Cork V Kerry 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
Cork 26 23 88% 12 52% -0.359
Kerry 42 38 90% 24 63% +4.575
Champ (’12 & ’13 avg) 35.8 27.6 77.2% 14.1 51.0%

A stunning performance from Kerry no matter the metric. Outstanding accuracy on a very high Shot Rate from a large base of attacking possessions. You could not ask for more.

Their dominance can be summed up in a few nuggets
• In 18 minutes play in the first half Cork controlled the ball once inside Kerry’s 45
• After Cork started the second half with three points Kerry had 13 of the next 14 attacks
• Kerry did not misplace a pass for 31 minutes in the 2nd half

Whilst both teams have lost a large number of household names from last year Cork’s inability to get attacking possession here is a carryover from the 2013 Munster Final. That day they had 30 attacking possessions (to Kerry’s 37) but had a phenomenal Success Rate of 65% that got them back into the game. Here there was no repeat of that shooting accuracy and the paucity of attacking ball told for their chances pretty quickly.

Indeed the metrics may actually hide just how poor Cork were. Excluding the last 10 minutes, when Kerry arguably let up (I present Cork gaining possession on their last 8 kickouts as evidence!) their possession total was 20.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Cork 16 6 31% -1.964
Kerry 31 19 61% +4.684
Champ avgs (’12 & ’13) 20.3 9.2 45.4%

In the Dublin – Laois game it was noted that “It will be an exceptional shooting performance that tops what we witnessed” when commenting on Ross Munnelly’s performance. At the time he had topped anything we had seen in 2013 – O’Donoghue’s day was another leap above that.

O’Donoghue recorded an 80% Success Rate on 10 shots with a weighting of +2.967 – and one of his misses was an attempt at goal. He therefore had an 89% Success Rate when going for points. Ridiculous.

He was ably supported by Geaney & Buckley who combined for a Success Rate of 70% on 10 shots with a combined weighting of +2.564. Three players combining for 0-15 from play from 20 shots. The average would be 0-09.

If you wanted to find something to gripe about then the fact that they didn’t convert any of their four goal shots could be one area. But you would really be stretching for a gripe. Another area that may be of concern is the lack of pressure that Cork placed on the forwards – could this performance be reproduced?

Of their 27 shots for a point 17 were taken under no pressure – 63% in total. Kerry converted 11 of these for a Success Rate of 65%. Of those taken under pressure 70% were converted (7 out of 10). No real difference in terms of conversion rates and nothing that could be gleaned regarding future games.

Prior to the Championship I wrote about how Kerry would struggle to replace the quality of Cooper’s returns (here). I was reminded during the week of the Ewing concept articulated by Bill Simmons – essentially how other players step up and show themselves to be better than previously thought when a leader is injured. Step 1 for Kerry well and truly accomplished.

Cork’s numbers look terrible from an accuracy stand point and it could be argued that this is driven in the main by desperate attempts for goal at the end of the game. After 60 minutes however their weighting was -0.957 on (a paltry) 11 shots. Their radar was missing from early doors.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
B Sheehan (Kerry) 4 3 75% +0.340
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 3 2 67% -0.449
D Goulding (Cork) 4 4 100% +1.199
B Hurley (Cork) 3 3 100% +0.406
team avgs (’12 & ’13 Champ) 7.3 4.9 66.7%

About the only positive you could take from this game, from a Cork perspective, was Goulding’s deadball striking. Hurley hit 3 from 3 however they were all very central; Goulding on the other hand converted a 45 and a very tight free on the corner of the sideline and 20m line.

The impression that one will take from this game, re Kerry’s deadball striking, is Bryan Sheehan’s effortless 45 & the ridiculous free from the sideline on the 13m line. However the overall returns paint a different picture. On top of those two sublime efforts were two misses one of which was on top of the D.

Prior to this game there were 12 Kerry Championship games in the database that showed a 62% Success Rate (31 from 50), with a combined weighting of +0.720, for non Cooper deadballs. Essentially average. Despite the perceptions from the Sheehan’s efforts the returns here were much the same – a Success Rate of 71% (5 from 7) with a combined weighting of -0.109


Cork’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Cork 20 61% 11 55% 10 50%
Kerry 13 39% 10 77% 10 77%
Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Cork 8 47% 6 75% 5 63%
Kerry 9 53% 7 78% 7 78%

(note that there was no 65m line marked on the pitch – therefore trying to identify “long” & “mid” kickouts was difficult on borderline 65m kickouts)

The full set of numbers, over 70 minutes, do not reflect the dominance that Kerry had in this area nor the apparent lack of alternative strategies that Cork seemed to possess.

Kerry lost 8 of their kickouts to Cork but two were in the first three minutes whilst three were at the end in the last 10 minutes. For the 60 minutes in between Kerry won 7 of their own 10 kickouts gaining 0-05 points to Cork’s 0-01.

Cork do not appear to have performed too badly on their own kickout however their performance was bookended by winning 8 of their first 10 and also their last 8 when the game was gone. Whilst the game was in the melting pot they lost 11 out of 15.

Despite getting cleared out in this period of the game the kickout never really varied – it was kicked c55-70m with a range of about 10m either side of the centre – a nice big rectangle for Sheehan, Buckley, Walsh & Maher to establish base camp. During this phase, either side of half time, Kerry manufactured 9 shots from possessions on Cork kickouts to Cork’s two.

What is surprising is that Cork never went short. They did so on one in five of their kickouts in the league game against Kerry and had manufactured two shots from the two short kickouts they had executed prior to this phase (admittedly one of them was taken by Cahalane under severe pressure but it was taken).

Contrast this steadfast approach with that of Kerry. Cork came out in the 2nd half with the wind and manufactured three points from four shots. This included winning two Kerry kickouts that had been dispatched down the middle. Kerry’s response? They went short with the next one and relieved the pressure


Team “coughing up” possession Shots from Turnovers %
Cork 26 19 73%
Kerry 18 8 44%


Misplaced Pass Tackled Shots not going dead Other
Cork 11 7 4 4
Kerry 6 6 3 3

Very good from Kerry. When they did receive a turnover they converted 73% into a shot which is up there with the best returns we have seen (small sample size granted).

But perhaps more impressive was what they did on turnover ball that they forced. One could group “Mishandled” and “fouled ball” with tackles as generally these occur because of the pressure being employed by the opposition. Kerry thus “forced” 11 turnovers and they converted these forced turnovers to a shot 91% of the time (10 from 11). That has got to be hugely demoralising to the opposition.

On the other hand Kerry only misplaced 6 passes in the entire game. In the second half they went 31 minutes without misplacing (opposition getting the ball) a pass.

Shot Charts

Cork’s shooting
Cork Shooting (V Kerry)

Kerry’s shooting
Kerry shooting (V Cork)
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
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 10 8 80% +2.967
J Buckley (Kerry) 5 4 80% +1.907
P Geaney (Kerry) 5 3 60% +0.658
B Hurley (Cork) 4 1 25% -0.591
D Goulding (Cork) 3 2 67% +0.643
S O’Brien (Kerry) 3 1 33% -0.265
P Kerrigan (Cork) 2 0 0% -0.833

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4 Responses to “Cork V Kerry 2014 Championship”

  1. Thom Hickey Says:

    Thanks. So much information! I’ll check back again. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (regular irish themed content).

  2. Kerry v Mayo 2014 Championship | dontfoul Says:

    […] the third game this year Kerry produced a Success Rate above 60% (61% V Cork; 63% V Galway). Their shooting this year is consistently brilliant – and this without Cooper. […]

  3. Kerry V Cork Preview 2015 Munster Championship | dontfoul Says:

    […] Original transcripts of the three games can be found at 2012, 2013, 2014 […]

  4. Cork V Kerry 2015 Munster Championship | dontfoul Says:

    […] the preview I stated that the 2014 mauling Kerry inflicted was on the back of a trend that saw Cork’s attack differential go from +4 in 2012 […]

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