

One variable that none of the measurements take into account is the weather. It is a huge factor in some games but because there is no consistency in how it is reported (“wet”, “slippery”, “windy”, “fresh”) it is nigh on impossible to subjectively apply a weighting. Therefore it is omitted entirely from the numbers and we’ll have to use our judgement from watching the game to analysis its effect.

Judged by the numbers both teams were guilty of taking too much out of the ball before shooting. Thirty two shots combined is c8 short on where the average 2012 Championship game was (note from above that both had the average number of possessions). This wasn’t due to teams excessively fouling (13 frees in shooting range is about par) but instead seemed to be due to teams playing the conditions. A number of shots dropped short throughout the game and when both teams had the wind they appeared to be trying to work it in close. Similarly when they had the wind they seemed reluctant to shoot from the 45 and “hang it up” on the wind.

In the end I’m not sure either team played the conditions correctly as when they did shoot they still were only average at best; in fact Cork’s shooting was below average.


Player Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
C O’Connor (Mayo) 5 3 60% -0.069
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 2 2 100% +0.7261
D Goulding (Cork) 7 3 43% -0.9058
M Collins (Cork) 1 1 100% +0.1548
A Walsh (Donegal) 1 0 0% -0.558
team avgs 6.88 4.60 66.9%

A higher than average number of deadballs however Cork can again take solace from the fact that they only gave away 4 frees within shooting range (the other 3 were 2 sidelines & a 45). Usually this would show up here as an excellent return however it is unusual to have an opponent attempt two sideline shots. It’s even more unusual to have him score from both. In 61 games I have only seen 19 sidelines attempted (0.3 a game) with only 4 converted (0.07 a game). There was sublime skill involved in O’Connor hitting the two but Cork can feel a small bit cheated from these returns.

I have had concerns about Mayo’s dead ball striking from the right hand side of the pitch however McLoughlin tagged his two frees after hitting four from four against Tyrone & Donegal. Consider the concern assuaged. We will discuss O’Connor in more detail below

Cillian O’Connor’s day

Shot Type Shots Scores Vs Expected
Sideline 2 2 +0.8939
45s 1 0 -0.5185
Frees 2 1 -0.444
Play 4 0 -1.4866

Above are O’Connor’s numbers for the game. First up his two sideline points were sublime and show up some issues with viewing a game purely through the prism of stats
–> There is no way you can measure the intangibles of shots like that. The lift in morale for fans and teammates alike. The “did you see that” murmur in the crowd.
–> He does not get enough credit within the weighting for those two points. As a result of so few people attempting, and succeeding , at that skill, there is no reliable measurement. As such sidelines are treated as shots from frees from the same segment thus reducing their impact. Until we get more data points there is not much that can be done about that.

However now we come to the nub of the issue. Knowing nothing else you would imagine O’Connor had a stellar game given how the sideline shots were reported. However his shooting for the entire game was below average. Taken as a totality he hit 37.5% of his shots.

Now this is not intended as a “dig” at O’Connor. Indeed his sublime dead ball striking in the SF & Final last year (11/13 with an Expected Return of +2.40) have probably given people a rod with which to beat him. He was immense in those pressure cookers. Likewise he hit two stunners in this game. The point is more around how we view games. We remember the brilliant, or indeed the terrible, without taking a player’s full contribution into account (an argument that can be wholly leveled at this blog seeing as it focuses on shooting only from a player perspective).


Team Won % Turned into Attack % Turned into Shot %
Cork 20 56% 15 75% 11 55%
Mayo 11 69% 8 73% 5 45%

On the face of it this looks like an excellent result for Cork. Only Kerry in the three league games to date have beaten Mayo in the possession stakes. A large part of this came on their own kickouts with Mayo only winning 5 of Cork’s 16 kickouts.

This is due in large part to the fact that Cork uses short kickouts judiciously. Cork had 5 short kickouts and won all 5. They managed to turn 4 of these into possessions and two into shots. 40% shot rate from your own kickouts is pretty good but in turn it also ensured that Mayo couldn’t attack their kickouts.

Of course if you go short all the time then teams will press up and nullify this. But if you go short just enough it puts opposing teams in a bind as to whether to press or drop.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
F Goold (Cork) 6 3 50% +0.3826
A Walsh (Cork) 4 1 25% -0.6388
C O’Connor (Mayo) 4 0 0% -1.487
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 2 2 100% +1.1341
D Vaughan (Mayo) 2 1 50% +0.2271
M Conroy (Mayo) 2 1 50% +0.2269
A Freeman (Mayo) 2 1 50% +0.1994
D Goulding (Cork) 2 1 50% +0.16
P Kerrigan (Cork) 2 0 0% -0.777

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One Response to “Cork V Mayo 2013 League”

  1. Dublin V Mayo 2013 League | dontfoul Says:

    […] Shining a light onto GAA stats « Cork V Mayo 2013 League […]

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