Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

Kerry V Tyrone 2015 All Ireland SF

August 24, 2015

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
Kerry 51 43 84% 31 72% 18 58% +1.711
Tyrone 45 35 78% 25 71% 12 48% +0.734
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

In a nutshell Kerry were able to manufacture more shots and convert their shots into a score at a higher rate.
Kerry’s Shot Rate at 72% is lower than the average but it was on course to be quite problematic in the first half.

With Donaghy on the pitch Kerry engineered 14 shots from 24 attacks for a 58% Shot Rate; in the second half, with Geaney in, that rose to 89% (17 shots from 19 attacks). Whilst that dramatic rise cannot all be laid at Donaghy’s feet the impetus to kick it in long, to a packed defence, was removed when he was taken out of the equation.

Within Tyrone’s lower Success Rate there are three separate components – deadballs, goal shots and attempts for a point.

Tyrone had five attempts at a goal scoring 1 – 01 – or a 40% Success Rate. On deadballs they were 43% – both of which dragged down the attempts at a point which was an excellent 57%.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 24 12 50% +0.661
Tyrone 18 9 50% +1.610
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Kerry did not manufacture a shot at goal but that won’t unduly worry them. They can play a multitude of styles and are usually very good at finding the right one.

Their point taking was average here but that is a boon when compared to the All Ireland final when they last met a hugely defensive team in the Championship – that day they were 17% (!!) on point attempts.

Considering O’Donoghue was out of sorts from play (0 from 3), and Cooper was more or less tied up (1 shot all game), it will be heartening to the management that at various times during the game the “second” tier stood up; Buckley was 3 from 3 in the first 10 minutes, O’Brien then convert 2 from 3 in the next 15 minutes – finally Geaney came off the bench to attempt four shots.

Pity the Tyrone defence. You keep Cooper, Donaghy & O’Donoghue to 0 – 02 from a mere six attempts over 175 minutes … and still let in 0 – 12 from play.

When we exclude the four goal chances we can see that Tyrone’s point taking conversion rate was excellent at 57% (0 – 08 from 14 attempts) with a weighting of +2.336. It is not that they failed to take their chances; they failed to take their goal chances.

Why two of those goal chances were not taken is reviewed in more detail below but all four came from straight, hard running down the middle. If you turn over Kerry (admittedly not always an easy thing) in the middle 3rd your first thought should be a direct run at goal. O’Connor’s goal in the drawn Munster Final was also the result of direct running.


Marc O’Sé is credited with a wonderful block on McAlliskey to stop the first goal attempt. Without doubt it was executed perfectly but he should never have been allowed to get into that position. In the top picture Harte has the cover beaten – he needs to drive straight and commit O’Sé before shooting or offloading. Instead he shows pass all the way staring down McAlliskey and holding the ball in a striking action – queues that allow O’Sé to drift back. When a pass is finally given it is high & loopy allowing O’Sé further time.


For the second goal attempt it is almost a role reversal. McAlliskey does everything right up until the final act; he drives towards goal committing the last defender and burning his trailing marker. In this instance he needs to give the ball to McCurry for an easy fisted goal (think Flynn across to the back post for Brogan). Instead he shoots.

Fine margins for sure but when you are the underdog these are the moments on which results turn.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 5 4 80% +0.823
C Cooper (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.163
P Geaney (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.064
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 1 25% -1.315
N Morgan (Tyrone) 2 1 50% +0.257
P Harte (Tyrone) 1 1 100% +0.182
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Perhaps the best way of summarising Kerry’s deadball outing is that Sheehan was not missed. They converted 86% (6 from 7) of their attempts for a combined weighting of +1.05. Geaney & Cooper popped over relatively easy frees so the majority of the weighting can be attributed to O’Donoghue. He converted one in close to goal but other than that he was 3 from 4 from around the 45 – equivalent to 0.5pts above expected.

Looking forward to the final it will be interesting to see what Kerry do were Sheehan to be on the bench and the long range frees come from the other side – O’Donoghue’s right. Moran & Buckley both attempted long range efforts in 2014 – would they be given the ball? Buckley’s 3rd point was a free on the 45 which was taken quickly; Tyrone should have been alert to this possibility of a quick one (with no Sheehan) but is it a precursor?

Morgan hit one stunner from the sideline then missed one from c50m – the kind of inconsistency you expect from multiple long range efforts – whilst Harte’s penalty was converted with aplomb.

McCurry had a hard day at the office but much of that was due to Kerry’s excellent defence. Only one of his four attempts was given within a comfortable scoring range – the three McCurry missed were out to the side or long range. Yes he should have converted one, if not two, but he never got his eye in on a simple chance due to Kerry’s defensive discipline.


Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 16 76% 11 69% 6 38%
Tyrone 5 24% 4 80% 3 60%
Tyrone’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 8 31% 8 100% 5 63%
Tyrone 18 69% 14 78% 10 56%

Where to start. Firstly much has been made of the short kickout as a strategy. As a strategy it is fine – see results from 2013 – however it needs to be executed properly. A lot of the issues for Tyrone on the short kickouts was poor execution (both from the goalkeeper and those looking to receive the ball).

Tyrone lost three of their short kickouts whilst another three that went past the 45 were also lost (two went straight to a Kerry shirt). From those 6 kickouts Kerry scored 0 – 02 whilst Tyrone scored 0 – 04 from the 12 they won inside the 65. Not ideal by any means – but not disastrous either. You get the sense that the difficulties were more mental – a key area wasn’t functioning so the panic alarms started to sound.

Of course what does not help the argument for “going short was a sound strategy” is that when Tyrone went long they won the battle 6 – 2. We have no way of knowing what Kerry would have done if all kickouts went long – they destroyed Kildare in the first half of that game on long kickouts – but there is definitely an argument that Tyrone should have gone longer more often irrespective of how they were doing on the short ones.

Kerry? They went short on 9 kickouts, scoring 0 – 02, with no real pressure applied by Tyrone. When the ball went past the 45 Tyrone were competitive with Kerry winning the possession battle 7 – 5.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Kerry 8 11 3
Tyrone 8 5 3 8

As expected Tyrone were very good in the tackle turning over a Kerry player on 11 occasions however difference in natural skill sets is evident in the “other” category. On a wet, dirty, day Tyrone turned the ball over through either mishandling, or fouling, the ball on 8 separate occasions. Kerry didn’t turn it over in this method once.

Shot Charts

Kerry’s shooting
Kerry shooting (V Tyrone 15 SF)

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Kerry 15 SF)
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
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 2 50% +0.435
C McAlliskey (Tyrone) 4 2 50% +0.157
P Geaney (Kerry) 4 2 50% -0.053
J Buckley (Kerry) 3 3 100% +1.417
M Bradley (Tyrone) 3 2 67% +0.968
S O’Brien (Kerry) 3 2 67% +0.794
D Walsh (Kerry) 3 1 33% -0.370
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 3 0 0% -1.583

Monaghan V Tyrone 2015 All Ireland QF

August 11, 2015

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
Monaghan 46 38 83% 27 71% 14 52% +1.466
Tyrone 43 37 86% 30 81% 18 60% +1.643
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

The above table is a little quirky. Tyrone’s shooting accuracy was excellent at 60% but their weighting – as judged against Monaghan’s returns – does not reflect this. Normally I introduce the shot charts at the bottom of the piece but it is instructive to look at Monaghan’s at this juncture.

Monaghan shooting (V Tyrone 15 QF)

What immediately jumps out is how clean the two central – and thus high scoring – areas are. From the arc of the D in to the square Monaghan only attempted one shot from play – and that was the last minute goal attempt from McManus. Monaghan’s weighting is as good as Tyrone’s despite the lower Success Rate because they were trying shots that were a lot harder.

Part of this was due, undoubtedly, to Monaghan’s methodical build up play which allowed Tyrone to block up the middle. But a great amount of credit must go to Tyrone’s defensive structure & effort on the day. If they keep their central channels as clean against Kerry they will believe they are well on their way.

Further to the disparity in the weighting the below chart shows, were the game to be played 20,000 times with the same shots taken, how often Tyrone would win – 74% of the time. In the context of the shots taken throughout the game Monaghan never had a chance.

Mon-Tyr outcomes

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Monaghan 18 8 44% +1.105
Tyrone 22 10 45% +0.070
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Initially I believed the discrepancy in shot accuracy & weighting would be entirely down to the types of deadballs attempted – Monaghan trying long range & Tyrone having shots closer in to goal. There was evidence of this but the logic flowed through to the attempts from play as well.

Both teams had a Success Rate of 45% but Monaghan scored 1 point more than expected – again the accuracy was there but the volume, and shot location, meant that they were relying on individuals to produce excellent long range displays. Some did (Duffy & McManus) but the majority did not.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C McAliskey (Tyrone) 4 4 100% 0.787
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 4 100% +0.786
C McManus (Monaghan) 6 5 83% 0.944
R Beggan (Monaghan) 2 0 0% -0.763
P Finlay (Monaghan) 1 1 100% 0.180
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Very good striking from Tyrone with McCurry & McAliskey converting 8 from 8. Whilst the majority were definitely of the more “gettable” variety the combined weighting of +1.57 indicates that the expected return from these 8 frees was 6.5 points; they converted all the ones they should have and then also scored from a 45 and one tough one out right on the 20m line.

From their 9 attempts Monaghan would have been expected to return 5.7 points. Their attempts were much harder than Tyrone’s but given their usual excellence they will not be happy with basically average returns – especially Beggan who dropped both his long range efforts short.

One of the hidden value adds of players are frees they win inside the opposition’s 45 which lead to more productive shots for other players. Séan Cavanagh only had one shot all day however he won three of the frees that Tyrone converted. Similarly Mattie Donnelly’s runs earned two scores from frees (though given the commentary around this game Cavanagh’s free winning ability is more front and centre than is the norm!)


Monaghan’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Monaghan 22 96% 18 82% 11 50%
Tyrone 1 4% 1 100% 1 100%
Tyrone’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Monaghan 6 30% 5 83% 3 50%
Tyrone 14 70% 12 86% 10 71%

Monaghan won a quite ridiculous 22 of their own 23 kickouts. This was aided of course by the fact that they went short on 68% of their kickouts (that the TV cameras caught). Monaghan scored 0-06 on their 22 wins but also gave up a point on the one they lost (a horrible short one down the middle). A net gain of 0.22pts per kickout

The TV cameras missed quite a few of where the Tyrone kickouts landed so we can’t make too many absolute statements on length. However they gained possession on 14 of their 20 kickouts scoring 0-09 and allowing 0-02 – a net gain 0.35pts per kickout.

In terms of the kickout battle you have to say that Tyrone won despite the macro level results showing that Monaghan won 65% of all kickouts.

One further point to note was how Tyrone were able to move the ball on their kickouts when they absolutely had to. Thrice in the second half Monaghan scored inspirational long range points (Duffy x2 & McManus) only for Tyrone to take the subsequent kickout and score a point from the possession won. Absolute momentum killers.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Monaghan 12 6 5 1
Tyrone 5 4 3 4

The possession led nature of the game is reflected in the low turnover volumes. Tyrone in particular were excellent at retaining possession; in the second half they only coughed up the ball seven times.

Shot Charts

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Monaghan 15 QF)
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
D McCurry (Tyrone) 5 2 40% -0.138
Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone) 5 2 40% -0.564
O Duffy (Monaghan) 4 2 50% +0.258
C McManus (Monaghan) 3 2 67% +0.869
D Mone (Monaghan) 3 1 33% +0.031
C McAliskey (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.193
P Harte (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.193

Donegal V Mayo 2015 All Ireland QF

August 10, 2015

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
Donegal 46 30 65% 21 70% 11 50% +0.450
Mayo 48 38 79% 30 79% 15 50% +0.060
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Both teams had a similar number of possessions and when they took a shot they produced very similar returns in terms of accuracy & weighting. There the similarity ends however.

Mayo were much more efficient at creating attacks; 79% of Mayo’s possessions ended up inside Donegal’s 45 as opposed to 65% of Donegal’s. This was, in the main, due to Donegal’s set up. When Mayo had the ball they dropped back allowing Mayo fairly easy passage into their 45 (and thus an attack); when Donegal had the ball their possession play allowed the Mayo defence to “set” – thus even when inside the opposition’s 45 Mayo were able to produce more shots on their attacks than did Donegal (79% – 70%)

There is then of course the goals. Goals win games. Mayo had three attempts and scored 2 – 00; Donegal had two and managed 0 – 01.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Donegal 13 6 46% +0.407
Mayo 25 13 52% +1.668
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Some very neat shooting games (see the player table at the end) but the majority were from Mayo men. Murphy aside no one from Donegal stood up. McBrearty & C McFadden were marked absent with neither producing a score from four attempts whilst McGlynn was the only other player to attempt more than the one shot.

Looking at the two goals it wasn’t so much a system failure from Donegal but perhaps the wrong man for the system. For both goals Mark McHugh, acting as sweeper, was in a position to tackle the onrushing Mayo man but on both occasions he was brushed off. His lack of bulk telling against him

Donegal goal 1

Donegal goal 2

There were indications that the system was failing however; in the first half, whilst the game was in the melting pot at 0–03 to 0–02, Jason Doherty found himself in acres of space on Donegal’s right.

Don system failure

For whatever reason Hugh McFadden (21 below) and Neil Gallagher (9) completely got their signals wrong which meant that Lacey (6) wasn’t in a position to cover. Gallagher had Doherty put passed him on to McFadden – McFadden missed the cue and pushed up on his man allowing Doherty acres of space in behind.

Mayo on the other hand were getting it spot on. The first picture below shows an intercepted hand pass that takes three Mayo men out of the play – perfect Donegal counter attacking ball. Donegal attack hard up the middle however Mayo, unlike Dublin last year, have a man to stop the initial run whilst the cavalry work hard to get back and block the easy running hand passes.

Mayo Defense 1

Similarly in the next instance – again an intercepted hand pass on Donegal’s 45 – we can see that Mayo are set up perfectly with Donegal runners tightly marked and spare men back to choke the space in the middle.

Mayo defense 2

Both of these counter attacks resulted in Donegal points (for Murphy & Toye) but Mayo were back in sufficient numbers to ensure the goal wasn’t threatened on either occasion

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C O’Connor (Mayo) 5 2 40% -1.608
M Murphy (Donegal) 8 5 63% +0.043
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

What appears like a particularly poor day for O’Connor does in fact highlight one of the weaknesses in Mayo’s game. O’Connor is probably the most accurate deadball striker over the past few years however he does have a specific range. The three he missed here were outside that – two from the right and one long (a 45). My guess is that he took on these attempts not because he thought he would get them but because there is no one else stepping up.

Murphy missed both his attempts from outside the 45 and whilst he converted a 45 the remainder of his attempts were deemed on the easier side (3 of the other 4 that were converted were inside the 20m line) so his returns come out as “average”.


Donegal’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Donegal 14 67% 10 71% 7 50%
Mayo 7 33% 5 71% 4 57%
Mayo’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Donegal 4 22% 3 75% 3 75%
Mayo 14 78% 10 71% 9 64

The TV cameras missed where three of Mayo’s kickouts landed but none of the three went past the 65. Assuming this Mayo only kicked two of their kickouts long.

In total Donegal scored 0 – 01 from the 4 Mayo kickouts they won but Mayo scored 1-04 directly from their own kickouts. Not pushing up on the Mayo kickouts ultimately did not work.

Donegal basically had two kickout ploys – long or short. None of their kickouts, that the TV cameras picked up, landed between the 45 & 65m lines. Of the 13 that went long Donegal won the possession battle 7 – 6 however they were unable to use this possession scoring just the one point. Mayo returned 1–02 from the 6 that they won.

Of the remaining 8 that went short Donegal scored 0–02 but they did lose one of their short kickouts which resulted in a point for Mayo.

So whilst the overall possessions and ability to turn these possessions to shots look similar Mayo scored 2-07 from the 21 kickouts they won (0.62pts per possession) whilst Donegal only manufactured 0-04 from their 18 wins (0.22pts per possession)


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Donegal 13 9 2 3
Mayo 12 5 7 1

If we consider turnover from shots to be of a different nature than the rest (which I do) then Mayo were very careful with the ball only coughing it up 18 times – and only five of those were through the tackle against a historically very strong defence.

Of course they won’t want to turn the ball over on so many shots the next time but nothing we have seen – either from Mayo or from the numbers in general – leads us to believe that this is a predictable trait from one game to the next.

Shot Charts

Donegal’s shooting
Donegal shooting (V Mayo 15 QF)

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Donegal 15 QF)
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
L Keegan (Mayo) 4 3 75% +1.497
C O’Connor (Mayo) 4 1 25% 1.124
M Murphy (Donegal) 3 3 100% +1.899
J Doherty (Mayo) 3 3 100% +1.442
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 3 2 67% +0.544

Kerry V Kildare 2015 All Ireland QF

August 5, 2015

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
Kerry 60 43 72% 33 77% 23 70% +8.861
Kildare 49 38 78% 28 74% 10 36% -2.600
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Sometimes one stat is enough to sum up a game. Kerry had 8 attempts on goal scoring 7-00.

Earlier in the year Dublin had 8 shots on goal against Kildare, including a penalty, and scored 5-01. The data doesn’t include 2015 games but from 2012 to 2014 one third of goal attempts are converted … you allow 8 goal shots a game, with the opposition converting 75% and you’re sunk.

All 8 of Kerry’s goal attempts came in the second half but the foundation for those goals was laid in a dominant first half.

1st Half stats

Team Possessions Attacks Attack % Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 30 21 70% 16 76% 10 63% +3.349
Kildare 24 17 71% 11 65% 3 27% -2.161

Kerry had 5 more shots and 6 more possessions than Kildare but even more impressively they started out by converting 9 of their first 11 attempts. That 82% Conversion Rate is comparable to Dublin’s early blitz of Fermanagh.

The three games that Kerry have played (on TV) to date have been completely different

Kerry pts per possession

The first Cork – Kerry game was a tight, high quality affair. The replay was poorer fair as both teams wasted quite a lot of possession – accepting that the weather had an impact. The third was never a game as Kerry powered ahead whilst Kildare struggled to turn their possession in to scores.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 30 21 70% +8.354
Kildare 25 9 36% -1.686
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

I haven’t updated the “charts” for 2015 but that Stephen O’Brien performance tops anything from 2012 -2014 in terms of accuracy. 1-04 from 5 shots with only one of the four point attempts coming from a central zone.

It was a very intelligent performance from O’Brien (and selection from Kerry who dropped Buckley). Nominally Kevin Murnaghan was his marker but Murnaghan was playing a sweeping role. By keeping O’Brien in the attacking half he was able to find pockets of space as the Kildare players “lost” him when tracking back. In an attempt to push on in the second half Kildare appeared to go man on man; once identified Kerry brought on O’Sullivan and Kerry ran through Kildare.

O’Donoghue and his replacement BJ Keane hit 6 from 6; the aforementioned O’Sullivan hit 3 from 4 (his only miss being the skied shot that he ran in after and ended up scoring his hat trick goal with – talk about hungry!) whilst Cooper converted 4 out of 5. Not a lot of waste there!

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C Cooper (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.397
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.397
B Sheehan (Kerry) 1 0 0% -0.269
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 2 1 50% -0.440
M Donnellan (Kildare) 1 0 0% -0.474
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

A very quiet day on the deadball front – more indicative of Kerry’s dominance than anything else. When the game was a “game” in the first half Kerry only gave away one free within their 45 which I guess is something they can point to


Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 19 86% 12 63% 9 47%
Kildare 3 14% 3 100% 2 67%
Kildare’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 10 34% 7 70% 5 50%
Kildare 19 66% 15 79% 13 68%

Kerry dominated their own kickouts losing just the three. Four of their 19 wins came on short kickouts meaning that they won the battle on their own “contestable” kickouts 15-3. Not only was it a solid platform but it must have sucked the life out of Kildare seeing the engine room, that functioned so well against Cork, getting dominated in this manner.

Kildare appear to have managed their own kickouts well but seven of their wins came on short kickouts in the 2nd half when the game was over. In the first half they won 9 of their 16 kickouts however the seven they lost were all grouped around a pivotal stage when Kerry were building their lead. The sequence for Kildare’s kickouts, after they won the first two, was Kerry, Kerry, Kerry, Kerry, Kerry, Kildare, Kerry, Kildare, Kerry.

It was thereafter that Kildare moved to short kickouts but the damage had been done


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Kerry 19 6 1 2
Fermanagh 12 6 8 2

Kind of remarkable that the turnover stats were so even but 6 of the last 8 turnovers were Kerry’s when the game was played at a pedestrian pace. Their pedigree in holding on to the ball is well established at this stage

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
S O’Brien (Kerry) 5 5 100% +3.048
C Cooper (Kerry) 5 4 80% +1.819
A Smith (Kildare) 5 2 40% -0.126
P Cribbin (Kildare) 5 0 0% -2.052
BJ Keane (Kerry) 4 4 100% +1.989
D O’Sullivan (Kerry) 4 3 75% +1.240
P O’Neill (Kildare) 4 2 50% +0.107
N Kelly (Kildare) 3 2 67% +0.692

Dublin V Fermanagh 2015 All Ireland QF

August 4, 2015

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
Dublin 59 48 81% 38 79% 25 66% +7.647
Fermanagh 55 40 73% 33 83% 16 48% +0.708
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Note that the 1st Fermanagh goal is not included in the above as it did not come from a shot

After their blip against Westmeath Dublin’s shooting was back on form. The last six games, including the league semi-final and final, have returned Conversion Rates of 61%, 67%, 74%, 64%, 39% and 66%. The average is 51%.

Here the foundation was laid in the first half when they converted a whopping 82% of shots with a weighting of +6.55. All this was from play with only one shot at goal. They did something very similar to Kildare where they scored 3-10 off 19 shots (+4.28) in the first half. Such accurate bombardments are incredibly tough to resist.

Fermanagh have been inundated with praise for their efforts and rightly so. Now whilst the game was not a contest, and we must factor in the fact that Dublin’s efforts waned in the second half, they more or less matched Dublin in terms of possessions and shots. Their shooting did not match Dublin but it was not because they were poor – they were average. It was just that Dublin were, once again, stellar.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Dublin 35 22 63% +6.551
Fermanagh 26 11 42% -0.078
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Where to start. Bernard Brogan grabbed 1-06 from 9 shots getting 0 – 02 with his two left footed attempts and netting his only goal bound effort. He has been uber efficient in front of goal scoring 5-00 from the six goal attempts he’s had this year and getting 0-16 from his 24 point attempts. That’s a combined Conversion Rate of 70% with a weighting of +6.93. We are talking James O’Donoghue from last year.

Dean Rock was next on the list grabbing 0-04 from 5 attempts with his only miss being a goal attempt blocked early in the second half. He scored one beauty at the top of D where he gathered a high ball, dropped and swivelled. He has still to prove himself against tougher opposition but accuracy of his level does him no harm. Plus you have to imagine his deadball proficiency will see him in the starting 15 for the semi-final.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
D Rock (Dublin) 3 3 100% +1.096
S Quigley (Fermanagh) 5 4 80% +1.196
T Corrigan (Fermanagh) 2 1 50% -0.41
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Rock continues on his merry way. Since the league semi-final against Monaghan he is converting at a hardly believable 93%; 28 from 30 including 4 from 4 on 45s.

No one, in the now 4 years we have data for, comes near this level of accuracy. B Brogan had historically struggled on frees and whilst Rock’s accuracy has undoubtedly added an extra dimension to the Dublin game I do wonder if Brogan’s resurgence this year has anything to do with him not having to take frees. He looks “freer” this year than he has for the last few. Another reason to start Rock?

Quigley had a very good day on frees nailing two outside the 45 in the second half; his only miss was in the 69th minute from the right – the “wrong” side for a right footed kicker.


Dublin’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 22 81% 19 86% 16 73%
Fermanagh 5 19% 5 100% 4 80%
Fermanagh’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 9 26% 8 89% 6 67%
Fermanagh 26 74% 17 65% 13 50%

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was how well Fermanagh fared on kickouts. We all know Dublin’s providence in this area but the last day Fermanagh, on kickouts that travelled past the 45, lost the battle 8 – 6.

Here nine of their kickouts went short yielding 0 – 03 whilst they won 65% (17 of 26) of those that travelled past the 45. Winning possession on 74% of your own kickouts is very acceptable – Westmeath managed 61% whilst Longford were at 44%.

Again on Dublin contestable kickouts Fermanagh were fine winning 5 of the 10. The problem was that Dublin went short on 63% of their kickouts and scored an incredible 1-10 from those 17 kickouts.

To put that in some perspective they score 0.76 points from the 17 possessions that emanated from short kickouts; they scored 0.38 points from all other possessions.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Dublin 12 7 3 2
Fermanagh 16 5 5 1

A tidier game from Dublin after the 31 turnovers conceded against Westmeath. The last day the main culprit was MacAuley – here it was, surprisingly, Paul Flynn. I have him tagged for 5 turnovers with 3 of those passes going astray. As ever highlighting one player can be misleading, as we are only listing the negative plays, still it was by no means his finest day at the office.

Shot Charts

Dublin’s shooting
Dublin shooting (V Fermanagh)

Fermanagh’s shooting
Fermanagh shooting (v Dublin)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play,

Players with >= 3 shots from play

I wasn’t sure where to put this but we have to acknowledge Quigley’s single handed attempts to drag Fermanagh into the game. And I mean single handed – Fermanagh’s shot sequence from the 35th min was

Quigley, Mulrone, Quigley, Quigley, Quigley, Quigley, Quigley, Kelly, Quigley, Quigley, Quigley

In fairness the returns show that he was more than capable of taking those shots – but it is still some sequence!

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
B Brogan (Dublin) 9 7 78% +2.482
S Quigley (Fermanagh) 7 4 57% +1.079
B Mulrone (Fermanagh) 6 3 50% +0.441
D Rock (Dublin) 5 4 80% +1.949
P Andrews (Dublin) 5 3 60% +1.166
C Kilkenny (Dublin) 4 3 75% +1.197
D Connolly (Dublin) 3 2 67% +0.968
T Corrigan (Fermanagh) 3 2 67% +0.828
P Flynn (Dublin) 3 2 67% +0.578

Fermanagh V Westmeath 2015 Qualifier

July 31, 2015

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
Fermanagh 48 37 77% 31 84% 14 45% -1.508
Westmeath 47 36 77% 25 69% 7 28% -6.793
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

An even enough game in terms of how much ball the teams had (possessions) and where they had it (attacks). The differential was in the attacking play and the accuracy of the shooting.

Once inside the 45 Fermanagh were able to get shots off (though the Shot Rate was boosted by their willingness to shoot from the wings – more of that anon) however Westmeath seemed to run out of ideas once met by Fermanagh’s defensive screen. 25 shots from 36 attacks is a low enough return.

On top of that, for the second game in a row, Westmeath’s accuracy was very poor. It was so poor that Fermanagh could have a below average outing and still win easily.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Fermanagh 21 8 38% -0.845
Westmeath 17 4 24% -4.026
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

There was only one goal attempt in the game which Corrigan finished with aplomb.

There was one occasion in the first half however when Fermanagh, after overturning the ball high up the pitch, had a running overlap which they could have converted with an attacking hand pass. Instead the pass went square and Westmeath got back. Against Dublin they will need to be more aggressive.


When going for a point Fermanagh were poor converting 35% (7 from 20) with a weighting of -1.507. The main reason for this was where Fermanagh took their shots from. Only 35% were central – of the remainder Fermanagh converted 31% on 13 attempts. If you are going to shoot from wide you better have your shooting boots on – if they’re not on you better get more central.

Whilst not wishing to be overly critical of Westmeath that is now two games where they have trailed for long periods of the second half and in which they have not manufactured one shot on goal. As well as that their shooting from play was decidedly poor converting just 25% (8 from 32) of their point attempts for a combined weighting of -6.81. Combine both elements (poor shooting and no goal attempts) and you get some dismal returns from your possession.

pts per possession 31.07.2015

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
T Corrigan (Fermanagh) 6 5 83% +0.853
S Quigley (Fermanagh) 4 1 25% -1.516
J Connellan (Westmeath) 3 2 67% -0.295
R Connellan (Westmeath) 3 1 33% -1.062
P Sharry (Westmeath) 1 0 0% -0.621
G Egan (Westmeath) 1 0 0% -0.789

Only for Corrigan! In the first half there were 12 shots at goal from a deadball – with only four converted (33% versus an average of ~70%). The sequence is below. As the half was bookended with three points there were 8 misses from 9 attempts at one stage.

Point, Point, Wide, Wide, Wide, Wide, Point, Wide, Short, Wide, Wide, Point

Corrigan converted all five of his frees with the only miss being a rather rash attempt from a sideline ball.

Heslin being out proved a big hurdle for Westmeath to overcome and this was no more evident than when they turned down three opportunities for a shot at goal from a free inside Fermanagh’s 45. You have to imagine Heslin would have gotten two of them thus boosting Westmeath and placing great pressure on Fermanagh – in that first half particularly.


Fermanagh’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Fermanagh 10 56% 7 70% 5 50%
Westmeath 8 44% 8 100% 6 75%
Westmeath’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Fermanagh 10 34% 9 90% 7 70%
Westmeath 19 66% 15 79% 11 58%

We missed one of Fermanagh’s kickouts. Of the remaining 17 three went short meaning that of the 14 “contestable” kickouts Westmeath won the battle 8 – 6. This will have to be an area of concern going in to the next day..


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Fermanagh 11 4 1 3
Westmeath 10 8 6 1

Nothing too earth shattering here though Fermanagh did give up three turnovers inside their own 65 which Westmeath were unable to convert to a score. They will have to mind the ball better against Dublin

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
T Corrigan (Fermanagh) 5 3 60% +0.920
S Quigley (Fermanagh) 4 1 25% -0.729
S Dempsey (Westmeath) 4 1 25% -0.979
D McCusker (Fermanagh) 3 2 67% +0.807
J Connellan (Westmeath) 3 2 67% +0.733

Dublin V Westmeath 2015 Leinster Championship

July 14, 2015

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
Dublin 65 52 80% 38 73% 15 39% -2.722
Westmeath 49 26 53% 20 77% 6 30% -4.353
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Whatever way you look at it Dublin have had two pretty amazing shooting performance in their last two games

pts per possession 14.07.2015

Their points per possession far outstripped any other performance this year whilst their weighting in both games were two of the top three produced since 2012. They were bound to come back to Earth/regress to the mean/ drop off that pace but the fall off was pretty drastic. Their shooting was very poor here.

With Dublin taking so many shots at goal sometimes their Conversion Rate can take a hit but not here. They had three shots at goal scoring 2-01. Thus when going for a point, including from deadballs, they converted at a very low 35% (0 – 12 from 35 shots) with a weighting of -4.334.

Part of the problem – as can be seen in the shot chart below – was that only 20 % (6 out of 30) of their point attempts from play came from the two central zones. Against Longford this was 60% (21 of 35) and against Kildare it was 55% (17 of 31).

So in a few respects job done from Westmeath. They restricted Dublin to 3 goal shots and forced them to shoot from wide where Dublin executed poorly. This came at the expense of their own attacking game plan however. They were only able to move ~50% of their possessions into Dublin’s 45 (Longford 59%, Kildare 83%) and whilst their Shot Rate was about average the very poor Success Rate of 30% (not to mention the weighting of -4.4) tells you that the shots they attempted were poorly executed.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Dublin 33 13 39% -0.798
Westmeath 15 4 27% -2.782
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

We have touched on the main points above so won’t rehash.

For the first time this Summer Dublin faced a very defensive team so I was on the lookout for anything that may have changed since the Donegal defeat last year. We have heard of Dublin introducing a basketball coach to help them gain an understanding of space and within the first 20 minutes you could see their influence in how Dublin forwards “screened” opposition backs clearing space for the attacker. Three snapshot examples below.




To my mind there is no doubt that the Dublin player without the ball is attempting to block off the opposition defender and the methodology definitely looks coached. If anyone else sets up as defensively as Westmeath it will be interesting to see if this continues.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
D Rock (Dublin) 3 2 67% -0.610
B Brogan (Dublin) 1 0 0% -0.820
D Connolly (Dublin) 1 0 0% -0.494
J Heslin (Westmeath) 4 2 50% -0.751
K Martin (Westmeath) 1 0 0% -0.820
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

A pretty poor day all round.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the above table was that Dean Rock missed one. Coming in to this game he was at a Conversion Rate of 96% (22 from 23) from the league semi-final onwards. He’s still on a ridiculous 92% but the one he missed, whilst of the longer variety, was still well within range as can be seen below

Rock from frees post WMeath


Dublin’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 11 100% 10 91% 8 73%
Westmeath 0% 0% 0%
Westmeath’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 12 39% 12 100% 9 75%
Westmeath 19 61% 11 58% 9 47%

A prime example of how stats can be misleading. Overall Westmeath basically broke even on kickouts however when we break them down by team we can see that Dublin won all their kickouts (which I’m not sure has happened before).

Looking at Westmeath’s kickouts in isolation they appear to be in control as they gained possession on 60%. Take out short kickouts however and the split is 50:50

This game also shows the affect that setbacks can have. Westmeath gained control on their first nine short kickouts and whilst they only converted one of those nine possessions to a point they did manage four attacks. Then they had a terrible lapse at the start of the second half when Dublin pushed up and scored two goals off two short kickouts. Westmeath didn’t attempt another short one thereafter.

I guess the old Mike Tyson quote of everyone having a plan until they get punched in the mouth still rings through.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Dublin 17 4 5 5
Longford 16 10 9 2

A very loose game with 68 turnovers in total best demonstrated by the fact that in their last two games combined 6 Dublin hand passes went astray. Here it was 9. No doubt the review session will be uncomfortable for a number of players but especially MD MacAuley. It may be unfair to single out one player but he looks like he’s struggling to get to the pitch of the game following his absence. I have him tagged for 6 turnovers with Connolly the next highest on 4 (all passes). MacAuley has time on his side but from here on in Dublin can’t have two of their main attacking threats coughing up the ball on 10 occasions.

Shot Charts

Dublin’s shooting
Dublin shooting (v Westmeath)

Westmeath’s shooting
Westmeath shooting (V Dublin 15)

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 Kilkenny (Dublin) 6 3 50% +0.379
D Connolly (Dublin) 5 3 60% 1.013
B Brogan (Dublin) 5 2 40% -0.067
J McCaffrey (Dublin) 3 1 33% -0.147
J Heslin (Westmeath) 3 1 33% -0.345
P Flynn (Dublin) 3 0 0% -1.091
D Glennon (Westmeath) 3 0 33% -1.382

Cork V Kerry 2015 Munster Championship

July 6, 2015

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
Kerry 41 32 78% 26 81% 17 65% +4.051
Cork 40 27 68% 22 81% 15 68% 3.725
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

They are some very impressive numbers – where to start?

In 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 to -7 in 2013 & finally -16 in 2014. Cork didn’t quite get back on par here but what they did do was break even in the possession stakes. Again the last three years showed that they had the forwards to finish – they just needed the ball.

The qualities of the Cork forwards were evident in their first two goals.

Mark O’Sé had gotten the better of C O’Neill in the early exchanges but the tables were turned for the first goal. Below are some images clipped just before the goal where O’Neill drifts out to the right and then digs hard to get in behind O’Sé – wonderful movement.

Kerry Cork O'Neill goal

The second goal had wonderful movement of a different stripe. Fitzgerald has O’Connor bang to rights on the wing but O’Connor drives past him and then fights, ignoring the jersey tug, to get in front. After that lung busting battle h then has the presence of mind to deftly lob Kealy with the fisted goal.

Kerry Cork O'Connor

From a Kerry perspective both instances show up a defence that leaked quite a few goals during the league – neither defender was able to hold the attacker in one on ones that seemed, initially, well marshalled.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 18 12 67% +3.926
Cork 15 9 60% +2.845
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

What of the Kerry forwards? The big difference between how both teams amassed the high weightings was the number of players involved. Cork only had six players contributing to their 15 shots. Kerry on the other hand had 12 players taking a shot with none of them attempting more than two. Seven players attempted just the one shot – with five converting. That is some spread of accuracy.

O’Donoghue continues on his merry way. In four games across four years against Cork he has converted a truly remarkable 94% (15 from 16) of point attempts. He absolutely loves playing Cork.

The Gooch? He only had the one attempt from the left of the D which he converted – after receiving a peach of a pass in space and into the bread basket – from M O Sé. Perhaps his most telling contribution was in the build up to the third goal. There was an interesting conversation on Off The Ball last week about whether a team could afford the luxury of a non “dropping back” half forward and that even the Gooch would have to do his duty. For Cork’s 3rd goal he was in the line to stop Shields but didn’t really impede him.

Kerry Cork Gooch

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
B Sheehan (Kerry) 5 3 60% +0.373
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 2 1 50% -0.312
BJ Keane (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.064
C O’Neill (Cork) 5 4 80% +0.653
D O’Connor (Cork) 2 2 100% +0.227
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Positive day all round but that will ultimately be overshadowed by what happened at the end. Both 45s were central (Sector 5) with a conversion Rate of 50%. So we could have expected an average intercounty player to convert one of them. C O’Neill & J O’Donoghue are no average players though … both missing was probably the outsider of the 4 combinations.

History doesn’t tell us much unfortunately. I have 9 Cork games in the database with two O’Neill 45s; both were central and he converted one – as per the expected return. He was on a good day (4/4 from frees and 1-02 from 5 attempts from play up until then) so was entitled to have a go. D O’Connor had gone off the pitch at that stage but if he was still on I wonder would he have taken it? Again unfortunately I only have two 45s recorded from him – he converted both but they were back in 2012.

Similarly for O’Donoghue I only have the one 45 in the database (which he missed) although he did miss a relatively straight forward free in the corresponding game last year. Again Kerry’s principal deadball proponent was off the pitch; I have four instances of Brian Sheehan taking a 45 with him converting …… 50%!

What it all goes to show is the absolute luxury Dublin have in Cluxton. And if he is so rock steady what does it say of Rock that he has taken over the duties (to date)?


Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 11 69% 9 82% 8 73%
Cork 5 31% 4 80% 2 40%
Cork’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 5 23% 3 60% 3 60%
Cork 17 77% 12 71% 12 71%

In the 2014 Munster final Cork never went short. They smacked the ball c55-70m and let the likes of Sheehan, Buckley, Walsh & Maher dismantle their game. They were much more nuanced here understanding the importance of primary possession. Although they won their own kickout 17 – 5 what will be really pleasing is that the short kickout did not dominate. When the ball went past the 45 – and the kickout became contestable – they won the possession battle 11 – 5.

On top of that when Kerry kicked the ball past the 45 Cork broke even winning 5 of the ten. Kerry’s kickout stats, unlike Cork, are padded by the 6 short kickout.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle from a Shot Other
Kerry 9 5 1 1
Cork 7 7 5 3

Rather than a game of two halves this was a conspicuously loose first 15 minutes followed by some of the most controlled play you are likely to see. That first 15 minutes had 19 turnovers – they remaining ~60 minutes (taking in injury time) had a combined 20.

Kerry are past masters at defending through holding the ball. Here they went ~25 minutes – from the 15th to the 38th on the clock plus first half injury time – coughing up the ball only once. That is just phenomenal ball control.

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C O’Neill (Cork) 5 3 60% +0.945
D O’Connor (Cork) 3 2 67% +0.968
Barry O’Driscoll (Cork) 3 2 67% +0.612
P Geaney (Kerry) 3 1 67% -0.057

Note; some post game tidying up. I charted Fionn Fitzgerald’s last point as a shot. There has been some debate over whether he meant it but my initial gut reaction was that he did. Also Colm O’Neill had a free on the left wing towards the end which I did not chart as a shot. Again my gut reaction was that taking the free with the left, from the left sideline – and looking where the ball landed – he was trying to drop it near the square (which he did getting a 45 from the scramble).

I missed the fact that Goulding was on the field for the final 45. He converted a number of 45s in the 2010 final as well as having 3 from 3 in the database (2012 – 2014).

Kerry V Cork Preview 2015 Munster Championship

July 3, 2015

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

When Cork have the Ball

Year Attacks Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
2012 37 31 84% 17 55% +1.481
2013 30 26 87% 17 65% +3.850
2014 26 23 88% 12 52% -0.359
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Cork’s attacking play disintegrated last year. They managed a full 16 less attacks than Kerry did however this was the tipping point of a trend (if 3 games can be considered a trend!) rather than a one off. And something they need to rectify this Sunday.

The difference in attacks over the three years was Cork +4, Cork -7 & Cork -16. 2014’s defeat, whilst comprehensive, was not completely unexpected when compared to 2013. Yes Cork only lost by two points in 2013 but their shooting was sublime that day converting 65% of their shots and only leaving Kerry’s 45 without a shot on four occasions. They couldn’t repeat the trick in 2014.

Last year they converted 88% of their attacks to shots but their attack volume was so low that average shooting only produced 12 points. On 26 attacks an average team will score 0-10 or 1-09 … to get the 17 points that Cork achieved in 2012 and 2013, off average shooting, they will need 42 attacks. Assuming they maintain a high Shot Rate (in the mid 80 percentile) then off average shooting they need 39 attacks.

If they get the best of both worlds – a high Shot Rate and a high Conversion Rate (60%) – they still need 33 attacks. Sunday *has* to be about primary possession and transference of that possession into the 45. They have proved over the three years that they can manufacture shots when they attack and that their shooting is above average. They just need the ball.

From Play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 22 12 55% +2.34
2013 18 10 56% +2.19
2014 16 5 31% -1.96
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Of course what would help immensely are goals. Or even one goal. In the last three games Cork have only manufactured 8 goal shots and returned a paltry 0 – 03. I say *only* as for comparison (unfair) Dublin managed 8 attempts at goal against Kildare scoring 4 – 01 whilst (fair?) combined Dublin & Kerry managed 9 in two games against the vaunted Donegal defence.

Cork were better in 2014 as they managed four attempts but they all came in the last ~15 minutes when the game was over.

Even with four missed goal shots in the numbers Cork’s 2014 shooting from play was abysmal; 33% going for a point (4 from 12) with a combined weighting of -1.335. They’ll need to rediscover the shooting boots from ’12 & ’13 to win on Sunday.

For points by Sector

Sector Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2 1 1 100% +0.62
4 10 3 30% -0.59
5 13 8 62% +1.52
6 9 3 33% -0.23
7 8 4 50% +0.60
8 4 4 100% +1.17
9 3 1 33% -0.25

Nothing about where Cork are shooting from stands out hugely except perhaps that they are just average when shooting from the wings. Against the big teams this can be a productive area as they mind the square – think Flynn against Donegal in last year’s AI semi final. If Cork are going to continue taking 67% (32 of 48 attempts) of their point attempts from between the 20 & 45m then they’ll have to convert more from the wings.

When Kerry have the Ball

Year Attacks Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
2012 33 27 82% 12 44% -1.100
2013 37 33 89% 17 52% +1.345
2014 42 38 90% 24 63% +4.575
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Kerry’s attacking play has improved year on year with a step up in every metric (attacks, Shot Rate, Success Rate & weighting) from ’12 to ’13 to ’14.

Not much more that can be added really – more of the same from a Kerry perspective

From Play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 20 9 45% +0.08
2013 26 11 42% -0.05
2014 31 19 61% +4.68
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Much like Cork if there was one area of concern for Kerry (concern is a bit strong – an area that needs polishing) it would be their goal taking. In the three games they’ve taken 10 shots at goal but scored only 1 – 02.

Their point taking in 2014 was phenomenal (67% Success Rate with a weighting of +5.313) however prior to that it was average. So what was the difference?

My immediate reaction was to say O’Donoghue – take him out of the picture given his phenomenal 2014 performance and the three games would level off. Not quite

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 18 7 39% -1.14
2013 22 8 36% -1.44
2014 21 11 52% +1.72

Yes O’Donoghue had a huge bearing but the rest of the team stepped up as well. Now undoubtedly they were getting more space (a) due to O’Donoghue and (b) due to the nature of the game compared to ’12 & ’13 but as a collective they still outperformed the two previous years. Something for Cork to note perhaps when they review the 2014 tape.

As for O’Donoghue? He has been incredible against Cork converting 93% (!!) of his point attempts over the three years. Below is his shot chart from ’13 & ’14 (the ’12 version has gone awol) showing how close into goal he has played.

O'Donoghue V Cork
x = for a goal, white = for a point

From Deadballs

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 7 3 43% -1.18
2013 7 6 86% +1.40
2014 7 5 71% -0.11

I stated above that one area Kerry might look to polish up on was goal shots – there is a second. Their deadball shooting has been average over the past three games scoring 0-14 from 21 attempts (67% conversion Rate).

If Cork can keep it close, and increase the pressure on the free taking, this may just be an area that will let Kerry down on Sunday.

Derry V Donegal 2015 Ulster Championship

June 29, 2015

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
Derry 43 35 81% 26 74% 10 38% -1.995
Donegal 51 40 78% 29 73% 10 34% -2.797
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Pretty poor returns all round.

Under McGuinness Donegal were capable of these *stinkers* (Armagh QF in ’14 to name one) so in many ways I’m sure Donegal will take the win and move on. Still there will be areas that will be of concern. The first picture is taken 5 minutes in – Lynn has acres of space in the D. The defensive system completely disintegrated very early on.


Below is with five minutes to go. Donegal fell asleep as Lynch stood over a free with the game in the melting pot. They switched off expecting him to take the shot at goal but he astutely shipped it across and Derry had free men over.


Derry? In many ways they shouldn’t have been in the game as normally – given Donegal’s accuracy – if you have 8 possessions less than Donegal you’re toast. However the fact that they were in the game with ten to go will make the ending galling. Niall Holly took a shot at 65:32 that dropped short. Derry didn’t touch the ball again until 69:44 after two reckless frees allowed Donegal to chew up the clock. The clock is your enemy two points down with five to go – don’t aid the opposition in its winding down!

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Derry 21 7 33% -2.054
Donegal 25 9 36% -1.478
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Poor shooting from both teams. Donegal seemed to take poor options early on with three shots being blocked (McElhinney, Macniallais & McFadden) and it never picked up thereafter. In the first half when going for a point they scored 0 – 04 from 15 attempts (27% Success Rate) for a combined weighting of -2.497. Although the volume reduced the accuracy increased in the second half; 0 – 04 from 8 shots (50%) with a combined weighting of 0.695.

Derry in many ways were the exact opposite. 0 – 03 from 7 attempts (43% Success Rate) at a point in the first half but only 0 – 04 from 12 (33%) in the second with a combined weighting of -1.471. What might have aided that negative weighting was who was shooting – the last 8 Derry shots from play came from Johnston, Heron, McKaigue, Bradley, McFaul, Holly, Johnston & MacAtamney. You give credit to players for stepping up but I’m sure Derry management would have liked to have seen Lynch, Lynn & O’Boyle chip in.

One thing that did separate the two teams was the goal. Derry had two chances – one at either end of the game and got nothing from either. Donegal also had two chances but got the goal. That goal was a beautifully measured hand pass from Gallagher to O’Reilly, which meant that he didn’t have to check his stride, *but* he was only free due to a split second decision by Duffy. As you can see below Duffy has O’Reilly but as Gallagher breaks through the centre he moves across to cover the space. Derry had a man coming in to fill that gap; had Duffy held his run with O’Reilly it is likely that Gallagher would have checked the run or popped a point.


As I say that is a split second decision that Donegal were good enough to exploit. There are hundreds of them in a game that all feed in to the result – it is just that those in the build up to a goal are magnified.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
M Murphy (Donegal) 2 0 0% -1.077
P McBrearty (Donegal) 2 1 50% -0.242
E Bradley (Derry) 3 2 67% -0.178
M Lynch (Derry) 1 1 100% +0.731
C O’Boyle (Derry) 1 0 0% -0.494
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

I guess it is kind of surprising to only have nine shots at goal from deadballs in an Ulster game. In the Ulster Championship games covered so far this year there have been 19, 21 and 10.

That number gets whittles down again when you consider that 2 of the attempts were from outside the 45, one was a 45 and one was stuck out on the sideline. Five shots from deadballs in scoreable positions is testament to the discipline of both defences.

As to the quality of the strikes? Murphy’s weighting does not do justice to the difficulty of his strikes – having said that neither were struck with any quality. The same could be said of O’Boyle’s 45 whilst Bradley’s miss from the right was poor.

Apart from Lynch’s boomer it was a poor day all round


Derry’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Derry 10 50% 7 70% 6 60%
Donegal 10 50% 6 60% 4 40%
Donegal’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Derry 6 29% 5 83% 4 67%
Donegal 15 71% 13 87% 9 60%

Donegal absolutely lorded the kickouts – in many ways it was Derry’s good fortune that there weren’t more of them! In the first half Donegal won nine of the first ten kickouts with six of those wins coming off Derry kickouts. Derry kicked their first four long but lost three. This seemed to panic them and they lost the next two very poorly; one was short and the second was mid length straight to a Donegal man. Donegal really should have been further ahead given the volume of primary possession they had.

In the second half Derry had nine kickouts. They won five but all those went short – of the four that went long Donegal won all four and scored 1 – 01.

Donegal were relatively comfortable and in the main played it safe. 13 of their 21 kickouts landed short of the 65 with Donegal scooping up the ball on 12 occasions. When they went past the 65 they lost the possession battle 3 – 5.


Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle from a Shot Other
Derry 11 5 4 1
Donegal 17 3 8 1

One of the problems with just reporting the turnovers is that there is no context for the negative returns (as all turnovers are viewed negatively!). Donegal had 17 missed passes but five of these were boomers onto the square – how many of those stuck? Five turnovers from five attempts is obviously poor – but was it five from five? Or five from 10?

Bearing the above point in mind Neil Gallagher was involved in seven of those passing turnovers – misplacing a kicked pass three times and losing a contested ball on four occasions. That is not to say he had a poor day but rather to highlight how central he was to what Donegal were doing.

The eight turnovers from shots is poor – and probably not something that will be oft repeated. As commented upon above Donegal had a particularly poor shooting day and you would expect this to get better as the Summer progresses.

Derry were neater though Eoin Bradley had a tough day. As well as the four shots that were missed he was involved in another four turnovers.

Shot Charts

Derrys’s shooting
Derry shooting (V Donegal 15)
Donegal’s shooting
Donegal shooting (v Derry 15)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play,

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Colm McFadden was given man of the match after converting two beauties however it seems to be forgotten that his four shots previous to that were poor with 1 being blocked, two landing in the goalkeeper’s hands and one going wide. Yes his two points were impressive but after 2014 I will need more than that to be convinced he is back.

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C McFadden (Donegal) 6 2 33% -0.203
M Lynch (Derry) 4 1 25% -0.537
M McElhinney (Donegal) 4 1 25% -0.664
O MacNiallais (Donegal) 4 1 25% -0.717
E Bradley (Derry) 4 0 0% -1.742
M Murphy (Donegal) 3 2 67% +0.768