Kildare V Louth 2013

Kildare-Louth was not on the TV but Brendan Coffey (@coffeybrendan on Twitter) of the Kildare Nationalist very kindly forwarded the stats from the game. So as a precursor to the Kildare-Tyrone game please find Brendan’s analysis here

Overall

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate
Kildare 49 35 71% 20 57%
Louth 37 28 76% 15 54%
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

On the face of it Kildare enjoyed a comfortable win against Louth but just like their previous game against Dublin, the scoreline didn’t reveal how lucky the Lilies were in both games.

In their Leinster semi-final, a 16-point defeat was bad but not as bad as it could have been for Kildare considering the 16 goal chances Dublin had in that game. It was also telling that after taking an early five-point lead, Kildare lost the remaining 60 minutes by 21 points. While Kildare managed to get the right side of the scoreline against Louth, their seven point winning margin did not reflect the difficulties they had for three-quarters of the game.

With ten minutes left the sides were level at 15 points each but Kildare scored an unanswered 1-5 in the final 11 minutes to leave Newbridge with the win. However, take out that final flurry and you see another worrying trend for the Lilies.

For a team that enjoys so much possession in games thanks to a strong midfield and a reliable kickout strategy, Kildare are struggling to make the most of all that ball. Their shot rate against Louth (71%) was well behind their opponents (76%), who had 12 less attacks than Kildare.

Before Kildare went on that free-scoring roll late in the second half, their shot rate was 69%, which was worryingly similar to their shot rate against Dublin, which was also under 70%. To the naked eye, Kildare struggle when they have to recycle the ball up front – unless they get their shot away with the first wave of attackers, they seem unable to unlock the opposition’s defence when the support players come from deep.

With players like Padraig O’Neill and Daryl Flynn in their midfield – both of whom scored long-range points from play against Louth – this shouldn’t be as big a problem as it is for Kildare.
Kildare didn’t have this problem in the league – in the league semi-final against Tyrone they had a shot rate of 85% and it was their inaccuracy that let them down. Similarly when the sides met earlier in the league at Newbridge, Kildare’s attack managed 38 shots – 24 in the second half which included an incredible 17 misses – and lost by six points to a Tyrone team that scored 1-13 from 28 shots.

At the back there are worrying signs too. Dublin’s shot rate was 82 per cent against Kildare while Offaly and Louth had shot rates in the mid-70s. Kildare are giving up too many chances, even against inferior opposition. Against a defence as mean as Donegal’s, Tyrone managed a 78% shot rate so it’s clear they’ll get plenty of chances this weekend

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate
Kildare 27 16 59%
Louth 20 12 60%
2012 team avgs 20.14 9.36 46.5%

Both sides were impressive from play in what was a very open and entertaining game of football. Again Kildare will be concerned about their opponent’s success from play although a lot of that was down to a phenomenal display from Louth’s Ciaran Byrne, who kicked five points from play and was four from four in the first half. A number of those shots were kicked under extreme pressure so the Kildare defence will have escaped censure during their video analysis earlier this week.

(N.B. Byrne’s shooting (5/7 from play) against Kildare will be long forgotten come September but it’s worth noting his performance his as a real highlight of the championship).
Kildare’s Eoghan O’Flaherty is growing in importance to the team. He was one of the few players to come out of the Dublin game with credit and his returns from play this year have been excellent. He kicked four from five against Offaly, two from four against Dublin and three from four against Louth, including a sublime effort off the outside of his right foot on the right wing in the final minute of last Saturday’s qualifier game.

Scoring goals was not a problem for Kildare in the National League but the green flags have dried up in the championship. 12 goals in eight league games was a superb return against Division 1 opposition but they’ve only netted two from their three championship games to date.

Full-forward Tomas O’Connor was a huge factor in a lot of those league goals but after a disappointing performance against Offaly – his two clearcut goal chances were saved – he was dropped for the Dublin game. It’s clear that Kieran McGeeney faces a dilemma with O’Connor – he makes goal chances but misses too many. Brought in as a sub against Louth in the 31st minute, four minutes later he had a shot at goal saved by Shane McCoy.

However O’Connor eventually came good in the 66th minute when he rounded McCoy for his first goal of the championship at the fourth attempt. What was interesting about his goal, as opposed to the other three chances he’s had this year, is that the chance came about by accident rather than design.

Whereas O’Connor was put through on goal by deliberate attacking moves for his first three attempts, his goal resulted from a poor attempt at a point by Alan Smith. Smith’s shot ballooned up into the air and it was O’Connor’s persistence – and considerable frame – that allowed him to gather the ball before using his strength to get past McCoy.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate
J Doyle (Kildare) 2 2 100%
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 1 0 0%
M Conway (Kildare) 5 2 40%
2012 team avgs 6.88 4.6 66.9%

Free-taking is another concern for Kildare. Mikey Conway was recalled for the Louth game and handed responsibility for deadballs but with just two from five, he was withdrawn after 42 minutes. John Doyle had sole responsibility against Offaly and hit a decent return (4/6) but his form collapsed against Dublin, where he missed one from the 20-metre line in front of the posts, not far from the right-hand upright. He remains Kildare’s best option though and landed a spectacular free from long-range against Louth to begin their late scoring rally.

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