Posts Tagged ‘galway’

Mayo v Galway 2018 Connacht

May 15, 2018

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
Mayo 40 35 27 0 – 12 14.69
Galway 41 34 23 1 – 12 12.33

Overview

81 possessions in total is very low. In the 31 Championship games charted in 2017 only one – Carlow v Dublin at 79 possessions – came in lower whilst there were 106 total possessions in the 2016 meeting of these teams and 113 in 2017. The low possession total was very much aligned to the “new look” Galway which emerged during this year’s league campaign. In the five games involving Galway shown live on TV the possession totals were 77, 77, 78, 78 and 84.

Focusing on Mayo the positive is that they produced four more shots than Galway in a game where they, for various reasons, managed to get just over one full game from the two O’Connor brothers, Lee Keegan & Tom Parsons combined as well as playing with 14 men for more than half the game. The downside? Old failings, that have haunted them at various ports in this journey, are still evident. Poor conversion rates. Frees from the right. Ill-discipline.

Galway? Once again they won a game by hitting their marks. Progression from the league was maintained by continuing to condense games and converting at an above average rate. They may be concerned at just how long it took them to break down a team playing with 14 but somehow I doubt it. They played *their* game and won. Move on.

When Mayo had the ball

Overall Mayo were able to get shots off at a better rate than Galway (27 shots from 40 possessions as against 23 from 41 for Galway) however the execution was very poor. Perhaps surprisingly the majority of the damage was done *before* the sending off. Up until D O’Connor’s red card Mayo had attempted 12 shots scoring 0 – 05 (42%). Three of these points were from frees leaving their point attempts from play at a very poor 25% (0 – 02 from 8; Expt Pts of -1.971). When they went down to 14 their overall Conversion Rates improved to 46% (0 – 06 from 13; Expt Pts of +0.240). This improvement only dragged them up to average however and couldn’t “fix” the poor start.

This poor shooting is nothing new. Galway have proven to be kryptonite to Mayo’s forwards. In 2016 and 2017 combined Mayo were a very poor 28% (0 – 11 from 38) on point attempts from play. Here they were 38% (0 – 09 from 21).

Below is the 2018 point attempts (in yellow) overlaid on the 2016 and 2017 shots (black). A couple of things are stand out. Lessons were learned in terms of shot location in that unlike the previous two years there were no wild shots this year from out on the wings (possibly aided by Galway’s inverted umbrella defence around the D allowing Mayo to get closer) however on the flipside Mayo were unable to get inside the cover during this year’s encounter.

From a shooting perspective no one stood out. Kevin McLoughlin converted his two shots from play but also missed two readily convertible frees from the right (he also turned down a difficult third free from the right wing on the 20m line).

A O’Shea had a quietly efficient game. He ended up with five primary assists for shots on goal – the next highest on either team was three.

The lack of offensive depth on the bench is a stick regularly used to beat Mayo with. They were already stretched given the above noted absences but again the last ~30 minutes were effectively left to the stalwarts. Those involved in the shots, from when Parsons went off and C O’Connor came on, were

Shots – A Moran x3, C O’Connor x2, K McLoughlin, C Boyle & J Durcan x1
Assists – K Higgins x3, A O’Shea & C O’Connor x2

Stretch it out to the 2nd last pass – where it mattered in the lead up to the shot – the players involved were C O’Connor x3, A O’Shea & J Doherty x.

Tough I know given that C O’Connor was a sub, and the defensive realignments allowed Higgins to move forward, but you want to see Loftus & Doherty more involved in this period when they were on the pitch. S Coen (though he won the free at the death) and P Durcan as well. One shot from J Durcan was the sum attacking involvement of the 2nd rank in that last 30 minutes.

When Galway had the ball

As intimated earlier the shape of the game was played out to Galway’s league template; low possessions high conversion rates.

The Conversion Rates, and high Expt Pts (+2.67), were aided greatly by McHugh’s two very good free kicks and them converting the only goal chance in the game. McHugh’s two frees were on the edge of the normal free taking range, or just outside it, and the conversion of both saw him bring his excellent league form (90%; 0 – 19 from 21 with an Expt Pts of +2.42) through to the Championship.

Galway’s point attempts were essentially average (47%; 0 – 09 from 19 Expt Pts of -0.416) with Comer (0 – 02 from 3) and Duggan (0 – 02 from 2) standing out.

Galway, unlike Mayo, managed to get a great kick from their bench. In the same period as noted above they got shots from P Cooke x2, S Kelly, E Brannigan and T Flynn after he came back on. Another player who stood out was Ian Burke. In his ~20 minutes on the pitch he was central to 1 – 02 of Galway’s late scoring providing a primary assist on three shots and was also the link man for Heaney’s goal.

Kickouts

Despite the intensity of the game, the nature of the teams, the pre-game talk about David Clarke’s kickouts, Galway’s league “form” in terms of eschewing short kickouts, this being the first televised Championship game under the new kickout rule – the kickouts were quite boring! The kickout team won 83% of the game’s kickouts. 62% (26 of 42) of kickouts were short with only one being won by the opposition.

The red card played into this. Nine of Galway’s eleven second half kickouts went short to the left as Mayo dropped off. Looking at Mayo’s kickout chart it is perhaps surprising that Galway didn’t make hay on Mayo’s 2nd half kickouts. First half (black on the chart) were pulled mainly to Clarke’s left – Galway could easily have pushed up hard against 14 in the second half but didn’t manage to in any effective manner.

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2018 Division 1 Review

April 27, 2018

The 2018 league saw the continuation of Galway’s upward curve as well as perhaps a chink in the Dublin armour as they lost a regular league game for the first time since March 2015. As will be outlined below Galway played the league differently to everyone else and make an interesting hook when reviewing various metrics; they have thus been added to the recent “Big Four” when reviewing how individual teams perform.

A few of the metrics were introduced in the Week4 review (here) so this review can be seen as an extension of that piece now that we have more date.

Possessions
In boxing they say that styles make fights. In football team set ups and tactics make games. Dublin v Donegal, at 103 possessions during the game, had 26 (34%) more possessions than Dublin v Galway in the league final.

Below are the top and bottom five individual team possessions recorded throughout the 2018 league

Galway continues to play a different game to everyone else. Of the 36 individual team outings (two each per the 18 TV games) Galway’s volume of possessions only once came close to the average of 45.2 a game when they recorded 44 against Monaghan. Otherwise their remaining four fixtures all ranked in the bottom five in terms of possessions. Only in the aforementioned Monaghan game did they have more possessions than the opposition – in that instance two. In the other four games they lost the possession battle by 3, 6, 7 and 8 respectively.

Whilst the spread of possessions at 26 (max = 103, min = 77) would appear to be wide it is actually more condensed than the 2017 Championship when the spread was 34 (113 possessions in the Galway v Mayo game and 79 in the Carlow v Dublin game). Yep that’s the same Galway one competition and about six months removed. I am currently finding it very hard to reconcile the Galway of 2017, which was involved in games with 113 and 110 (QF v Galway) possessions, with that of the 2018 league where the possession count never topped 86!

As well team possessions we also have the number of successful passes within each possession. This can be used as a proxy for that dreaded word – transition.

Dublin’s method of continually probing whilst stretching teams wide has been readily commented upon and it shows up here. They own six of the 11 sequences where there was a minimum of 20 player touches. Those possessions and their outcomes are listed below.

After first producing this table I was asked if it was meaningful that only four of these possessions led to a score. I don’t believe so (a) as the volume is too small to make any concrete statements on and (b) the intention wasn’t always to score – some of these were teams playing keep ball to wind down the clock.

Whilst the above table is “interesting” it doesn’t provide any usable insight. That will come. For instance; once enough data is gathered we can see whether moving the ball through multiple players or the quick strike is more productive. Which teams play fast on the counter – and which teams do not. Until then – we’ll have to do with the “interesting” table!

Another way to use the possession data is to see where the possession originated from and overlay shot data to see how effective teams are depending on where the move starts

At a league wide level

– just under half of all possessions originate from kickouts (34% on your own 15% on the opposition’s)

– 46% come from turnovers (17% inside your own 20m line, 16% between the 20m and 45m lines with the rest picked up higher up the pitch outside your own 45)

– the remainder coming from restarts and shots gone awry (short, blocked and picked up, off the post etc.).

Just knowing that alone you can see why kickouts are such a focus. But should they be? Teams shoot as frequently on their turnovers as they do on their own kickouts. Despite, notionally, teams not being as set when they turn over the ball inside the opposition’s 20m line they allow shots less often than on short kickouts. Dropping the ball into the keeper’s hands is not the mortal sin we have been led to believe ….

But averages simplify the process completely. Some teams are better at transitioning from a kickout – others from turnovers. The below table shows the shots per possession, by where the possession originated from, during the 2018 league

Surprisingly Dublin didn’t excel anywhere and were (relatively) poor on their own kickout. Galway – as is necessary given their low possession game – were above average in all phases. A measure of their efficiency – they won four of the ten restarts and scored 0 – 04; they regained the ball 5 times from shots dropping short, coming off the post etc. – they scored 0 – 05.

Offensive Production

A few things that jump out

– Average Conversion Rate at 55.7% is a 3.3% increase on the 53.9% recorded during the 2017 Championship. There are many reasons as to why this might be but it is just worth noting for a rising ship should lift all boats.

– Dublin did not produce more shots than the opposition (Tyrone actually produced an extra 2.5 shots per game – small sample size alert – whilst only Mayo produced less shots per possession) but were head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to shooting accuracy. Noteworthy, however, that this was just a continuation of their 2017 form when they recorded a 62.3% Conversion Rate.

– Galway have been very accurate but in a different way to Dublin. Dublin were 60% from play whereas Galway were 52%. But Galway had a significantly greater volume of their shots skewed towards the higher percentage deadballs (26% of Galway’s shots were from deadballs as against 18% of Dublin’s). If the frees dry up, or McHugh’s radar is off, can they generate enough shots from play to overcome their low possession and average Conversion Rates?

– Mayo struggled offensively throughout the league. Their shots per game and their accuracy were both well below the league average. They will be fervently hoping that come the Championship they will be back up to their 2017 levels when they produced 0.63 shots per possession, with a 54% Conversion Rate, across ten games.

Another aspect of attacking play is the frequency that teams go for goal. We all know that goals can inflict monumental damage no matter when they occur (Dublin in the 4th minute against Tyrone in the 2017 semi-final?) but knowing and doing are different things. Do teams go for goal at different rates?

Anyone surprised to see Dublin be so far ahead of the opposition on the frequency of their goal attempts? Me neither. Though I am somewhat surprised to see just how bunched the rest of the teams were. That gap, and bunching, was not evident during 2017 (below). The differing quality of opposition – as opposed to the league when everyone’s opponent is of a comparable standard – feed into the higher rates observed in 2017.

Player level

SHOOTING FROM PLAY

The average Conversion Rate for all attempts from play is 47%. There are reasons why a particular player’s results might vary from this (shooting more against better teams, close in shots versus those from the wings etc.) but it is a very useful yardstick. In that context Dublin’s trio of Kilkenny, Scully and Basquel are off the charts. I don’t care if all shots were taken against beaten dockets (they weren’t) or if there was absolutely no pressure (there was) – that is incredible shooting.

Considering he is Donegal’s main man, and has the added responsibility of taking the frees, McBrearty’s numbers are no less stellar. Defenders know he is getting the ball, they know he is shooting off his left (15 of the 16 point attempts were off his left), yet he still produces.

Comer’s returns look unusual in that he has a very high Conversion Rate but has below average Expt Pts. The simple explanation for this is his poor returns on goal attempts. He had four shots at goal across the five TV games scoring 0 – 03. This helps his Conversion Rate enormously (75%!) but harms his Expt Pts return as he’d be expected to score 1 – 02 from those four attempts.

DEADBALLS

It is a rare enough deadball table that shows Dean Rock comprehensively outplayed but Barry McHugh did just that during this league campaign. Brennan & Clifford also had better Conversion Rates than Rock but their Expt Pts mark was very similar to his showing that they converted slightly easier frees more often.

McHugh’s shooting was not only more accurate (90% Conversion Rate vs 83% for Rock) but also much better in terms of Expt Pts (+2.4 vs +1.1) indicating he converted much harder frees at the same, or a better, rate. Given the aforementioned lack of possessions Galway have a higher need to squeeze as much out of each one as possible. They did this throughout the league in no small part due to McHugh’s proficiency.

Mayo’s deadball woes were very evident throughout the whole campaign. As a team they were 69.5% (0 – 32 from 46) on deadballs leaving 0 – 05 behind them when compared to what the average Conversion Rates on those 46 attempts would be. This was very similar to the 2017 returns where they returned 69.4% (0 -50 from 72) and an Expt Pts mark of -5.36.

ASSISTS

We have started to introduce the idea of Expt Pts for assists and below is a plot for the 20 shooters listed above. It is important to note that for this metric the more games you play the higher your Expt Pts on assists will be as unlike Expt Pts for shooting there is no negative return. You assisted a shot; the outcome is irrelevant. A “per 70 minutes” metric would be much better and this is what will be produced during the 2018 Championship

That being said Fenton remains an absolute beast – he is no midfielder. Rather he is a master puppeteer centre half forward laying off ball to the shooters and/or converting at a ridiculous rate himself.

Despite the above notes on the volume impact we can see the affect Comer and Clifford had throughout the league. Their shooting was by no means stellar but their involvement in setting up teammates was excellent as measured by the impact of their assists. Comer’s direct running plays a part here – Galway took a shot directly from 11 possessions in which Comer was fouled, the next highest was 5. Granted there is huge discrepancy in the volume of minutes played but that is stark.

Defensive Production

Dublin allow more shots, on a per game and a per possession basis, than the other big teams which, when you consider their recent dominance and the fact they won the league is a remarkable thing. But even more remarkable is the poor Conversion Rate from Dublin’s opposition. The average is ~56%; Dublin’s opponents are at ~47% whilst no one else dips below 53%. Why would this be?

We have never been able to concretely attribute poor offensive numbers to either good defending or poor attacking. To date we have had to assume it is a mixture of both. But there are some obvious things we can look at when one teams’ numbers are so out of step with the norm.

Frees; Frees are converted much more readily than attempts from play. If the ratio of frees faced by Dublin is vastly different than that of other teams this would affect the overall Conversion Rate. It is different but not vastly; 22% of the shots faced by Dublin were frees as against 24% for everyone else. That equates to about 0.25 frees per game which isn’t really worth a whole lot in terms of Conversion Rate divergence. Dublin’s opposition converted frees at 73% – the league as a whole was 77%. Small gains but nothing earth shattering.

From play; So if it is not frees then it must be from play. The league average conversion rate on point attempts was 49% (the 47% mentioned earlier also includes goal attempts); Dublin only allowed 39%. That old chestnut – excellent Dublin defending or poor attacking? It is not strong Dublin defending per se – I chart the pressure applied to each shot and the Dublin defence applies “strong or severe” pressure to the shooter at a league average rate (44% for the league, 42% for Dublin). There is something in where Dublin’s opposition shoot from however; against Dublin 47% of the point attempts come from the wings between the 20m & 45m lines – the league average is 38% and if we remove Dublin that drops to 36% for the other six teams. So in a sense it is Dublin defending. We have seen that they allow more shots per game but they “let” you shoot from more disadvantageous regions – this would also feed into why their pressure % is not as high as expected.

Playing Dublin; But then again we have another overriding theme – the pressure of playing Dublin. When we restrict the pressure index to central shots only Dublin are relatively poor – only 31% of opponent’s shots centrally were taken under strong or severe pressure as against the league average of 44%. Low volumes but still! The kicker is that 53% of these central shots against Dublin were converted as against 63% for the rest of the league. We cannot place this performance on Dublin defending – indeed the opposite is true. The Dublin pressure is less intense. Teams missed the simplest of shots (centrally and under no pressure) at a higher clip.

Enough of Dublin! The conversion rate of Tyrone’s opponents is almost comically high. I double checked just to be sure. In Tyrone’s three games Dublin hit 68% of their shots, Monaghan 63% and Kildare 62%. It is only three games, and the comparable 2017 return was a combined 48% (five games) so I’m sure Mickey Harte and the backroom team are not overly concerned.

Kickouts

On the whole all teams are winning a lower percentage of their own kickouts when compared to the 2017 Championship campaign (73% won in 2017, 66% won in 2018) with none of the highlighted Division1 teams bucking this trend. Part of the reason for this is that the volume of short kickouts has dropped (a consequence of the new rule – either directly or indirectly as teams kicked longer in anticipation of the press that will surely come during the Summer) from 47% in the 2017 Championship to 40% in the 2018 League. Teams win their own short kickouts at a 94% clip so if there are significantly less of them the overall win rate will suffer. There was also a drop in the percentage of kickouts past the 45m line won by the kickout team – from 56.9% to 54.5%. Small enough but when you combine the two – a greater volume of longer kickouts with these longer ones won less frequently – we get a decent drop in the win rate.

Outside of the win rates it is interesting to see who is the most productive. Dublin are generally considered Kings of the kickout but in terms of net effectiveness they were only above average in this league campaign whilst Tyrone actually outperformed them in 2017. Mayo were very good on their own kickout during the league – they will be hoping that their overall Conversion Rate picks up so that they can build on this strong platform.

As is becoming a theme Galway was the outlier. Their net returns on kickouts are very low when compared to the other big guns – with one of the main reasons being that they continue to shun the short kickout. In their five TV games they went short on 27%. Mayo were 55%, Dublin were at 47% with Kerry and Tyrone at 41% apiece.

Volumes become low when we begin to segment like this so the percentages become less reliable however given that they are going short at a lower rate this allows the opposition to “tee off” on their longer ones. When they went past the 45m line Galway won 50% of their kickouts; the comparable figure was 65% for Dublin and 57% apiece for Kerry and Mayo.

2018 Division 1 Overview – post Rd4

March 8, 2018

Below is a quick overview of some of the more interesting numbers coming out of this year’s league. When listing individual teams, under any specific metric, note that it will be confined to those teams with at least three games played (see NOTE1)

Possessions

Team Possessions

11 games covered which equates to 22 returns – of which Galway have the three performances with the least amount of possessions. Not just the three lowest though – their two games against Donegal and Mayo are a full six possessions lower than the next lowest recorded by any other team. Intriguingly it is not that they are completely slowing games down and “dragging” the opposition down with them. They have easily lost the possession battle in all three games; by totals of 6 (v Kerry), 7 (v Mayo) and 8 (v Donegal).

Player possessions

That impression you have of Dublin dominating possession? Yeah it is not merely an impression. Of all team possessions with 20 or more player possessions (essentially player touches or strings of passing) Dublin have six of the top 11 and are the only team to top 30 player possessions in the one move.

Offensive production

Team

Perhaps surprisingly Dublin are not the most prolific offensive team in terms of output. They are below the average in the number of shots per game and shots per possession they attempt. What they lack for in quantity they more than make up for in quality however. They have a wonderfully high Conversion Rate on the shots they do take. Alloy this Conversion Rate, with the high volume of possessions, and you get your high scores.

Galway are highly proficient when they attack (high shots per possessions and Conversion Rate) but as noted above their (current) weakness could be the inability to create enough shots, through low possession counts, should the radar be off.

Donegal are shooting from everywhere with near on 30 shots per game – but their relatively low Conversion Rate is indicative of the fact that a lot of these are from “outside” the shooting zone.

Kerry’s new forward unit with O’Sé, Burns & Clifford are chugging along nicely whilst Mayo are struggling.

Player – shooting

The above table shows all players with at least 8 shots from play (see NOTE2).

Brannigan is currently on fire scoring 2 – 06 from his 10 shots as is McBrearty’s left peg (all 13 shots are point attempts with the left). Noticeable how these two are then followed by a squadron of Dublin attackers. This is to be somewhat expected given Dublin’s 65% Conversion Rate as a whole but it is still striking when you see that they have five of the top7 shooters by Expt Pts.

Player – assists

So this is new. I have started to track assists as another tool to view the front 8. This is somewhat subjective as a number of shots will come from players themselves making the breakthrough thus not producing an assist; or a defender might foul the ball thus providing the opposition with a shot from a free (does the player who induced the foul get an assist?); or the last pass may be an incidental popped hand pass (see NOTE3). As with any new metric there’ll have to be an element of trust on this one!

Unlike the shooting, which can have a positive or negative Expt Pts depending on whether the shots were converted, assists can only have a positive Expt Pts as the Expt Pts will relate to the point attempt rather than the shot outcome. But what we can do is plot the Expt Pts for shooting versus the Expt Pts for assists and get a more complete picture of a player’s offensive involvement

The above chart shows the shooting/assist Expt Pts interplay for those players listed previously with at least 8 shots from play. Where you want to be is in the top right quadrant (highlighted by the green circle) with a high positive Expt Pts for shooting (thus being very accurate) and a high Expt Pts for assists (thus showing a high level of attacking involvement).

Can we consider Fenton a midfielder? These offensive numbers are off the chart – high volume of shots, with high accuracy and high assists production. On his assists he has won three frees that led to Dean Rock attempts at goal, set up Kilkenny for his goal against Tyrone and also provided the assist for seven point attempts. Phenomenal.

McBrearty has two less assists than Fenton (9 v 11); he also has won three frees (that he himself took) but has set up two goal attempts and four point attempts.

Given his accuracy from play (0 – 09 from 13 point attempts) and the fact that he is Donegal’s main free taker (0 – 17 from 20; 85% Conversion Rate and +0.8 Expt Pts) it is some feat to also be so high on the assist chart. He is a very different player to Fenton but currently no less phenomenal.

The only problem with the first chart is that it hides the “non shooters”. Purely listing by the volume of assists we see the likes of A O’Shea, P Conroy and S O’Sé start to rise to the top.

Defensive production

Again perhaps surprisingly Dublin do not show up as best in class here. They allow more shots per possession than anyone else which, allied to their more open games, leads to more shots allowed per game than anyone else. What is noticeable however is the low quality of the opposition’s shooting (Conversion Rate at a very low 45%).

This low Conversion Rate can undoubtedly be attributed to excellent defending (more pressure on the shooter and/or teams taking shots from less favourable positions) but there must also be a mental aspect to this – teams forcing attempts knowing they have to keep up.

The argument against this is perhaps Galway. Their defensive numbers are very similar to Dublin’s yet it would be hard to argue that teams are under the same mental pressure when facing Galway as they are when facing Dublin.

I would contend however that Galway defend differently – tighter, more aggressive – and it is this that gives them the same defensive edge that Dublin seem to gain from their opponent’s mentality. Still it is definitely something worth looking at after the league – do teams shoot differently against Dublin as opposed to against anyone else?

On the offensive summary we commented on Kerry & Donegal’s higher numbers which was a nod to the fact that they had a good balance in attack (Kerry) or a defined game plan (Donegal could be deemed “shoot on sight”). They are both struggling on the back end however.

Kickouts

When looking at these tables it is again important to reference NOTE1 below – any changes may be as a consequence of natural differences between league and Championship rather than wholly attributable to the changes in the kickout rules.

Having said that there has definitely been a change in kickouts with the proportion of kickouts going short (landing inside the 45m line) dropping from 48% in the 2017 Championship to 37% this league campaign. That’s dramatic enough and the sample size – at 28% of the 2017 Championship games – is representative. Come the end of the league we can expect the proportion of short kickouts to have dropped by c10%.

We have seen Marks increase but not to any great degree. Instead we are back to the future where breaking ball is becoming more important. I define such kickouts as “contestable” (outside the 45m line and not claimed through a Mark – see NOTE4).

Kickout teams have increased the proportion of “contestable” kickouts they win but in both the 2017 Championship & 2018 League campaigns teams only manage to win c50% of their own “contestable” kickouts.

There are some interesting titbits looking at kickouts by team

Galway weren’t as fond of the short kickout as others in 2017 but have almost eschewed it completely so far with only 14% going short (remember the average is 38%). Given that the kickout team gets the ball ~95% of the time when it goes short this also explains why they are losing the possession battle as noted earlier (as does the fact that they are below average in winning their own “contestable” kickouts).

Donegal’s drop off is as pronounced (60% of kickouts in 2017 Championship went short versus 25% in the 2018 League) however this could be attributed to a change in philosophy under Declan Bonnar as much as anything else.

Dublin’s short ones have dropped off completely (66% in ’17 down to 44% thus far) – getting ready for the Summer perhaps when they expect a high press from the opposition? Also noticeable that despite their athleticism, and Cluxton’s radar like aim, they are only average on “contestable” kickouts.
Mayo & Kerry appear to have completely ignored the new rule (playing possum and not showing their Summer hand?). Kerry have been very good on their own kickout claiming a high of 69% of their own “contestable” kickouts.

Notes

Note1; 11 Division1 games in total. All shown on TV so any bias can be aimed at TG4 and/or EIR! Only Division1 game not completed thus far is Monaghan-v-Tyrone
Where there are comparisons to 2017 Championship numbers it is worth noting that we have no real previous comparisons between League and Championship campaigns. There has always been the sense that the League will be different but we just don’t know (I have been particularly lazy in not doing league campaigns before!).
This point, that there may be a natural difference between League & Championship, is particularly important when we come to kickouts as we have the additional overlay of the new kickout rules. Just because numbers change here does not mean it is as a direct result of the law changes – there may also be a natural difference between League & Championship outputs.

Note2: As an aside this shows the problem with judging players through their shooting. Even the most prolific shooter – McBrearty at 13 shots in three games – has a very small sample size

Note3; I have ~84% of shots not having an assist.

Note4; acknowledging that not all kickouts past the 45m line are contested – nor indeed that all Marks are un-contested. Still – it’s an easy label.

Galway v Mayo 2017 Connacht

June 13, 2017

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
Galway 59 37 28 0 – 15 15.23
Mayo 54 39 29 1 – 11 16.89

Outside of a few extra possessions both sides had an eerily similar outing to that of their 2016 encounter. In that game Galway had a 64% attack rate (v 63% here), 78% shot rate (v 76%) and a 52% conversion rate (v 54%) though their Expt Pts at ~11 was much lower in 2016 than the ~15 points here. Part of that divergence in Expt Pts was the fact that in 2016 Galway scored 1 – 01 from their two goal chances; here they missed the one lone attempt, from a relatively acute angle, by Gary O’Donnell early in the second half. Those three shots alone equate to a swing of 2.79 Expt Pts.

What of Mayo? In 2016 they recorded an attack rate of 79% (v 72% here) and a shot rate of 66% (v 74%). A slight adjustment on how they moved the ball in that they got inside Galway’s 45 at a lesser rate but managed more shots whilst in there however ultimately the net result was the same – 29 shots in both games. Again there are similarities in their shooting; getting 12 scores in both games for a conversion rate of 41% whilst the Expt pts was -2.89 in 2017 and -3.20 in 2016.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Mayo’s shooting

Mayo’s goal & deadball attempts were average – which given the prevailing conditions in Salthill was probably better than could be expected. They scored 1 goal from their three attempts whilst Cillian O’Connor returned 0 – 05 from his 7 deadball attempts with both misses coming from the 45 and beyond. As stated a reasonable, acceptable, standard day.

What let them down, badly, was their point taking. In total they scored 0 – 06 from 19 attempts for a conversion rate of 32% (Expt Pts of -2.78). You could blame the conditions – and they were very difficult – but Galway had a stat line of 0 – 07 from 17 (41% conversion rate; -0.30 Expt Pts. Basically average). You could also blame shot selection but again the Expt Pts shows that they should have returned 0 -10 from the shots attempted. Where they took their shots from was not an issue. There was a degree of difficulty added by the conditions but nothing that would compensate for such poor returns.

What adds to the fact that it was Mayo – and not some other criteria – is the fact that it mirrored 2016. Then Mayo scored 0 – 05 from 19 attempts (26% conversion rate; Ext Pts of -4.20). Mayo’s wider attacking malaise can be further illustrated by the fact that Cillian O’Connor had 10 attempts across the two games (26% of Mayo’s total) but only scored 0 – 01 (Ext Pts of -4.21). There’s no question re his fight, desire, willingness to go to the final minute but when he’s not converting Mayo will struggle as there is no one else to pick up the slack. Be that in a volume or an accuracy sense.

Galway’s defence

Can we attribute any of Mayo’s poor shooting to Galway’s defence? Surely it cannot be a coincidence that two of Mayo’s worst offensive displays – production wise – occurred against Galway?

Firstly Johnny Heaney was heroic here in blocking the two goal attempts – if either one of those go in the narrative (that dreaded word) around this game is very different. We can definitely chalk that up to the defence! Perhaps a more repeatable marker is that 13 of Mayo’s 19 (68%) point attempts were taken under strong or severe pressure. We have only just started to properly grade this pressure metric but as a reference Mayo recorded 50% & 44% “high” levels of pressure on Dublin’s point attempts in the 2016 final and replay. I’ve no doubt 66% will be on the high side come year end. Galway were excellent at pressurising the Mayo shooter.

… and yet it was not all down to Galway; Mayo missed all 6 attempts that were taken under little or no pressure ….

Galway’s shooting

Galway’s shooting from play was average; 0 – 07 from 17 attempts for a 41% Conversion Rate and an Expt Pts return of -0.30. Again given the condition this was quite good.

What was very good however was their deadball striking. In total they returned 0 – 08 from their 10 deadball attempts with Armstrong returning a very good 0 – 06 from 8 (including 3 from 3 on frees and an overall Expt Pts tally of +0.86; his excellent striking basically added 1pt above what an average day would have returned). Normally this would be a place to bash any defence that gave up 10 frees but in this instance 5 of those deadballs were 45s.
These can be attributed to player or defence on an individual basis but you are quite unlucky to give up 5 in a game where the opposition only has one shot on goal.

Kickouts

Both teams diced with death at times losing a combined 6 of their 26 short kickouts. Galway had the best ultimate return here however scoring 0 – 03 directly from these short kickouts. Mayo didn’t manage to return anything from the two Galway short ones they won.

14 (35%) of all the kickouts went past the 45 with honours being split evenly at 7 apiece. Unsurprisingly, given the high turnover rate within the game, only 3 of these 14 possessions progressed to a shot.

APPENDIX
Galway’s shot chart

Mayo’s shot chart

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

Galway v Tipperary 2016 AI Quarter Final

August 3, 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

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Galway 45 32 19 1 – 10 13.53
Tipperary 60 50 42 3 – 13 27.13

Possessions, Attack Rate, Shot Rate, Expt Pts …. Tipperary blew Galway out of the water. They were so comfortable that their shooting was able to be well below par yet they could win by 10 points in a hack canter.

Generally speaking teams score at the rate of 0.3 points per possession. Having 15 more possessions in a game, which is the biggest gap this year – Monaghan had a surplus of 13 in their one sided procession against Down, gave Tipperary a ~5 point leg up.

Origination Galway Tipperary
Own kickout 16 15
Opp kickout 5 11
Turnover own 3rd 19 22
Turnover mid 3rd 4 3
Turnover opp 3rd 0 1
Other 1 8

The origination of the possessions are laid out above. We can see that the majority of Tipperary’s surplus came from the opposition’s kickout (where Tipperary won 11 to Galway’s 5) and “other”. The kickouts we’ll touch on later but “other” consists of throw-ins and possession re-gathered (not sure if that’s a word!) by a team after their own shot. Both teams split the opening throw-ins leaving Tipperary gathering seven of their own shots. Not only are they extra possessions but they are possessions gained inside the opponent’s 45. Tipperary managed a further seven shots off these possession re-gains scoring 1- 02. Now from a shooting perspective that’s not great as it is 1-02 off 14 shots however it does lead to a sense of overwhelming superiority as shots appear to land in waves constantly cranking up the pressure on the opposition

Those shot gains came in a variety of ways – balls back off the post, being first to goalkeeper parries or picking up balls further out the field after shots were blocked – and indicate perhaps just how much more alert, and on their toes, Tipperary were compared to Galway.

Galway

On much lower possession volumes Galway had to mind what ball they did have but unfortunately for them it just didn’t stick. A 71% Attack Rate (getting the ball into Tipperary’s 45) is below average whilst a shot Rate of 59% is very low. Both numbers are very far below what was required when you consider the edge Tipperary had in possessions and shots (notwithstanding the poor execution mentioned above)

Galway didn’t engage Tipperary high up the pitch so only nine of their possessions occurred outside their own kickout or their own 65m line. They had to work hard to get the ball up to the forwards and when they did they just didn’t pull the trigger. It is somewhat understandable in the second half, when the game was gone with 20 minutes to go, that they were shot shy in an attempt to get goals but in the first half, when it was there to be won, they only had 10 shots compared to Tipperary’s 24. Indeed after Danny Cummins’ point in the 14th minute which put them 0 – 04 t0 0 – 01 ahead they did not have another shot from play until Paul Conroy’s effort in the 32nd minute. In that intervening 18 minutes they had seven possessions and four attacks with just a Gary Sice missed free to show for their efforts.

Tipperary in that same period had 15 possessions, 14 attacks and 12 shots (including four on goal) scoring 1 – 06.

Galway were absolutely blitzed and the 1-01 they scored at the end of the half enabled the HT scoreboard to gloss over just how comprehensively outplayed they were in the first half.

Tipperary Shooting

That being said the Tipperary performance was not without its issues. Yes they racked up a large possession volume and their approach play was such to produce high attack & shot rates. But their shooting itself was poor.

In the previous round against Derry it was noted that whilst they had run up another big score (an impressive 1 – 21) this was achieved through volume rather than overt accuracy. Their Expt Pts total that day was +0.14 off of 37 shots. Again the 37 was high but their overall accuracy was bang on average.

Against Galway they had an even more impressive 42 shots but “only” scored 3 – 13 gaving an overall conversion rate of 38% and an Expt Pts tally of -5.13. That’s the problem with racking a possession volume through the “other” origination outlined above – you have to miss your original shot to regain the possession! We won’t see many games where you have a conversion rate less than 40% (only other winner this year was Tyrone against Donegal), such a negative Expt Pts and yet still romp to a 10 point win! So how was such a negative waiting obtained?

Goal attempts
Tipperary had a quite remarkable ten attempts at goal scoring 3 – 02. That looks like a healthy 1.10 points per attempt however the average is actually 1.19 so although the Conversion Rate here is high at 50% the goal conversion rate of 30% is below average and leads to an Expt Pts of -0.90 on goal attempts

Deadballs
Tipperary converted three of their five deadballs (again the average is ~67%) returning an Expt Pts of -0.21. Against Derry they went 9 from 13 (69% Conversion Rate; Expt Pts of -0.29) so between then O’Halloran & Quinlivan are about average; Conversion Rate of 67% & a combined Expt Pts of -0.50

Point attempts
So stripping out goal attempts and deadballs that leaves some very poor point taking. Tipperary had 27 point attempts but only scored 0 – 08; a 30% Conversion Rate with an Expt Pts return of -4.02. There is no hiding just how poor that is. The question then becomes will it be repeated?

One element of the performance that will give Tipperary solace is that they came out cold. We must remember that this was the first big Championship match in Croke Park for a lot of these players and it showed early on. Until the Quinlivan goal in the 16th minute Tipperary’s shooting from play read as 0 – 01 from 10 attempts (10% Conversion Rate) with an Expt Pts of -3.37. Whether it was the occasion or the very new test of shooting in to an empty Hill in a quarter final they were very, very poor early on. Thereafter they were much better returning 0 – 07 from 17; a low enough Conversion Rate of 41% but the Expt Pts of -0.45 shows it was only a touch below expected.

Against Derry they were 12 from 21 (57%, Expt Pts of +1.00) when attempting a point. That’s not a huge amount to go on but we can say that over the two games, apart from a 16 minute spell at the start of the Galway game which does have mitigating factors, they were about average. If they continue to produce the same volume of shots against Mayo or Tyrone as they did against Derry & Galway then they will take average shooting.

Kickouts
As noted above Tipperary were on top when it came to getting their hands on the opposition’s kickouts. Galway had 27 kickouts in total winning 16 with Tipperary claiming the other 11. That however is somewhat misleading as seven of Galway’s kickouts went short. So when Galway went past the 45 Tipperary came out on top 11 – 9.

Overall the net scoring on Galway’s kickouts was a washout (Galway scored 1- 05 from the possessions they won and let in 1-04 from the kickouts Tipperary claimed) however this may be an area of concern. Firstly Galway only scored 1-10 so to let 1-05 in from a set piece is somewhat disconcerting. Plus the goal came from a long kickout which carved open the defence once it bypassed midfield. Also will they have as much possession from either Tyrone or Mayo’s kickouts? And if not can they replace the 1-04?

Tipperary’s kickouts? Comerford has been rightly applauded for some of the pinpoint deliveries he had – especially out on the right touchline. Here again however the bare numbers can be deceiving. Tipperary gained possession 75% of the time (15 – 5) from their own kickouts 75% of the time. This however includes ten short kickouts so when the ball was contestable – landing beyond the 45 – honours were even at five apiece. Tipperary dodged a bullet here as Galway couldn’t do anything with these prime possessions, failing to register a point, but it’s hard to imagine Tyrone or Mayo remaining scoreless after winning Tipperary’s kickout(s).

Appendix

Shot Charts

Galway’s shooting

Galway shooting (V Tipperary16)

Tipperary’s shooting
Tipperary shooting (V Donegal 16)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half, red = goal attempt

 

Players with >= 4 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Exp Pts
M Quinlivan (Tipperary) 14 1 – 04 36% 8.59
S Walsh (Galway) 7 0 – 04 57% 4.97
K O’Halloran (Tipperary) 7 2 – 02 57% 4.55
C Sweeney (Tipperary) 6 0 – 04 67% 4.43

Galway v Roscommon 2016 Connacht final

July 13, 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

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Galway 50 39 27 0 – 13 12.81
Roscommon 49 38 22 1 – 10 11.17

Given the high scores Roscommon had racked up in their two Championship outings to date (01-15 against New York and 4-16 versus Sligo) it was somewhat surprising to see them produce five fewer shots than Galway. But we have to give the Galway defence some credit here. Yes the conditions on Sunday were atrocious but in their last three halves that defence has restricted the opposition to 9, 12 & 10 shots respectively for a combined Expt Pts of 16.36. That will not only keep you in games but win you a majority of them.

Attacking wise Galway are nothing if not consistent. Against Mayo they had 50 possessions with 25 shots and 13 scores. The goal the last day helped them outperform shooting wise (scoring 1-01 from your only two goal chances will do that) but here they produced an almost perfectly average display with a Conversion Rate of 48% and an Expt Pts return of +0.19. Perfectly average is in no way a slight given the conditions that those “average” returns were produced in.

Roscommon on the other hand had to overcome their relative lack of shots (as a point of reference they had 39 against Sligo and 33 against Kerry in the league semi-final) through accuracy with an Expt Pts return of +1.83. That statement is slightly misleading however as the positive return was entirely down to their goal (I say slightly as creating, and taking, goal chances is a huge skill in itself). When going for a point they were also bang on average with a Conversion Rate of 48% and an Expt Pts of +0.02.

Roscommon cannot rely on converting their only goal chance the next day. Their point taking has not been good enough to date (v Sligo their Conversion Rate was 52% with an Expt Pt of -0.02 when going for a point) to overcome another small shot volume – they need to create more opportunities. Galway on the other hand will look to continue doing what they do – produce average shooting displays, convert any goal chance that comes their way and play suffocating defence.

We saw in the Cavan Tyrone games that replays can take on an entirely different characteristic to the original game. Evidence to date suggests that Galway’s template is repeatable – can Roscommon “up it”?

Roscommon Kickouts

Roscommon had 21 kickouts winning 20 with the only loss being one that went over the sideline. It was surprising, from a number of aspects, to see Galway so passive on the Roscommon kickout. We know from previous games that the Roscommon kickout can take chances (end of the Monaghan league game, 3 kickouts picking wide open Sligo men the last day) and with the wind behind them in the second half I fully expected Galway to apply a full press and hem Roscommon in. Also Roscommon scored 1-08 from their short kickouts against Sligo. Galway should have been aware of their ability to use these possessions and tried to disrupt it – again here they scored 0-04.

Galway didn’t push up and indeed also gave Mayo the kickout. It is something they are obviously comfortable doing and, in the main, the results to date have borne fruit but you sense that their midfield would be better utilised by contesting long Roscommon kickouts which are obviously Roscommon’s least favoured option. The press would also force Roscommon to continue taking dicey short kickouts if they wished to avoid a midfield battle.

Roscommon’s anomalies

Attacking from deep
Roscommon’s attacking from deep was very poor. As noted above they scored 0 – 04 from 18 short kickouts (0.22 pts per possession) but were an abysmal 0-01 from 16 turnover possessions (0.06 pts per possession) that started inside their own 45m line.

Generally you would expect Galway to be more defensively set on the kickouts than the turnovers. Why did Roscommon struggle so much here? (There was a similar split against Sligo with Roscommon returning 0.61 pts per possession from their short kickouts and 0.40 pts from deep turnovers however that return from the kickouts was phenomenal rather than the attacking play from deep turnovers being poor)

I thought perhaps it may have had something to do with their slow build up play. The thinking being that they were set from kickouts and were used to the various player movements but that Galway’s defensive wall somehow stymied them on turnovers. Not so; there were on average 8.35 player touches per possession on their own kickout versus 9.60 for the deep turnovers. A gap yes – indicating slower build up play – but easily explained by the first recipient of the kickout being able to travel at least to half way.

It’s an odd one and given that there’s no simple explanation an area you would expect Roscommon to improve the next day simply by regressing to the mean.

Centrality of second half shooting

Roscommon point attempts from play
Roscommon shooting from play (v Gal)
x = missed, disc = score, black = 1st half from play (with wind), white = 2nd half (against wind)

The above chart shows Roscommon’s point attempts. Firstly we can see how clean Galway kept the sector immediately in front of goal. Secondly there is quite the variation by half in where Roscommon shot from. In the first half they were willing to launch the ball from difficult angles. In the second they were much more conservative whilst being poorer. From this juncture it is hard to tell if that second half conservatism was purely driven by the conditions or if it does indeed show a willingness to take the less certain shot on in such a close game.

What we can say is that there was no such divergence on Galway’s shooting. We need to acknowledge that they had the wind when the pressure was at its most intense in the second half but the lack of change is interesting in itself.

Galway point attempts from play
Galway shooting from play (v Ros)
x = missed, disc = score, black = 1st half from play (against wind), white = 2nd half (with wind)

Mayo v Galway 2016 Connacht

June 21, 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

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Mayo 56 44 29 0 – 12 15.20
Galway 50 32 25 1 – 12 10.99

As a whole Mayo’s shooting was very, very, poor returning 3 points less than would be expected. But even that does not tell the whole story.

Due to Jason Gibbons injury there were five extra minutes played at the end of the first half. During the last ten minutes of that half (from the 30th minute to half time) Mayo had nine possessions turning all nine into an attack and scoring 0 – 06 from 8 shots. A 10 minute blitzkrieg with an 89% Attack Rate, 88% Shot Rate, 75% Conversion and an Expt Pts return of +2.14. Essentially unstoppable. Either side of that 10 minute purple patch however was atrocious (or as Michael Lyster would say “wogious”. What a wonderful word!).

In the first 30 minutes Mayo had 20 possessions with an Attack Rate of 75% (15 of the 20) and a Shot Rate of 80% (12 of the 15). Both are in and around the average so nothing untoward there. However their shooting returned a paltry 17% (2 points from the 12 shots) and an Expt Pts tally of -4.15.

Galway’s defensive performance must be given some credit as apart from O’Connor’s first shot in the 3rd minute – that led to a pointed 45 – nothing from that first 30 minutes was from the central scoring zone. But even accounting for that you would have expected one, if not two, of the four uncontested shots that O’Connor & McLoughlin attempted to go over.

At least they were creating shooting opportunities in this period. In the second half Mayo had just nine shots at goal with one of those being almost an afterthought of an attempt from a sideline. Mayo managed just three shots from play all half with none after the 50th minute when they were chasing the game. As an aside Mayo did produce one half of football with less shots from play than this previously – the first half against Galway last year.

Mayo never managed a shot on goal either which, in the 20 Championship games I have for Mayo from 2012, is only the third time this has happened. The other two instances were also in Connacht games – 2014 against Roscommon and again last year’s outing against Galway. Looking at the 2015 game in light of this game, and specifically the poor shot volume and goal chance creation in both, maybe Galway just know a thing or two more about their near neighbour than we have given them credit for?

Galway

Galway also struggled to move the ball with only 64% of their possessions resulting in an attack. This was the 6th game completed so far in 2016 and for reference the other 10 returns were 76% & 77% (Derry – Tyrone), 84% & 80% (Cavan – Armagh), 86% & 70% (Monaghan – Down), 84% & 73% (Roscommon – Sligo), 83% & 77% (Dublin – Laois). 64% is a very poor return.

One of the reasons for such a poor Attack Rate was how and where Galway picked up the ball. Of their 50 possessions only 10 were picked up outside their own 65m line – 3 from Mayo kickouts, 6 from turnovers between the 65s and 1 from a shot that was re-gathered. By contrast Mayo picked up 21 such possessions (9 x Galway kickouts, 10 x turnovers received outside their own 65 & 2 x shots retrieved). Galway had much more to do with the ball to create an Attack.

Unless something dramatic happens it is easy to foresee something similar happening the next day against Roscommon. Roscommon will go short with their kickouts and Galway will let them have it. If Galway retreat as they did here, and try to turn over the ball once they engage Roscommon, they will again have to once again cover a lot of ground with the ball.

If you have a low attack rate then you had better have excellent production from what you do get. And Galway did just that – especially in the second half where they scored 1 – 06 from just 10 shots.

Like Mayo they had a very poor opening 20 minutes scoring 0 – 02 from 11 shots with a combined Expt Pts of -2.23. Thereafter however their shooting was immense; 1 – 10 from just 14 shots (a Conversion Rate of 79% which if sustained for 70 minutes would be one of the best recorded) and an Expt Pts tally of +6.44. Unlike Mayo they manufactured two good goal scoring opportunities taking 1 – 01 from them. Are these figures repeatable? Over an extended period of 5 or 6 games then you would have to emphatically say no but in a one off performance? Absolutely

Cillian O’Connor

A quick note on O’Connor’s day. My love for O’Connor – especially from deadballs – is well known but overall he did not have a good game here. His deadball striking was quite good hitting 6 from 8 (75%) with an Expt Pts return of +1.22. One of hi misses could be excused as it was a sideline attempt however the other was a surprising one – for him – from straight in front of the posts. Overall though his deadball striking was its usual self.
His shooting from play however was poor. He had five shots missing all five with three of those attempts not having any Galway defensive pressure applied.

Appendix

Shot Charts

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Galway 16)

Galway’s shooting
Galway shooting (V Mayo 16)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half, red = goal attempt

 

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Exp Pts
C O’Connor (Mayo) 5 0 – 00 0% 2.61
P Conroy (Galway) 5 0 – 02 40% 1.90
D Cummins (Galway) 3 0 – 01 33% 0.99
E Brannigan (Galway) 3 0 – 03 100% 1.07

Corofin V Mountbellew-Moylough 2015 Galway County Final

October 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

Overall

Team Possessions Attacks Attack Rate Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Corofin 50 35 70% 26 74% 16 62% +3.898
Mountbellew 45 31 69% 25 81% 12 48% -0.887
Avg (70 mins) 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

95 possessions, in a 60 minute game, is quite high. Pro-rated over 70 minutes that’s somewhere in the 105 – 110 range which compares favourably with the 96, 95 & 102 recorded in the three All Ireland semi-finals earlier in the year. Now undoubtedly this elevated volume is aided by the kick passing approach of both teams but that is still a high octane game for club football in October.

Mountbellew-Moylough will have their regrets, as we will observe later, but ultimately it was Corofin’s accuracy that carried the day. Especially on goal chances. Corofin had six attempts at goal scoring 3-00, Mountbellew-Moylough had five returning with just the one point to show for it.

Tell me if you’ve heard this before – goals win games.

 

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Corofin 21 13 62% +4.242
Mounbellew 16 4 25% -2.530
Avgs (70 mins) 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Mountbellew-Moylough will be disappointed with all three goals they conceded. The first came from a tapped kickout that saw Steede carry the ball unchallenged for a good 30 metres before rifling home. Someone had to come out and meet him. The second came after good defensive plays from Mountbellew-Moylough saw them twice dispossess Corofin in an attacking position only to kick a resulting free straight to a Corofin man. The final goal came when the game had ebbed away but still Farragher was out towards the sideline when the full back dived in. Stand Farragher up and he most likely will recycle the ball allowing the defence to reset.

With just one shot less Mountbellew-Moylough did have their chance none more so than at the start of the second half. There they completely stifled Corofin managing to attempt eight shots in a row before Ian Burke’s fisted point in the 41st. Again, much to Mountbellew-Moylough’s regret I’m sure, they only scored 0-02 in this period of dominance.

From there on in their attack completely floundered to the extent that they did not score from play in the entire second half.

What of Corofin? Yes they were much more clinical on their goal chances (not forgetting Sice’s disallowed effort in the first half) but their point taking on top of this was sublime converting 67% (10 from 15); compared to inter county returns the expected haul from those 15 shots is 11.5 points.
Ian Burke had an immediate impact when he came on scoring 1 – 03 from his five chances whilst Martin Farragher also bagged 1-03 from his five as well as laying Burke’s goal on a plate.

 

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
J Leonard (Corofin) 2 1 50% -0.41
Martin Farragher (Corofin) 1 1 100% +0.40
L Silke (Corofin) 1 0 0% -0.50
C Kenny (Mountbellew) 7 7 100% +1.74
B Donnellan (Mountbellew) 1 1 100% +0.53
M Daly (Mountbellew) 1 0 0% -0.62
team avgs (70 mins) 7.2 4.9 68.7%

An excellent day from Mounbellow with a combined Success Rate of 89% (8 from 9) and a weighting of +1.64. Kenny was the chief architect converting all seven of his attempts. That weighting shows that when compared to inter county matches Kenny would have been expected to get ~0-05 from his seven attempts.

A below par effort from Corfin converting 60% (3 from 5) though they converted those they would have expected to; the two they missed were both from further out around the 45.

 

Kickouts

Corofin’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Corofin 10 59% 7 70% 6 60%
Mounbellew 7 41% 6 86% 4 57%
Mounbellew’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Corofin 12 55% 7 58% 5 42%
Mountbellew 10 45% 5 50% 5 50%

Not much by way of variance in Mountbellew-Moylough’s kickouts. All bar the very last kickout travelled past the 45 whilst 68% (15 of 22) went past the 65. Of the 15 that went long Corofin came out on top 8 – 7 which is essentially as expected (50:50 kickouts end up being 50:50 shocker!)

Based purely on the numbers Corofin look like they were in control of their own kickouts however they were far from secure. Mountbellew-Moylough won two of four short kickouts attempted as well as four of nine mid-range kickouts. Again much to Mountbellew-Moylough’s regret they did not manage to score a point from those six kickout wins.

 

Shot Charts

Corofin’s shooting
Corofin shooting v Mountbellow 2015

Mountbellew-Moylough’sshooting
Mountbellow shooting v Corofin 2015
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, red = goal attempt, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play

 

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Martin Farragher (Corofin) 5 4 80% +2.08
I Burke (Corofin) 5 4 80% +1.88
E Finnerty (Mountbellew) 5 1 20% -1.10
R Steede (Corofin) 3 2 67% +0.66
C Kenny (Mountbellew) 3 1 33% -0.04

Galway V Mayo 2015 Connacht Championship

June 18, 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

Overall

Team Possessions Attacks Attack % Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
Galway 43 26 60% 21 81% 10 48% -1.726
Mayo 47 29 62% 22 76% 14 64% +0.688
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

First up some housekeeping – neither the own goal nor the Moran point in the first few minutes are represented in the above numbers (apart from a possession for Mayo on Moran’s point). Neither was a shot – irrespective of what Mayo fans might have you think!

Overall it was a poor enough game – 89 possessions is low. Whist this can be indicative of a defensive game, where both teams hold onto the ball probing the defences looking for an opening, this was not the case here. Both teams only managed to get ~60% of their possessions in to an attack not because of great defence but due to poor passing.

Mayo’s shooting looks exceptional with a Conversion Rate of 64% but this is almost entirely down to the volume of easy frees they had. And the very low volume of shots they took.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Galway 15 5 33% -1.798
Mayo 9 6 67% +2.348
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Galway had four attempts at goal scoring 2 – 00 however only converted 27% (3/11) of their point attempts. In the second half they only had three attempts at a point with all coming from inside the 20m line – they missed all three.

However sparse that may be Mayo only attempted 9 shots from play with the sub Ronaldson being the only player to try more than one. They didn’t manufacture a goal chance either (O’Shea was dispossessed prior to the own goal). I know they garnered a lot of frees from their attacks but still ….

From a Mayo perspective those four goal attempts will be a concern. Below is a snapshot just before Cummins’ fisted attempt at the back post. Although the effort came from a punt, and was not constructed per se, there is still no way the opposition’s main shooter should be so free four points up with 10 minutes to go

PhotoGrid_1434487024276

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C O’Connor (Mayo) 12 8 75% -1.039
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 1 0 0% -0.621
P Conroy (Galway) 3 3 100% +0.339
G Sice (Galway) 2 2 100% +0.227
D Comer (Galway) 1 0 0% -0.494
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

In the Derry – Down game there were 19 shots from deadballs. Ulster football eh?

Of the eleven frees that Mayo attempted A O’Shea was fouled five times (Hanley x3, O’Donnell & Duane x1 each). It was brainless from Galway at times as given O’Shea’s position the frees were always going to be tap overs. Frees in front of the goal are converted at ~94%.

O’Connor may have scored 0 – 08 from frees but he actually had quite a poor day. Six of his scores were from Sector8 in front of the goal with a further one coming from inside the 20m line. He attempted 5 shots from outside the 20m line missing 4.

So even though he had a high score he gets a poor weighting due to the mix of his frees – six simple ones but missing 3 “gettable” (we won’t count the sideline attempt as “gettable”)

Galway got the frees they were expected to and missed the one 50:50 – evens out as an average game.

Kickouts

Galway’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Galway 13 62% 6 46% 4 31%
Mayo 8 38% 5 63% 4 50%
Mayo’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Galway 5 29% 3 60% 3 60%
Mayo 12 71% 7 58% 6 50%

Although Galway won the majority of their own kickouts they had great difficulty in moving the ball into an attacking position. Ten of their 13 wins (on their own kickout) happened past the 45 – but they only managed to convert three of those into shots.

Mayo went short on three of their first four kickouts but then seemed to switch – the next 14 went past the 45. Of those 14 Mayo won 9 helping themselves to 0 – 04 directly from those possessions.

Shot Charts

Galway’s shooting
Galway shooting (V Mayo) 15

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Galway) 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
D Cummins (Galway) 6 2 33% -0.773
G Sice (Galway) 4 2 50% +0.240
P Conroy (Galway) 3 0 0% -1.267

Galway v Kerry 2014 Championship

August 6, 2014

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

Overall

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Galway 41 31 76% 12 39% -2.041
Kerry 40 35 88% 21 60% +2.563
Champ (’12 & ’13 avg) 35.8 27.6 77.2% 14.1 51.0%

In the Cork-Mayo game we saw, in a very generalised nutshell, Mayo’s volume of shots outlast Cork’s quality of shots. In this game it was a case of plain old accuracy – Kerry had it in abundance (especially from play) whilst Galway did not.

To be honest I expected the Galway returns to be a lot worse. If we exclude the last three minutes where Galway took desperate pot shots at goal they would have returned a 44.4% Success Rate with a weighting of -0.111. An essentially average shooting display despite their atrocious first half (27% Success Rate and a weighting of -2.174).

Kerry will again be very pleased with their Shot Rate. The 88% achieved here follows on from the 90% in the Munster final.

Where attacks originated

Opposition k/out Own k/out Ball received in Own 3rd Ball received in Mid 3rd Ball received in Opposition 3rd Other (throw-in, rebound etc.)
Galway 7 12 10 7 2 3
Kerry 9 12 16 2 0 1

Both teams had virtually the same volume of attacking possessions however looking forward to the semi final it is interesting to note where those attacks emanated from. The volumes in the main categories (kickouts & turnovers) are virtually the same but where the turnovers occurred is important.

In total Kerry were turned over ten times outside Galway’s 65 with nine of them converted to attacks. Now due to Galway’s poor shooting they did not hammer home this advantage – scoring a measly 0-01 from this prime attacking ball – but we know that Mayo will. They scored 1-05 from the turnovers they generated outside of their own 65 against Cork.

Kerry cannot be as lax with possession against Mayo as they were here.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Galway 27 9 33% -2.313
Kerry 30 19 63% +4.276
Champ avgs (’12 & ’13) 20.3 9.2 45.4%

Kerry’s shooting boots were most definitely on and none more so than O’Donoghue’s. He was five from five when going for points and his only miss of the day was a goal shot that skimmed the outside of the upright.

O’Donoghue is on fire at the moment. Between this game and the Munster final he is running at a remarkable 82% Success Rate when shooting from play (14 from 17 with a weighting of +5.379). Two of his three misses have been when he went for goal so when having a shot for a point he is an absurd 93% on 14 shots.

But it is not just O’Donoghue – excluding his shots from play Kerry have a 55% Success Rate (24 from 44) which is well above the average. Against Cork it was P Geaney & J Buckley that had their radar in – here it was Barry John Keane (3 from 4).

The one caveat to all this superb shooting is the defences that Kerry have faced. In the two aforementioned games only 38% of their 61 shots from play have been taken under pressure. Will they get that time and space from Mayo? And if they don’t can they convert at the same rate?

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
J Buckley (Kerry) 2 1 50% -0.413
P Geaney (Kerry) 2 1 50% -0.754
D Moran (Kerry) 1 0 0% -0.547
S Walsh (Galway) 4 3 75% +0.272
team avgs (’12 & ’13 Champ) 7.3 4.9 66.7%

In the Cork game it was highlighted that despite some spectacular individual attempts from Sheehan the returns for the team were average – both in that game and in 12 previous games where Cooper was not the free taker.

Here the returns are particularly bad. That is due to the fact that the two they converted were very central – thus the weighting achieved for converting them is quite small – whilst P Geaney missed one from the top of the D. O’Donoghue missed one from a similar range against Cork.

We are talking about very small sample sizes here (5 in this game, 7 in the Cork game) so with (possibly) only two games to go it might never be an issue but in a very tight game Kerry’s free taking inconsistencies may act as an anchor.

As an aside I did like Walsh’s symmetry taking two frees with his right & two with his left! His only miss was far out on the left from where the returns are generally c40%.

Turnovers

Team “coughing up possession” Volume Shots from Turnovers %
Galway 26 16 62%
Kerry 25 16 64%

 

Misplaced Pass Tackled Shots not going dead Other
Galway 14 5 3 4
Kerry 10 7 6 2

A tale of two halves for Kerry. In the first they were very clinical; of the twelve turnovers they received they converted 75% to shots and scored 1-05. Indeed their early lead was essentially built on turnover ball scoring 1-03 from the first five turnovers they got their hands on.

In the second half this economy evaporated. Kerry manufactured 14 turnovers but only 50% were converted to shots with a return of 0-03.

Galway were every bit as effective at converting the turnovers they received to shots but as we have seen previously this was hugely aided by where they received the turnover.

A further point to note is that 24% (6 from 25) of all Kerry’s turnovers were from shots that didn’t go dead. This is quite a random act with huge variance in volume from game to game. In the 2nd half Kerry went 25 minutes without a pass going astray – they did something similar against Cork when there was a 31 minute stretch where they did not misplace a ball.

When Kerry are switched on and locked in they have a huge capacity to control the tempo of a game by the sheer accuracy of their passing. A prime example of this accuracy was the move that led to O’Donoghue’s missed shot. Kerry received the ball at the top of their own D and proceeded to get the ball to O’Donoghue with four kick passes where the player never hopped or soloed the ball. Counter attacking football in its purest form.

Kickouts

Galway’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Galway 18 64% 13 72% 7 39%
Kerry 10 36% 9 90% 9 100%
Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Galway 8 30% 7 88% 6 75%
Kerry 19 70% 12 63% 9 47%

Essentially parity in who “won” the kickouts with both teams moving the possession gained into the opposition’s 45 at a similar rate.

Kerry only went short four times thus winning the more contestable kickouts, past the 45, 15-8. Of those 23 kickouts I had only two being received by a Kerry player under no pressure. It will be interesting to see if Kerry are as willing to take on the Mayo middle third set up as they were the Galway one. When Galway went past the 45 with their kickouts against Mayo they lost the battle 13-9.

Galway went short five times thus they won their own contestable kickouts 12-10 (the cameras missed where one landed so it cannot be determined where the ball landed). Again there was little in the way of “directional” kickouts in that 19 of the 22 kickouts past the 45 were won under some form of pressure.

Shot Charts
In both the Tipperary & Mayo games it was highlighted how unusual Galway were in that a high percentage of their shots came from the left. It was curious therefore to see that they didn’t take one shot from the left when their dander was up in the second half.

Galway’s shooting
Galway shooting (V Kerry)

Kerry’s shooting
Kerry shooting (V Galway)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 7 6 86% +2.412
P Geaney (Kerry) 6 3 50% +0.032
P Conroy (Galway) 6 1 17% -1.505
BJ Keane (Kerry) 4 3 75% +1.075
M Lundy (Galway) 4 2 50% +0.457
D Comer (Galway) 4 1 25% -0.673
M Martin (Galway) 4 0 0% -1.643
D Walsh (Kerry) 3 2 67% +0.434
S Walsh (Galway) 2 2 100% +1.215
G Bradshaw (Galway) 2 2 100% +0.866
T Flynn (Galway) 2 1 50% +0.185
Declan O’Sullivan (Kerry) 2 1 50% +0.031
A Maher (Kerry) 2 0 0% -0.858