O’Donoghue & O’Connor

Something a little different.

James O’Donoghue & Cillian O’Connor are two of the best forwards in the game and their play had a huge bearing on the semi final. The below charts where they got on the ball with a quick review of the impact their interventions had.

This is not an exhaustive list of how they affected the game – we cannot see the runs they are making off the ball nor what their mere presence does to defensive alignments – but rather an indication of how successfully, or otherwise, they used the ball when they had it. As an aside some of their plays outside of the opposition’s 65 were

• O’Donoghue tackled Vaughan out over the sideline in Kerry’s half just after Keegan’s red card. This sideline possession led directly to Fitzgerald’s point.
• O’Connor fouled Walsh inside his own half slowing down a second half attack. He was also instrumental in two turnovers that led to Mayo points.

Attacking plays

Successful pass Unsuccessful pass Converted shot (from play) Missed shot (from play) Converted deadball Missed deadball Other
O’Donoghue 13 2 4 2 3
O’Connor 5 1 3 3 6 1

O’Donoghue was much more involved in open play getting on the ball 24 times. The charts below show that he had much more of a roaming role than O’Connor, getting the ball in a horse shoe around what might be considered the prime shooting zone. Once he was inside that zone he pulled the trigger.

O’Donoghue chart
disk = successful, x = unsuccessful
white = pass, black = shot from play, yellow = shot from deadball, red = dispossessed, blue = fouled

Of his 24 possessions O’Donoghue only gave the ball away three times – the cross field sideline ball in the first half, the missed pass when Walsh looked through on goals and once when A O’Shea dispossessed him in the tackle. Indeed that tackle from O’Shea appeared to affect him for the rest of the first half as his *only* contribution was winning Geaney’s easy free from the 13m line under Vaughan’s sliding challenge. The other foul was a silly tug by Cunniffe on the 45.

His passing was secure with a success rate of 87% (13 from 15) whilst one of his passes was a direct assist to a P Geaney shot. Another kick pass was instrumental in Walsh’s point in the second half.

O’Connor chart
C OConnor touchesv2
disk = successful, x = unsuccessful
white = pass, black = shot from play, yellow = shot from deadball, red = dispossessed, blue = fouled

O’Connor’s deadball striking was of vital importance to Mayo but removing those he was on the ball 12 times. Two of those 12 were short passes, in the top left corner, that occurred in the 69th minute when Mayo were trying to protect their one point lead.

That leaves ten times that O’Connor was on the ball, in play, which would appear to be very few. It was what he did with those ten that made his contributions so vital.

We can see that he converted three of his five attempts at a point whilst was inches away from getting the opening goal with his sixth shot from play. Of his four passes two were vital flicks that led to a teammate’s point (both to Dillon incidentally) whilst a third was a quick free kick that led directly to one of his shots. Only one of his ten touches was not a shot nor did it lead directly to a shot.

Part of why he was on the ball so few times, in comparison to O’Donoghue, was that he played much closer to goal. Apart from three very distinct sets of play the furthest out from goal he touched the ball was about 30 metres. Those three plays were

• 12:40 – he received a short kickout from Hennelly. I have no idea what he was doing back there but he had the intelligence to realise he could help out by making himself available rather than running straight back up field.
• 17:36 – he took a shot from c34metres but was only out there as he was preparing to take a free from 48 metres. Instead he laid it off short and took the return pass
• 45th minute – perhaps the most instrumental minute in the championship yet. Lying on the ground he managed to scramble a kick pass to Dillon in space who pointed the subsequent shot. After the kickout he dispossessed O’Mahoney on his own, got a quick return pass and then fired over a point from 43 metres.

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2 Responses to “O’Donoghue & O’Connor”

  1. jhartogs Says:

    Reblogged this on Irish history, folklore and all that and commented:
    O’Donoghue & O’Connor

  2. O’Donoghue & how Donegal handled opposition sharp shooters | dontfoul Says:

    […] at where their respective marquee forwards, James O’Donoghue and Cillian O’Connor, managed to get on attacking ball and the outcomes of those interventions. O’Donoghue’s chart is reattached […]

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