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
|Fermanagh||48||34||28||1 – 12||14.17|
|Antrim||41||25||23||0 – 09||13.18|
Fermanagh will have areas to work on in the run up to their Ulster QF with Donegal but here, against Antrim over 70 minutes, they were by far the stronger in all the key metrics – more possessions, more attacks and more shots.
One of the areas of concern will undoubtedly be their shooting. Yes they outperformed their Expt Pts (how many points the average team would return from the shots attempted) but this was greatly aided by the conversion of their only goal chance and two magnificent sideline points. When going for a point from play they were very poor scoring on just 33% of attempts (0 – 05 from 15 shots). Outside Tomás Corrigan & Séan Quigley they were a paltry 18% (2 from 11 with a combined Expt Pts of -3.02)
Another area will be their conversion of possessions to attacks which, at 71%, was quite poor. Against Dublin last year for instance they produced, considering the opposition, a much more impressive 73%. The low attack rate may be easier to rectify than the shooting however as it was directly linked to their extremely poor opening 30 minutes in the second half. During that period Fermanagh managed only seven attacks (from 15 possessions – an attack rate of just 47%) and four shots opening up the possibility of an unlikely Antrim comeback. In the first half their attack rate was 81% from 26 possessions. Pete McGrath and his backroom team will hope the first half, when the team was at the pitch of the game, is a truer reflection of Fermanagh’s attack.
What of Antrim? They had an awful opening 20 minutes, as the above chart highlights, from which they were never able to recover. Three of their first four possessions saw quick, indiscriminate long balls into the forward line that did not stick. This was then followed by six scatter gun shots that failed to find the target. Only Tomás McCann’s missed free kick in the 8th minute came from anything resembling a central position. Coming out of that opening period they were already six points down and the game was effectively over as a contest.
To their credit Antrim did perform much better in the second half, scoring 0 – 07 from 12 shots (two more shots than Fermanagh and a respectable 58% Conversion Rate) but whether this was a truer reflection of Antrim, or a direct correlation to the aforementioned anaemic display of Fermanagh, only the rest of the year’s Championship will confirm.
Again looking forward to the Donegal game one area of note will be the kickouts. At a very high level Fermanagh will be satisfied with their overall returns. They won 78% (14 of 18) of their own kickouts and 39% (9 of 23) of Antrim’s. Indeed their overall possession advantage of seven is nearly all contained within their kickout success. But therein lies a concern. To attain such a healthy win percentage Fermanagh went short on eight of their kickouts but did not manage to score anything from those possessions. Indeed they only manufactured four shots. When the kickout went past the 45 the result was a less convincing 6 – 4 to Fermanagh. Antrim only went short twice; of all their kickouts that travelled past the 45 the result was 13 – 8 in Antrim’s favour.
Donegal will not go as long as Antrim did. Over the last two Championships Donegal have gone short on 29% of their kickouts. This will immediately wipe out the possession advantage Fermanagh enjoyed in this game and place more pressure on securing their own kickout. They did a very good job of that here however they will have to do more, in terms of shots and scores from these possessions, than was the case here.
Finally we cannot pass without mentioning Tomás Corrigan’s display. He accounted for 58% of Fermanagh’s shots but his day will probably be best remembered for the two acute sideline points mid-way through the first half. Looking at historical results the chances of converting two back to back sidelines is just under 8% but getting and converting two within 90 seconds? That is slim enough to already warrant entry into “moment of the Championship”.
And yet his contribution does not end there; he was 3 from 3 from play converting two with his left and one with the right. Outside the three sideline attempts – as well as the two converted in the first half he attempted one with the last kick of the game – he was 67% on frees scoring 0 – 04 from six attempts which is more or less in line with the Expt Pts (3.88 for the six frees combines). All round an excellent, accurate and classy display.
Players with >= 3 shots from play
|Shots||Scores||Success Rate||Exp Pts|
|T Corrigan (Fermanagh)||3||0 – 03||100%||1.55|
|T McCann (Antrim)||3||0 – 02||67%||1.93|
|A Breen (Fermanagh)||3||0 – 01||33%||1.21|
|B Mulrone (Fermanagh)||3||0 – 00||0%||1.35|