Derry V Donegal 2014 Championship

For those new to the blog, or who haven’t been here for a while, please find a refresher on the definitions and how the numbers are compiled here


Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Derry 31 22 71% 11 50% +0.977
Donegal 33 22 67% 12 55% +0.339
Champ avg (’12 & ’13) 35.8 27.6 77.2% 14.1 51.0%

In 2012 when Donegal were at their pomp they averaged a stat line of 34.4 attacking possessions with a shot Rate of 74% and a Success Rate of a truly remarkable 59%. Essentially they squeezed as much as possible out of average attacking possessions. They did much the same in this game – yes their Shot Rate of 67% was poor but a Success Rate of 55% is hugely impressive especially considering the fact that their big three did not fire (see below).

On the flip side in 2012 Donegal allowed 35.3 attacking possessions with a Shot Rate of 72% and a meagre Success Rate of 45%. You had your chances against Donegal but for the most part they dictated, usually successfully, where those chances were allowed to be taken from. Derry too had their chances. Their deadball accuracy was excellent (6 from 6) but their shooting from play was not up to scratch.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Derry 16 5 31% -1.290
Donegal 18 9 50% +0.598
Champ avg (’12 & ’13) 20.3 9.2 45.4%

Donegal’s returns are a curate’s egg. Their big three up front (McBrearty, Murphy & McFadden) combined for a stat line of two scores from eight shots (25% Success Rate) with a combined weighting of -1.734. Of course the corollary of that is the rest of the team had an excellent shooting game with a combined stat line of seven from ten (70% Success Rate) with a combined weighting of +2.332. Going forward it is hard to believe that their full forward line will continue to perform so poorly – if the rest of the team can maintain anything like those Success Rates they are in business.

Derry’s shooting from play was very poor. In 2012 Donegal “allowed” teams to have shots from outside the defensive shield on the outside of Sectors 4 & 6 and on the edge of the 45 in Sector 5. Derry could be said to have had seven attempts (see shot charts below) from these less pressurised zones converting three – McGoldrick, Holly & Heron. Normally this would be quite a good return however when this constitutes 44% of all your shots from play you need to be more accurate to (a) keep the scoreboard ticking over and (b) entice Donegal out.

Again in the shooting charts below it is quite noticeable how clean the Donegal defenders kept the scoring zone – Johnson’s blocked goal attempt was the only shot from play that could be considered close to goal.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
M Murphy (Donegal) 4 3 75% -0.259
M Lynch (Derry) 3 3 100% +1.082
E Bradley (Derry) 2 2 100% +0.685
B Heron (Derry) 1 1 100% +0.500
team avgs (’12 & ’13 Champ) 7.3 4.9 66.7%

Excellent deadball striking with nine from ten attempts converted including a ridiculously sublime sideline ball at the start of the second half in the middle of a 1-05 scoring block for Donegal.

Unfortunately we do not have enough sidelines in the database to give an accurate weighting thus that point was treated as a “normal” free from Sector 4 – harsh on Murphy but just one of those quirks that appear with incomplete data.

The overall volume of deadball attempts is low – 6.4 attempts per attacking possession versus an average of 4.9. This includes a sideline attempt from which a shot would not normally be taken. This low level can be attributed to excellent tackling but also a pre eminence on holding the ball across the 45 as both defensive shields were set.


Derry’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Derry 11 61% 11 100% 7 64%
Donegal 7 39% 5 71% 4 57%
Donegal’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Derry 7 39% 6 86% 5 71%
Donegal 11 61% 9 82% 6 55%

The most remarkable thing about the kickouts – apart from the symmetry of both teams winning 11 out of their own 18 kickouts – is the sheer volume that were converted into attacking possessions.

No matter who won the kickout 86% (31 out of 36) were converted into an attacking possession. It was not a case of kicking short and walking the ball up to the opposition’s defensive shield either; of the 34 where the cameras picked up where the ball landed only two were kicked short and one of those went directly out over the sideline!

A case of competing for the kickout but if you lose it then retreat and only press the opposition when they meet your defensive line.


Turned Over Shots from Turnovers %
Derry 23 9 39%
Donegal 22 11 50%


Misplaced Pass Tackled Shots not going dead Mishandled possession/Fouled Ball Other
Derry 7 7 4 4 1
Down 6 6 4 5 1

One of the side effects of a slow, probing approach in trying to break down a defensive shield is the relative lack of turnovers. Possession is key – and king. In the two games where we have tracked turnovers the volume has been 58 (Dublin V Derry) and 56 (Tyrone V Down). In this game there was a total of 45 turnovers with 18% (8 total) coming from shots that did not go dead. So in a 70 minute game there was a non-shot turnover only every two minutes.

Perhaps the most remarkable point on the turnovers is that not one of those turnovers happened inside the opposition’s 65m line and the receiving team got the ball inside their own 45 78% of the time(35 in total). No score was easily given away.

Shot Charts

Derry’s shooting
Derry shooting (V Donegal )
Donegal’s shooting
Donegal shooting (V Derry)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
P McBrearty (Donegal) 5 1 20% -1.311
C McFaul (Derry) 3 1 33% -0.217
L McLoone (Donegal) 2 2 100% +1.176
E Bradley (Derry) 2 1 50% +0.282
N Holly (Derry) 2 1 50% +0.263
M Lynch (Derry) 2 1 50% +0.142
M Murphy (Donegal) 2 1 50% +0.076
A thompson (Donegal) 2 1 50% -0.068
A thompson (Donegal) 2 1 50% -0.068
R Bell (Derry) 2 0 0% -0.719

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One Response to “Derry V Donegal 2014 Championship”

  1. Still Got It | samsforthehills Says:

    […] was the man to go at half time, but all in all, McGuinness got it just right in the middle third. The stats indicate that we weren’t brilliant, but we did enough to win, and that ultimately is all you need […]

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