Clare v Roscommon 2016 AI Qualifiers

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 Shots Scores Exp Pts
Clare 55 39 34 2 – 12 21.53
Roscommon 54 32 22 1 – 09 14.45

Combined the Expt Pts in this game was -5.98; the two teams scored six points less than an average intercounty team would be expected to score given the shots taken. It is going to be hard to take too many positives from a game with such numbers.

Clare Shooting

Clare’s shooting returns were poor with a Conversion Rate of just 41% (14 scores from 34 shots) and an Expt Pts tally of -3.53. Unfortunately for Clare no segmentation of the shooting shows a positive return
> Inside the 20m line; 42% (5 from 12) with an Expt Pts of -0.68
> Outside the 20m line; 36% (5 from 14) with an Expt Pts of -0.95
> Deadballs 50%; 50% (4 from 8) with an Expt Pts of -1.90

Undoubtedly there were some very poor misses – Cleary’s missed fisted point, a poor Ryan pass for Sexton in the first minute leading to a missed palmed effort – which Clare will hope to eradicate. And 12 shots from inside the 20m line is an indicator of their ability to create chances. But still that is poor.

This was our first Championship look at Clare (in the Division 3 league final they were more or less average with a 51% Conversion Rate and an Expt Pts tally if -0.99) so we cannot draw too many conclusions but they cannot be as profligate in the quarter final.

Kickouts

At a high level Clare won just 37% (17 of 46) of all kickouts and 63% of their own (12 from 19) with a net point difference of minus two points (Roscommon scored 0 – 06 from the kickouts they won with Clare similarly scoring 0 – 04).

Clare particularly struggled in this respect when playing against the wind in the first half. Seven first half kickouts travelled past the 45m line with Roscommon winning five; in the second half three went past the 45m line with Clare winning all three thus leaving Clare winning 50% of their own contestable kickouts.

They also had trouble with the short ones losing two of nine. They lost two short ones in the Kildare game as well. With limited data they appear to prefer the short kickout (60% of kickouts over the two games) but losing 15% (4 out of 27) is opening yourself up to potential disaster..

Roscommon

Roscommon had as many possessions as Clare but even given Clare’s very poor shooting Roscommon’s 0.22 points per possession was way below that of Clare. Indeed the 0.21 Mayo recorded against Galway was the only one worse this year.

The reason for such a poor return is twofold. Firstly Roscommon were anaemic in their efforts to get the ball in to Clare’s 45 with only 59% of their possessions ending up as an attack. This again was the second worst recorded this year behind Meath’s 57% against Dublin (as an aside the only other return below 70% was Galway’s against Mayo).

Secondly their shooting was also poor showing a Conversion Rate of 45% with an Expt Pts of -2.45. You can have low attacking volumes, or poor shooting, and survive. You cannot have both.

What struck me more than the shooting however was the way that Roscommon approached the game. The below picture shows the movement for Clare’s attack in the first minute.

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I would have thought that Roscommon would be busting a gut to make amends after the Connacht final replay but Ryan’s pass and run are never tracked and Brennan is allowed to turn inside without a hand being laid on him thus drawing the cover and allowing Ryan in behind.

Now the question becomes is that a system issue (Smith should not be responsible for tracking a livewire like Ryan & Keenan did not have the strength for Brennan) or a player attitude/mental fatigue issue? That we cannot decipher but it was not the first time that this happened.

PhotoGrid_1469547131961

Above is the substitute McGrath taking a kickout in acres of space. Smith had just missed the goal chance in the 61st minute to bring the sides level. Roscommon’s tails were up and the Clare goalie had not rushed the kickout (32 seconds between Smith’s shot and the kickout). McGrath to be that open at that stage of the game is criminal. Roscommon were chasing the game so I can understand there being a lack of cover but even still for no one to lay a hand on him before taking a shot just outside the 20m line added injury to insult.

These were two incidents either end of the game. There were many more. It will be a long Winter for the Roscommon team.

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