Cavan V Monaghan 2015 Ulster 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 Attacks Attack % Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
Cavan 49 34 69% 25 74% 15 60% +0.741
Monaghan 43 35 81% 24 69% 16 67% +2.306
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Cavan had every opportunity to take this game. They had more six more possessions and one more shot than Monaghan. Their shooting didn’t let them down as it was above average – it was just that Monaghan’s shooting was deadly accurate. Especially from frees.

Indeed if we just look at the expected return from the shots that both teams attempted, and run 20,000 simulations of same, Cavan win the game 45% of the time with Monaghan 43% and a draw 12%.

Cav - Mon outcomesv3

That first line “six more possessions and one more shot” does indicate that Cavan had problems converting primary ball into an attack (and a subsequent shot). Converting 69% of your ball into an attack (possession inside the opposition’s 45) is low. This is due in the main to the way that Cavan played launching long balls in to Argue.

In and of itself that is fine but it does mean you have to maximise your opportunities (as there will generally be less of them). And get a goal. Cavan didn’t manage one attempt on goal. There were instances where a break could have fallen their way but that’s the gamble you take with the long ball strategy.

Monaghan? On the whole they’ll be pleased. They went away from home and came away with a win. Job done. Move on. But their reliance on deadballs, and specific individuals, hasn’t moved on from the last two years. Remember how Dublin attacked them down the left when Walshe went off in last year’s QF? If a team is disciplined can they manufacture the chances from play? Can they chase a game with no great goal threat?

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Cavan 15 8 53% +0.471
Monaghan 13 7 54% +1.056
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Monaghan’s accuracy was very good but their volume of shots from play would be a worry. Yes this was in part due to Cavan fouling however they only managed three shots from play in the first half and all from the top left (see shot chart below). That’s very poor.

They managed a much healthier ten shots in the second half and converted some absolute stunners (Dessie Mone hanging one on the wind from the left and McManus from a tight angle top of the right being another) but their lack of firepower (McManus aside) can be exploited if a defence is disciplined.

Monaghan only managed one shot on goal – Hughes’ pile driver over the bar – which is a recurrent theme. In their five Championship games last year they managed eight attempts at goal with two of those being long range shots from outside the 20m line. I took two snapshots when the camera panned back showing the huge open spaces in front of the opposition’s goal – it’s no wonder they are not prolific on the goal front!


Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C McManus (Monaghan) 5 5 100% +1.448
N McDermott (Cavan) 4 4 100% +0.885
P Finlay (Monaghan) 3 3 100% +0.291
R Galligan (Cavan) 3 1 33% -0.442
R Beggan (Monaghan) 2 0 0% -0.669
K Hughes (Monaghan) 1 1 100% +0.180
M Dunne (Cavan) 1 1 100% +0.163
C Mackay (Cavan) 1 1 100% +0.064
M Reilly (Cavan) 1 0 0% -0.400
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

21 shots from deadballs is a lot. It places this game second only to the Meath – Tyrone game in 2013 which had a combined 23.

McManus (5 from 5) and McDermott (4 from 4) were the main protagonists converting all of their attempts however the weighting shows that McManus’s conversions were of the more difficult type.

During the off season we showed that McManus’s conversion rate was second only to Cillian O’Connor over the previous three years. It would appear he will challenge O’Connor for the top marksman accolades this year – his free from the left on the 20m line in the second half was a peach – as was Kieran Hughes’ from the right. With McManus, Hughes, Finlay & Beggan Monaghan have a lethal deadball arsenal.

There has been much commentary about Galligan’s two misses at the end however we forget the one he converted in the first half. Of the three kicks he would only be expected to convert more than one a little over half (~52%) the time. The misses were magnified by the timing and the game state. Indeed Rory Beggan missed both his long range efforts. His misses won’t come under the same level of scrutiny as Galligan’s however when viewed over the entirety of the game they were every bit as important, and of a similar ilk, to the two that Galligan missed.


Cavan’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Cavan 18 86% 14 78% 9 50%
Monaghan 3 14% 3 100% 3 100%
Monaghan’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Cavan 7 29% 6 86% 3 43%
Monaghan 17 71% 15 88% 9 53%

A word of warning when reviewing these. A lot of the immediate kickout aftermath – where the ball was aimed, who won it and how etc. was missed by the TV coverage. Not too sure why this may be – there were various lingering shots of players leaving the field and entering the subs bench when the game was progressing!

Shot Charts

Cavan’s shooting
Cavan shooting (V Monaghan)

Monaghan’s shooting
Monaghan shooting (V Cavan)

x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play,

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C McManus (Monaghan) 3 2 67% +0.737
G McKiernan (Monaghan) 3 2 67% +0.479
M Argue (Cavan) 3 2 67% +0.114

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4 Responses to “Cavan V Monaghan 2015 Ulster Championship”

  1. Donal Buckley Says:

    Great info and a fantastic web site What is the difference between an attack and a possesion Thank you Martin

    Sent from my iPhone


    • dontfoul Says:

      I must update the definitions page!

      An attack is having control of the ball inside the opposition’s 45. A possession is any time a team has control of the ball … it ends with a shot or a turnover (opposition gaining control of the ball)

  2. Frees & Long Range Points - Get Accurate - Says:

    […] it does help to highlight the difference in accuracy between themselves and Monaghan. Again, from dontfoul, Cavan had more possessions (49 vs 43) and ended more of their attacks with shots (74% vs 69%) but […]

  3. Derry V Donegal 2015 Ulster Championship | dontfoul Says:

    […] in an Ulster game. In the Ulster Championship games covered so far this year there have been 19, 21 and […]

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