Posts Tagged ‘ballyboden’

Ballyboden St. Endas v Kilcoo 2019 All Ireland Club Final

January 8, 2020

A high level overview shows an incredibly close game that, on chances alone, Ballyboden edged. They had 21 shots, with an Expected return of 0 – 14; Kilcoo produced 20 shots expected to return 1 – 10. They were created off very similar Attack Rates (78% apiece), Shot Rates (68% v 69%) and Conversion Rates (52% v 50%).

And yet Ballyboden were scrambling at the end trying to claw back a five point deficit with ten minutes to go. How did Ballyboden return a similar Conversion Rate to that of Kilcoo, off roughly the same number of shots, but find themselves in that hole? In large part due to their shot type.

Ballyboden shooting

Disc = score, X= miss; yellow = deadball, red = attempt on goal, black = point attempt from play 1st half, black = 2nd half

13 (10x frees and 3x 45s) of Ballyboden’s 21 shots were deadballs. That accounts for 62% of all their attempts which is an incredibly high volume; both in absolute terms and as a percentage of a teams’ total shot count. In the four provincial finals the next highest was seven shots from deadballs for Padraig Pearses in the Connacht final which accounted for 41% of all their shots.

Given this high volume Ballyboden had to ensure accuracy on their deadballs to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Instead they were poor scoring just 0 – 07 (54%; Expt Pts of -2.43).

Looking at the shot chart calling that 54% poor would seem harsh as they scored 0 – 07 from the nine attempts closer to goal and missed the four “50:50” chances from around the 45. But if these were true “50:50” chances then the average for the four would have been 0 – 02. To not get any of them is very poor especially as all four were taken with the benefit of a noticeable wind.

That brings up another quirk in the Ballyboden game – their lack of long range shooting. With that wind in the second half the furthest they attempted a shot from was c25 metres. In the first half they only had one shot (from play) from outside the 20m line. They were very conservative in their shooting.

Compare that to Kilcoo

Kilcoo shooting

With the wind in the first half Kilcoo had ten shots with nine of them coming from “outside”. The tenth was Johnston’s goal which was worked off a turnover high up the pitch.

Kilcoo only managed to score 0 – 02 from those nine point attempts so it was not necessarily a very accurate ploy (22% Conversion Rate; Expt pts -1.76) but it is in stark contrast to how Ballyboden used the wind. The old Wayne Gretzky adage of “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” comes to mind.

Of course, the other difference with Kilcoo’s shooting was their goal attempts. Kilcoo created three scoring 2 – 00. Ballyboden only had the one shot at goal which was a tight angled attempt that ensued from a scramble deep into injury time.

Kilcoo were very good in this aspect in the Ulster final as well meaning that they have scored 4 – 01 from just seven attempts on goal in two games. This is well above what would be expected. Can they maintain this in the final? Generally, you would expect their returns on goal attempts to revert to the mean but that’s in a long run of games. Nothing is set for just one game.


Possession from kickouts was a wash. Both teams lost one short kickout whilst the possession was evenly split on those that landed past the 45 (Kilcoo won possession on 11 to Ballyboden’s 10). No great split by keeper either; Kilcoo won six of Ballyboden’s 13 kickouts past the 45 with Ballyboden winning four of Kilcoo’s eight

One slightly strange aberration was that Kilcoo didn’t manage a shot from any of the five Ballyboden kickouts they won. This wasn’t an apparent issue in the Ulster final against Naomh Conaill, when they scored
0 – 02, off two shots, from four Naomh Conaill kickouts. But one of those shots came from a short one that went wrong. Over their last two games that is seven opposition kickouts past the 45 they have claimed – but only produced one shot from same. If they get a toe hold in the final through Corofin’s kickout they’ll have to do more.


Ballyboden St. Endas v Éire Óg 2019 Leinster Club Final

December 10, 2019

When reviewing games here we rarely reference the weather (except for last year’s Ulster club final) – mainly because the games covered are intercounty Championship played in the best of weather on (mainly) perfectly maintained pitches. This wasn’t the case here. There was a very strong wind down the pitch, the rain came and went throughout the game leading to a greasy ball and the ground was dead and heavy. All of which led to difficult handling conditions, placing numerous players under huge pressure, as well as changing the normal shooting zones.

A quick visual on how the conditions affected the game – below are the shots from play with the wind (white) and without (black).

Against the wind the furthest score was c25m from the goals. Only one shot was from further than 30m out. This in turn compresses the area that needs to be defended and can lead to more turnovers if the attacking team don’t stand off stringing a series of non-threatening passes together.

With all that said above are the numbers. There were only 31 shots in the game (the Munster final had 45, Ulster 37 and Connacht 36) with a total of 60 turnovers (Munster x43, Ulster x33 and Connacht x34) and 88 possessions (Munster x81, Ulster x69 and Connacht x68). The usual metrics of Shot Rate, Attack Rate and points per possession really don’t stack up.

That’s not to say the high turnover volume was purely down to the conditions. There were 24 turnovers higher up the pitch outside each teams’ respective 45 which is indicative of excellent tackling and physical aggression without cynicism. That lack of cynicism is further evidenced by the fact that there were just five shots at goal from frees throughout the whole game.

When Ballyboden had the ball

Ballyboden may not have taken many shots but they handled the conditions, shooting wise, better than Éire Óg did; they were 70% (0 – 07 from 10) on point attempts from play as against 43% (0 – 06 from 14) for Éire Óg. They also managed to eke out the only shot on goal.

Conal Keaney was evergreen scoring on all three attempts and also setting up another shot.

When Éire Óg had the ball

Éire Óg struggled to use the wind in the first half. They had a purple patch around the 10th minute when they scored 0 – 03 from three in sixty seconds. But outside that they didn’t have another shot in the first 20 minutes and then finished the half with nothing from four attempts.

The accuracy didn’t improve against the wind in the second half scoring another 0 – 03 from seven shots from play whilst another two opportunities went abegging with forced free kicks.
Séan Gannon was immense scoring 0 – 02 from 3 as well as providing the primary assists for another four shots.


Just a quick note on Éire Óg’s kickouts.

black = 1st half, white = 2nd half

They had just the four kickouts in the first half and, with the wind, went long(ish) on all of them winning possession on three. Against Portlaoise their mid to long kickouts broke 50:50 (won five, lost five). All good.

Against the wind they had seven kickouts but lost five; including two of the last three that led to Ballyboden points at the death. Could they have changed up those last few? Should they have? Not once did they go short. Ballyboden did so on three of their six against the wind. In the semi-final Éire Óg went short six times so it was in their locker. But having said that they did win a long one immediately after going a point behind but then kicked the ball away. Who is to say the outcome would be any different if they did go short? And there was a subtle change; their first four against the wind went mid to right and after losing three they went mid left with the last three. It just didn’t work.

Ballyboden St. Enda’s V Clonmel Commercials 2016 Club Championship Semi Final

February 18, 2016

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

Normal time (60 minutes)

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Ballyboden 44 29 22 0 – 10 11.38
Clonmel 44 35 20 0 – 10 9.74


Extra Time

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Ballyboden 20 16 11 0 – 05 5.79
Clonmel 17 5 3 0 – 00 1.31

Not quite a game of two halves but there was a distinct change in how the game played out in extra time. During the opening 60 minutes there was no great difference between the teams despite the fact that Ballyboden had an edge in attacks and Expected Points. Come extra time however Ballyboden absolutely dominated proceedings restricting Clonmel to just the three shots over that 20 minutes.

Dipping the toes into the subjective it looked like Clonmel collectively panicked. At half time of extra time they were *only* two points down but they seemed to enter “chase” mode quite early. Their mind-set obviously wasn’t helped by the ending of normal time, when they must have felt they’d “blown” it, whilst the dark clouds were further enhanced with Quinlivan’s black card early in extra time.

An example of this chasing can be viewed in and around half time of extra time. Clonmel had eight consecutive possessions where they did not manage to get control of the ball inside Ballyboden’s 45. Six of those possessions were lost by sending 50:50 (or worse) balls into Ballyboden’s half despite not having Quinlivan at the apex of their attack.

To those not fully acquainted with the club scene these games tend to revolve around “star” names. Players we recognise from the county scene. For Ballyboden this was Durkan, MacCauley & Keaney but the two outfield players can thank their “lesser light” team mates for pulling the draw out of the fire.

In the 58th minute, two points down, Keaney struck a disastrous free, converted ~98% of the time, straight into the goalkeeper’s hands. That could have proved ruinous for Ballyboden’s chances so late in the game but down a man they managed to turn over the subsequent possession inside Clonmel’s 45 – only for MacCauley, of all people, to get stripped by Clonmel’s Gary Moore.

Ultimately Ballyboden prevailed but either intervention could have been devastating.


Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Exp Pts
Ballyboden 21 0 – 07 9.10
Clonmel 19 0 – 07 8.06

Not one shot on goal, over the 80 minutes, from either team.

Shooting in general was below standard. If Castlebar maintain their defensive discipline in the final, and restrict the flow of scores from frees, then Ballyboden will have to be a lot more accurate in the final to maintain any form of scoreboard pressure.

One quirk of the game was Ballyboden’s shot clustering (see shot chart below). I say quirk because they righted the ship in extra time but during the opening 60 minutes the vast majority of their shots from play came from a very narrow patch on the right hand side around the 20m line.


Shots from deadballs

Team Shots Scores Success Rates Exp Pts
Ballyboden 12 0 – 08 67% 8.07
Castlebar 4 0 – 03 75% 2.99

Two ways to view the above. Clonmel’s discipline was left wanting or conversely, looking towards the final, Ballyboden’s was excellent.

The discrepancy in totals is somewhat skewed by what happened in extra time. Ballyboden had four shots from frees thus reducing the 60 minute gap to four. Still Ballyboden only conceded four shots from frees in 35 attacks (for comparative purposes Castlebar conceded five in 45 attacks).

Ballyboden’s shooting was average overall but this includes that horrendous miss from Keaney towards the end of the game. Take that abnormality out and Ballyboden scored 0 – 08 when they were expected to score 7.08.

Kerin was excellent converting all five of his attempts.



Ballyboden’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack Shot
Ballyboden 9 60% 5 5
Clonmel 6 40% 6 5
Clonmel’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack Shot
Ballyboden 8 27% 7 6
Crossmaglen 22 73% 14 6

The kickout stats are completely skewed. Ballyboden did not have one kickout during extra time whilst Clonmel had eleven – with eight of them going short.

As the aforementioned panic became all-encompassing Clonmel gave up two short kickouts at the end one of which Keaney converted. During the original 60 minutes their short kickout routines were fine however. They had eight in total scoring 0 – 02 from same. Of the other eleven contestable kickouts Ballyboden won five scoring 0 – 03 from same.

Ballyboden went short on 4 (27%) of their 15 kickouts though one went out over the sideline. Of the remainder Ballyboden won the possession stakes 6 – 5 whilst both scored 0- 02 directly from those possessions.


Shot Charts

Ballyboden’s shooting
Ballyboden shooting (V Clonmel 16 club SF)

Clonmel’s shooting
Clonmel shooting (V Ballyboden Club SF)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = normal time from play, white = Extra Time


Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Exp Pts
J Kennedy (Clonmel) 4 2 50% 1.80
S Molony (Ballyboden) 4 1 25% 1.79
D Davey (Ballyboden) 4 0 0% 1.64
A Kerin (Ballyboden) 3 2 67% 1.27
J Lonergan (Clonmel) 3 2 67% 1.24
I Barnes (Clonmel) 3 1 33% 1.30