Posts Tagged ‘Kildare’

Kerry V Kildare 2015 All Ireland QF

August 5, 2015

For those new to the blog, or who haven’t been here for a while, please find a refresher on the definitions and how the numbers are compiled here


Team Possessions Attacks Attack % Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 60 43 72% 33 77% 23 70% +8.861
Kildare 49 38 78% 28 74% 10 36% -2.600
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

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

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

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

1st Half stats

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

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

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

Kerry pts per possession

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

Shots from Play

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

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

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

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

Shots from deadballs

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Players with >= 3 shots from play

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

Kildare V Meath 2014 Championship

July 1, 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


Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 45 35 78% 17 49% +0.945
Meath 41 34 83% 18 53% +2.378
Champ (’12 & ’13 avg) 35.8 27.6 77.2% 14.1 51.0%

Stats eh. From the below we will see that Kildare “won” the kickout battle, were much better than Meath at converting the turnover ball they won into shots and basically had the same shooting performance from play as Meath. But this game was effectively over from the 40th minute when Meath went 12 points up.

1st 40 minutes

Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 22 15 68% 7 47% -0.611
Meath 30 27 90% 15 56% +2.378

You can see from the above that up until that 40th minute interval Meath were phenomenal converting 90% (!!) of their attacks into shots and converting those shots at a well above average 56% of the time. Considering that 7 of those 27 shots were for goals their statline when attempting points was a phenomenal 13 from 20 (65% Success Rate) with a weighting of +3.2286.

Kildare on the other hand only converted 68% of their attacking possessions to shots. So whilst there has been considerable focus on Kildare’s defensive set up they were having difficulties getting shots off up the other end as well.

Of the 7 attempts at goal Meath scored 2-00; Kildare had 4 and scored 0-03. Meath had their 7 before Kildare attempted one however – indeed they had 6 in the first half.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 29 13 45% +0.609
Meath 28 13 46% +0.268
Champ avgs (’12 & ’13) 20.3 9.2 45.4%

Outside of their 6 shots at goal (the 7th was the penalty) Meath had a statline of 12 from 22 (55% Success Rate) with a weighting of +1.712 when shooting for a point. Considering that their main shooter from last year, Graham Reilly, only had three shots that’s an excellent return.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
A Tormey (Meath) 3 3 100% +1.448
P O’Rourke (Meath) 3 2 67% +0.661
P Fogarty (Kildare) 6 4 67% +0.336
team avgs (’12 & ’13 Champ) 7.3 4.9 66.7%

Excellent deadball accuracy from Meath considering that their main protagonist last year, Newman, was not on the field. The only miss was from a free outside the 45 at a tight angle from the right hand side. Indeed Kildare’s defensive discipline in this aspect was very good – only conceding four frees within shooting range and none of them in prime position – it was just that Meath’s ball striking was excellent.

Kevin Reilly was excellent however he gave away the free for four of Kildare’s six shots from deadballs. Obviously you don’t want to take the physicality of his game away however in a tighter game such frees may all too easily relieve pressure building up on the opposition.


Kildare’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Kildare 18 72% 13 72% 10 56%
Meath 7 28% 7 100% 5 71%
Meath’s kickouts Won % Turned into a possession % Shot %
Kildare 13 43% 11 85% 9 69%
Meath 17 57% 12 71% 10 59%

Ostensibly Kildare won the kickout battle. They won 72% of their own kickouts and gained 5 extra shots.

Meath went short on four occasions so when their kickout was contestable (beyond the 45) the split was 50:50. Given the power, height and sheer physicality of Meath in that sector Kildare will have been happy with that outcome.


Team “coughing up” possession # turnovers Shots from Turnovers %
Kildare 24 11 46%
Meath 23 15 65%


Misplaced Pass Tackled Shots not going dead Mishandled possession Fouled ball
Kildare 14 4 4 0 2
Meath 12 8 2 1 0

Two things here from a Meath perspective. Firstly they “only” converted 46% of their turnovers to shots. We have seen that Dublin are in the mid 70% range for this so to stay with Dublin in the final they will have to take every chance that comes their way.

The second is just how many times they lost the ball in the tackle – seven different players lost the ball on eight separate occasions. The majority of these turnovers were from one tackler as well. Although none of these occurred in their defensive third of the pitch it may not matter against Dublin given their high shot rate from turnovers – Meath will need to mind the ball better.

Kildare “gave” the ball away on 15 occasions in the first half but at least 8 could be considered on the very poor side with five (!!) hand passes going astray as well as a sideline ball and two close in shots that were blocked. Only two of these specific eight turnovers resulted in a Meath shot but the fact that they occurred at all showed up the entire poor first half display.

Shot Charts
Again we see the “left hand side syndrome” rearing its head. Of their 28 shots from play Meath only attempted one from sector6 (left between the 20m & 45m). Kildare attempted three – less than 9% of all shots came from “wide left”. By comparison 13 (28% of all shots) shots came from Sector4 “wide right”.

Kildare’s shooting
Kildare shooting (V Meath)

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

Players with >= 2 shots from play

I would guess that McDonagh’s weighting is quite out of line with what most people would expect. He had four attempts at goal and converted one – twice he was denied in the one move by a very good double save from Donnellan whilst the Kildare keeper also denied him in the opening minutes.

On top of the fact that he missed his two attempts at a point (one from Sector8 in front of goal) he does not get any benefit for winning the penalty – the weighting measures shots only.

Stephen Bray hit 4 from 4 when going for points – his only miss being the attempt at goal he dragged wide on the near post in the first half.

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
A Smith (Kildare) 6 2 33% -0.457
D McDonagh (Meath) 6 1 17% -1.697
S Bray (Meath) 5 4 80% +1.261
T Moolick (Kildare) 5 2 40% -0.171
P O’Neill (Kildare) 4 3 75% +1.497
D Carroll (Meath) 4 2 50% +0.439
J Wallace (Meath) 4 1 25% -0.618
E Callaghan (Kildare) 3 3 100% +1.717
P Fogarty (Kildare) 3 2 67% +0.717
A Tormey (Meath) 3 2 67% 0.586
G Reilly (Meath) 3 1 33% -0.210
N Kelly (Kildare) 2 1 50% +0.158
S O’Rourke (Meath) 2 1 50% -0.134
K Cribbin (Kildare) 2 0 0% -0.924
S Hurley (Kildare) 2 0 0% -1.068

Kildare V Mayo 2014 League

February 3, 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


Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 40 34 85% 21 62% +5.2318
Mayo 41 31 76% 20 65% +2.3051
Champ (’12 & ’13 avg) 35.8 27.6 77.2% 14.1 51.0%

The quality of shooting on display at St. Conleth’s was top drawer. That Kildare return is up there with the best that I have compiled whilst the combined totals would be a match for any game.

In his post match interview Jason Ryan commented that both teams would be reviewing their defensive displays. Mayo especially will not like conceding a shot rate of 85% though that is somewhat inflated by Tomas O’Connor’s interventions. All his scores came from shots that dropped short; Kildare never lost possession of the ball but had their shot counts doubled (their initial shots that dropped short plus O’Connor’s subsequent interventions).

Kildare allowed 31 shots but will probably be more concerned by the number of goal chances they coughed up – five in total with a few more blasted points that could easily have worked the goalkeeper.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 32 19 59% +4.3256
Mayo 20 10 50% -0.3423
Champ avgs (’12 & ’13) 20.3 9.2 45.4%

Again Kildare were excellent. Bearing in mind that the average return for shots from play is 45% to hit close on 60% is an excellent day’s work. There is always the retort that “sure its only the league” and that when the play intensifies Kildare will not be able to maintain this standard. Given that the average is 45% no team could maintain this standard however the comment usually relates to the pressure that the player is under whilst shooting. The below table shows that Kildare’s total was padded by a majority of shots coming with no Mayo pressure applied however when there was pressure they actually shot better. Kildare were presented with the opportunities and executed – no more can be asked.

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
No pressure on Kildare shots 18 10 56% +1.924
Pressure on Kildare shots 14 9 64% +2.401

Mayo’s defense will again be asking themselves how Kildare had 18 shots with no pressure applied though they will take heart from the lack of frees conceded.

Whilst Mayo’s returns were dwarfed by Kildare’s they didn’t perform too badly – they were just about average. The fact that their Success Rate is above average but the weighting negative shows that they converted a lot of chances in close to goal but didn’t hit their expected share of more difficult ones. Of their ten scores from play only two were from outside the 20m line – both coming from Sector 5. Indeed Mayo only attempted one shot from play from the wings.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
D Mulhall (Kildare) 2 2 100% +0.906
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 7 6 86% +0.996
R Hennelly (Mayo) 3 3 100% +1.565
A Gallagher (Mayo) 1 1 100% +0.087
team avgs (’12 & ’13 Champ) 7.3 4.9 66.7%

Excellent displays all round. Hennelly’s three 45s in the first half all looked very comfortable – he had plenty of distance on all three – to such an extent that I was surprised Mayo didn’t put the ball down on the ground when fouled around the 45 and let him take a shot. A keeper’s not just for 45s – ask Cluxton!

Kildare have struggled in the free taking stakes for a number of years now with John Doyle, Mikey Conway, Alan Smith, Seanie Johnston & Eoghan O’Flaherty all having tried over the past few years.

Mulhall had a good day from the ground however two frees don’t a free taker make and it will be interesting to see how he progresses and whether Kildare can finally get something more than a serviceable free taker.


As was discussed in the kickout article Mayo were big proponents of the short kickout last year kicking 38% of all kickouts in the Championship short. In this game they only kicked 7% of their kickouts short. I didn’t see Kildare do anything especially novel to make Mayo kick longer so this seems to have have been a pre ordained strategy – keeping the powder dry for later in the year perhaps

Players with >= 2 shots from play
Kildare’s full forward line scored a combined 1-9 from play but there were contrasting shooting performances therein. Brophy was excellent giving Colm Boyle all sorts of issues with his eight shots coming from six separate sectors (he scored from five). Mulhall on the other hand struggled but none of his shots came from in front of goal (Sectors 5 & 8). I’m sure the Kildare backroom team will be stressing shot selection decisions during the week.

Finally Tomás O’Connor had what can only be described as a Tomas O’Connor outing. Scoring 1-2 from 4 shots is an excellent return however as mentioned before his three scores came from Kildare errors (shots dropping short). Whilst he may be one of the best in the game at picking up scraps his only other shooting contribution was a blocked shot.

Gallagher is an exciting talent from Mayo and whilst his returns were not great he showed very well and was not afraid to pull the trigger. In many ways his willingness to shoot showed up the paucity of shooters else where in the forwards.

Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
P Brophy (Kildare) 8 6 75% +1.873
D Mulhall (Kildare) 6 1 17% -1.213
C McNally (Kildare) 5 3 60% +1.014
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 5 3 60% +0.902
A Gallagher (Mayo) 5 2 40% -0.766
T O’Connor (Kildare) 4 3 75% +0.751
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 2 2 100% +0.793
A O’Shea (Mayo) 2 1 50% -0.116
D Hyland (Kildare) 2 1 50% -0.207
C Carolan (Mayo) 2 0 0% -0.906

Kildare V Tyrone 2013

July 25, 2013

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 Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 34 28 82% 12 43% -0.7048
Tyrone 33 25 76% 12 48% -2.322
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%  

There’s some numbers that might surprise! Tyrone won by two points, and for 55 of the 70 minutes had kept Kildare at an easy arms length, but judging by the raw numbers you would deem them to have fallen over the line.

This game had some very strange idiosyncrasies which no doubt fed into the overall weightings. You had a woeful Kildare shooting performance except for 10 minutes in the second half when they went 5 for 5, a very rare occurrence in a saved penalty, and a sideline converted when the player wasn’t shooting.

We will review the affects of the penalty and sideline in the deadball section but first we’ll take a look at Kildare’s splits.

Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Weighting
1st Half 18 16 89% 4 25% -2.814
2nd Half 16 12 75% 8 67% +2.109

Kildare’s shooting was atrocious in that first half. The worst shooting performance in this year’s Championship was probably Roscommon’s against Mayo where they recorded a Success Rate of 35% & a weighting of -3.912 (Tyrone themselves had a Success Rate of 34% against Donegal but not as bad a weighting). Kildare in that first half were on track to smash both.

They completely turned it around at the start of the second half, scoring 6 points from 7 shots (and only 8 possessions). The problem thereafter was that they only managed to engineer a further 4 shots (excluding Johnston’s sideline) in c 20 minutes.

Tyrone themselves had a pretty poor second half with three of their five points coming from easy frees. O’Neill, McCurry & Mark Donnelly all missed chances from inside the 21m line as well as the penalty save.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Kildare 20 7 35% -0.7263
Tyrone 15 5 33% -1.583
2012 team avgs 20.14 9.36 46.5%  

Tyrone’s shooting from play was worse than Kildare’s. Now that is due in part to the fact that Kildare were at their most successful when chasing a lead which leads to a better weighting (see here) however there was some strange shot selections as well. O’Neill (x2) & Sean Cavanagh both took shots tight to the endline. They have the skill to pull the spectacular off but 3 times? They may have been better recycling those chances.

Kildare’s real problems came from a sector to the right of the goal. Kildare attempted ten shots within a small area covering sectors 4 & 7 and converted two. On a good game a team would convert 5 or 6 of these; on an average day 4 – so whilst ideally you would like to see some of those shot attempts recycled to more advantageous positions there was no real issue with taking the shot – it was just poor execution.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 3 75% -0.579
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 3 3 100% +0.476
M Penrose (Tyrone) 1 1 100% +0.274
S O’Neill (Tyrone) 1 0 0% -0.391
Joe McMahon (Tyrone) 1 0 0% -0.519
J Doyle (Kildare) 6 4 67% +0.228
S Johnston (Kildare) 1 1 100% +0.274
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 1 0 0% -0.481
2012 team avgs 6.88 4.6 66.9%  

Tyrone do like to spread the wealth when it comes to shooting from deadballs – I’m not sure we’ll see too many games where five different players get to have an attempt. Séan Cavanagh had a good game whilst McCurry gets hammered on the weightings for his one miss because the three frees he made were so simple he got next to no benefit from them.

Stephen O’Neill didn’t score in this game but his hidden value was instrumental in Tyrone’s win. He won a 45 and four frees from which Tyrone scored on each.

Penalties in GAA are considered easier to convert than soccer so it may be somewhat surprising to see a miss equated with missing a 45. This is due to the fact that we have so few penalties tracked. I made a call to treat penalties as a shot for goal from play rather than as a free – this probably overplays the difficulty of converting a penalty and as such when one is missed the weighting doesn’t truly convey how poor that miss was (conversely if one is successfully converted the player will get too high a weighting).

Kildare’s deadball striking has been a problem for quite a while and again today, excluding the sideline at the end, it was below average.

Seanie Johnston’s sideline at the end of the second half was bizarre. I wasn’t going to put it in as a shot but in the end did – I’m still not convinced I should have! What I found strangest was that he had a practice attempt and landed it basically on the square.

Typical of Kildare’s season that the most egregious shooting error should be one from which they scored!

Shot Charts

You can see the aforementioned three shots from very, very tight angles for Tyrone. As well as that there were few shots from central locations – a curate’s egg of a performance that led to the poor returns.
Kildare’s shooting

Kildare shooting

Tyrone’s shooting

Tyrone shooting

x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, white = play

Kil-Tyr kickouts

Kildare’s kickout returns look healthy however they went short on 8 of their own kickouts. They were quite effective moving the ball from these short kickouts gaining five shots. At times these kickout routines can be fraught, with the odd one going astray, but even if it does you may be better taking that one misplaced attempt on the chin that abandoning the ploy. When Kildare went passed the 45 with their kickout the possession was 50:50 and the volume of shots 4-3 in Kildare’s favour.

Tyrone only went short on one of their kickouts (which didn’t produce a shot). They were much more effective at their mid to long kickouts gaining a shot differential of +4 … overall when the kickout went past the 45 Tyrone won possession on 55% (20 to 16) but managed to get three more shots off ( 11 to 8).

Players with >= 2 shots from play

  Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Matthew Donnelly (Tyrone) 5 2 40% +0.103
N Kelly (Kildare) 4 2 50% +0.189
P Cribben (Kildare) 4 1 25% -0.601
J Doyle (Kildare) 3 2 67% 0.868
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 3 1 33% -0.041
P O’Neill (Kildare) 3 1 33% -0.144
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.394
Mark Donnelly (Tyrone) 2 1 50% -0.330
S O’Neill (Tyrone) 2 0 0% -0.831

Kildare V Louth 2013

July 19, 2013

Kildare-Louth was not on the TV but Brendan Coffey (@coffeybrendan on Twitter) of the Kildare Nationalist very kindly forwarded the stats from the game. So as a precursor to the Kildare-Tyrone game please find Brendan’s analysis here


Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate
Kildare 49 35 71% 20 57%
Louth 37 28 76% 15 54%
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

On the face of it Kildare enjoyed a comfortable win against Louth but just like their previous game against Dublin, the scoreline didn’t reveal how lucky the Lilies were in both games.

In their Leinster semi-final, a 16-point defeat was bad but not as bad as it could have been for Kildare considering the 16 goal chances Dublin had in that game. It was also telling that after taking an early five-point lead, Kildare lost the remaining 60 minutes by 21 points. While Kildare managed to get the right side of the scoreline against Louth, their seven point winning margin did not reflect the difficulties they had for three-quarters of the game.

With ten minutes left the sides were level at 15 points each but Kildare scored an unanswered 1-5 in the final 11 minutes to leave Newbridge with the win. However, take out that final flurry and you see another worrying trend for the Lilies.

For a team that enjoys so much possession in games thanks to a strong midfield and a reliable kickout strategy, Kildare are struggling to make the most of all that ball. Their shot rate against Louth (71%) was well behind their opponents (76%), who had 12 less attacks than Kildare.

Before Kildare went on that free-scoring roll late in the second half, their shot rate was 69%, which was worryingly similar to their shot rate against Dublin, which was also under 70%. To the naked eye, Kildare struggle when they have to recycle the ball up front – unless they get their shot away with the first wave of attackers, they seem unable to unlock the opposition’s defence when the support players come from deep.

With players like Padraig O’Neill and Daryl Flynn in their midfield – both of whom scored long-range points from play against Louth – this shouldn’t be as big a problem as it is for Kildare.
Kildare didn’t have this problem in the league – in the league semi-final against Tyrone they had a shot rate of 85% and it was their inaccuracy that let them down. Similarly when the sides met earlier in the league at Newbridge, Kildare’s attack managed 38 shots – 24 in the second half which included an incredible 17 misses – and lost by six points to a Tyrone team that scored 1-13 from 28 shots.

At the back there are worrying signs too. Dublin’s shot rate was 82 per cent against Kildare while Offaly and Louth had shot rates in the mid-70s. Kildare are giving up too many chances, even against inferior opposition. Against a defence as mean as Donegal’s, Tyrone managed a 78% shot rate so it’s clear they’ll get plenty of chances this weekend

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate
Kildare 27 16 59%
Louth 20 12 60%
2012 team avgs 20.14 9.36 46.5%

Both sides were impressive from play in what was a very open and entertaining game of football. Again Kildare will be concerned about their opponent’s success from play although a lot of that was down to a phenomenal display from Louth’s Ciaran Byrne, who kicked five points from play and was four from four in the first half. A number of those shots were kicked under extreme pressure so the Kildare defence will have escaped censure during their video analysis earlier this week.

(N.B. Byrne’s shooting (5/7 from play) against Kildare will be long forgotten come September but it’s worth noting his performance his as a real highlight of the championship).
Kildare’s Eoghan O’Flaherty is growing in importance to the team. He was one of the few players to come out of the Dublin game with credit and his returns from play this year have been excellent. He kicked four from five against Offaly, two from four against Dublin and three from four against Louth, including a sublime effort off the outside of his right foot on the right wing in the final minute of last Saturday’s qualifier game.

Scoring goals was not a problem for Kildare in the National League but the green flags have dried up in the championship. 12 goals in eight league games was a superb return against Division 1 opposition but they’ve only netted two from their three championship games to date.

Full-forward Tomas O’Connor was a huge factor in a lot of those league goals but after a disappointing performance against Offaly – his two clearcut goal chances were saved – he was dropped for the Dublin game. It’s clear that Kieran McGeeney faces a dilemma with O’Connor – he makes goal chances but misses too many. Brought in as a sub against Louth in the 31st minute, four minutes later he had a shot at goal saved by Shane McCoy.

However O’Connor eventually came good in the 66th minute when he rounded McCoy for his first goal of the championship at the fourth attempt. What was interesting about his goal, as opposed to the other three chances he’s had this year, is that the chance came about by accident rather than design.

Whereas O’Connor was put through on goal by deliberate attacking moves for his first three attempts, his goal resulted from a poor attempt at a point by Alan Smith. Smith’s shot ballooned up into the air and it was O’Connor’s persistence – and considerable frame – that allowed him to gather the ball before using his strength to get past McCoy.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate
J Doyle (Kildare) 2 2 100%
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 1 0 0%
M Conway (Kildare) 5 2 40%
2012 team avgs 6.88 4.6 66.9%

Free-taking is another concern for Kildare. Mikey Conway was recalled for the Louth game and handed responsibility for deadballs but with just two from five, he was withdrawn after 42 minutes. John Doyle had sole responsibility against Offaly and hit a decent return (4/6) but his form collapsed against Dublin, where he missed one from the 20-metre line in front of the posts, not far from the right-hand upright. He remains Kildare’s best option though and landed a spectacular free from long-range against Louth to begin their late scoring rally.

Kildare V Offaly 2013

June 27, 2013

Kildare-Offaly was not on the TV but Brendan Coffey (@coffeybrendan on Twitter) of the Kildare Nationalist very kindly forwarded the stats from the game. So as a precursor to the Kildare-Dublin game please find the first “guest post” here on the blog


Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate
Kildare 41 33 80% 19 58%
Offaly 34 25 74% 13 52%
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

With ten minutes to go Kildare were cruising, eight points clear and their focus switched to a Leinster semi-final. Then they gifted Offaly 1-2 – the goal from a penalty as well as a point from a free – and suddenly Offaly were within striking distance.

It was a worrying slip for Kildare. They allowed Offaly to get a shot away on each of their last five attacks. That took Offaly’s shot rate up from 68% to 74% while their success rate improved slightly from 50% to 52%.

Kildare’s dominance is evident by the 41 attacks they mounted during the game while their strength at midfield gave them a stranglehold on the game from the very beginning.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate
Kildare 26 15 58%
Offaly 17 8 47%
2012 team avgs 20.14 9.36 46.5%

Although both sides were above average from play, Kildare will be unhappy with their return. Seanie Johnston’s second half cameo didn’t do much to help them as he kicked three wides from play – all of them from very close range.

Kildare struggled when Offaly isolated Niall McNamee up front – who scored some sublime points from play – but when Offaly were slow in their build-up play, it allowed Kildare time to get numbers back and make it difficult for them to even create a shooting chance. On the plus side for Kildare, they had a good spread of scorers and the three half-forwards contributed 0-12 from play. Eoghan O’Flaherty and Paul Cribbin were both four from five while Niall Kelly hit four from six. Combined their return from play was 75% – the kind of return we’re not used to seeing from Kildare.

Although Offaly scored the only goal of the game, Kildare created the best goal chances. Alan Mulhall made an excellent stop from Eoghan O’Flaherty in the first half and he spread himself well to deny Tomas O’Connor in the second. O’Connor’s display will be a big worry for Kildare though. His handling was poor and as well as missing the two shots on goal that he had, he looked uncomfortable taking them. O’Connor needs a support player off his shoulder and as the game wore on he the confidence just seemed to seep out of him. At one stage he gave a hand-pass to the in-rushing Fionn Dowling which almost clocked Dowling in the face.

As they prepare for Dublin – and the attacking onslaught they’ll face – Kildare will need better concentration at the back and more penetration up front. Against the in-form team of 2013, they’ll have their work cut out.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate
J Doyle (Kildare) 6 4 67%
K Casey (Offaly) 4 3 75%
A Mulhall (Offaly) 1 1 100%
B Carroll (Offaly) 1 1 100%
D Holden (Offaly) 1 1 100%
J Brickland (Offaly) 1 1 100%
2012 team avgs 6.88 4.6 66.9%

Kil-Off kouts

Offaly were content to kick the ball long on all but four occasions in the game but they probably accepted beforehand that it was better to lose possession there than risk anything closer to goal. Kildare’s midfield pairing of Daniel and Daryl Flynn really went to town on the Offaly kickout, winning more than half (13 of 24) of the ball Alan Mulhall kicked there.

Kildare had a much more varied approach on their own kickout as Mark Donnellan went short eight times while Kildare won the vast majority (74%) of their own ball (14 of 19). However the Lilies struggled to convert all that possession into scores. While they were adept at creating chances going forward from midfield – of the 14 kickouts they won from Donnellan, 9 led to shots on goal – they managed just four points from all that primary possession.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate
N Kelly (Kildare) 6 4 67%
P Cribben (Kildare) 5 4 80%
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 5 4 80%
N McNamee (Offaly) 5 4 80%
S Johnston (Kildare) 4 1 25%
K Casey (Offaly) 4 1 25%
J Doyle (Kildare) 2 2 100%
A McNamee (Offaly) 2 1 50%
T O’Connor (Kildare) 2 0 0%
P Cunningham (Offaly) 2 0 0%

Kildare V Tyrone 2013 League

April 17, 2013

In what was again an open game at Croke Park the difference between the teams was their ability to convert their chances.

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Kildare 39 33 85% 14 42% -2.281
Tyrone 42 29 69% 16 55% +2.694
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

Kildare can take a lot of positives from this game. They started 6 U21s yet managed to have a shot rate of 85%. Normally such a high percentage is associated with very deliberate teams who patiently hold on to the ball waiting for the most advantageous opportunity before shooting. That wasn’t Kildare in this game. Instead they pulled the trigger whenever the opportunity arose. We’ll have more on their accuracy later!

What is a positive for one team is almost by nature a negative for the opposition. Tyrone will be concerned at just how many shots Kildare got off. Kildare got 5 shots at goal and, of the 21 shots Kildare took from play for a point, only 57% were under any sort of pressure from a Tyrone player.

Tyrone’s shooting from play was sublime (see table below) highlighted by Stephen O’Neill’s contribution. He had 4 shots, converted all 4, and also gave the hand pass that sprung Tyrone for the first goal. Their only concern, and a point of positive emphasis for Kildare, will be that they got so few shots from so much possession. You would have to think there will be a lot less space against Donegal thus they’ll have to up that shot rate from 69%.


Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Kildare 26 10 38% -1.446
Tyrone 21 12 57% +3.0835
2012 avg 20.14 9.36 46.47%

We have already highlighted Stephen O’Neill but the two Donnelly’s also had excellent shooting days; Mattie hit 3 out of 4 shots (Expected Return of +1.208) whilst Mark hit 2 from 2 (Expected Return of +1.178).

The only blot on Tyrone’s day would be how quiet Séan Cavanagh was (2 shots, neither converted) however he did win three frees that turned into shots.

The last time we saw Kildare (Vs Kerry; report here) the shooting burden resided on Johnston’s shoulders. Against Tyrone John Doyle took over. The below table shows his day’s work

John Doyle’s day

Shot Type Shots Scores Vs Expected
Frees 6 4 -0.2771
Play 7 2 -0.8528

Whilst it is almost unfair to highlight a player who has taken a team on his back countless times Doyle’s shooting, at times from poor angles whilst under pressure, let a lot of Kildare’s good approach work down. We saw with Cillian O’Connor that good players bounce back from a bad performance; Kildare will need Doyle to do so.


Player Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
N Morgan (Tyrone) 4 1 25% -1.064
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 3 2 67% +0.2223
D McCurry (Tyrone) 1 1 100% +0.4519
J Doyle (Kildare) 6 4 67% -0.2771
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 1 0 0% -0.558
team avgs 6.88 4.60 66.9%

We have already discussed Doyle’s poor day at the office. Negative returns are not a new phenomenon for Kildare; they only hit 40% (2 from 5; Expected Return of -0.733) against Kerry and 33% (4 from 12; Expected Return of -2.65) against Cork in last year’s All Ireland quarter-final. They have tried numerous players on free taking duty but just cannot find the consistency of the top teams.

Tyrone were fine though they appear to be stretching Morgan to the limit of his very powerful leg. Some of the frees he took were monsters and he may be losing accuracy in an attempt to get distance.

Kildare kickouts

Team Won % Turned into Attack % Turned into Shot %
Kildare 15 60% 11 73% 7 47%
Tyrone 10 40% 8 80% 8 80%

Tyrone kickouts

Team Won % Turned into Attack % Turned into Shot %
Kildare 7 28% 5 71% 4 57%
Tyrone 18 72% 8 44% 7 39%

The last time we saw Kildare on the TV they were destroyed by a marauding Dublin team. They gave Dublin possession on their kickouts whilst being penned back on their own kickouts. Prior to that they had managed to hold their own against a strong Kerry team using Brian Flanagan under the majority of breaking balls.

Since then Flanagan has gotten injured whilst they have changed goalkeeper. The net result – they managed to do well, in a possession sense, from their own kickouts (winning 60%) but were still very poor at defending their own kickouts that Tyrone won (Tyrone got 80% of shots from Kildare kickouts they won).

Tyrone destroyed Kildare on their kickouts (winning 72%) however whether it was poor distribution from Tyrone, or good defensive work from Kildare, Tyrone were poor at converting that strength into shots.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
J Doyle (Kildare) 7 2 29% -0.8528
P O’Neill (Kildare) 5 3 60% +0.9048
Stephen O’Neill (Tyrone) 4 4 100% +2.3414
Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone) 4 3 75% +1.2079
P Brophy (Kildare) 4 2 50% +0.3374
C McAlliskey (Tyrone) 3 2 67% +0.4232
M Penrose (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.1464
P Cribben (Kildare) 3 1 33% -0.4244
Mark Donnelly (Tyrone) 2 2 100% +1.178
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 2 1 67% +0.1105
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 2 0 0% -0.862

Kildare V Kerry 2013 League

March 6, 2013

Unfortunately I am not an Irish speaker but even I could sense the TG4 commentator’s exasperation at both team’s shooting in Newbridge on Sunday. The table below confirms that it was well merited.

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Kildare 33 25 76% 10 40% -3.169
Kerry 42 33 79% 12 36% -5.181
2012 avg 35.28 27.02 76.6% 13.96 51.67%

Kerry will be happy that they got their possession , and shots from possession, stats back up to average after two very poor weeks (see here). They can expect that with the likes of Cooper, Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan & a fully fit Darren O’Sullivan that their shooting will take care of itself once they hit the hard ground of June.

Despite their win I would imagine Kildare will be less content. The last time we saw them here on the blog Cork’s man mountains destroyed them through the middle with their power running game. That didn’t happen so much here but Kildare still struggled for parity on the ball and it was particularly noticeable how they struggled late on once the “big man” (Buckley) started to dominate.

Whilst acknowledging it is still only early March Kildare will need to do better on their shot selection. McGeeney has always encouraged his players to “take the shot” but those players for whom this does not come naturally will have to up their game in this department. 6 Kildare players took 1 shot each … only two, Brophy & Kelly, converted.

From play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Kildare 20 8 40% -2.436
Kerry 24 7 29% -3.672
2012 avg 20.14 9.36 46.47%

From deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
J Doyle (Kildare) 4 2 50% -0.2331
M Conway (Kildare) 1 0 0% -0.5
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 6 3 50% -1.457
J Buckley (Kerry) 3 2 67% -0.0518
team avgs 6.88 4.60 66.9%

Both teams were not afraid to pull the trigger from play (a shift in gears for Kerry compared to the first two rounds of the league) however the accuracy was well below the expected 47%.

O’Donoghue had a poor return from frees and this continues a worrying trend for Kerry. In the three games to date they have only hit 50% (8 from 16) with an Expected Return of -2.813. In last year’s Championship, even with Cooper & Sheehan hitting the majority of deadballs, they only hit 58% with a combined Expected Return of -3.0928.

Compare that to the deadly accuracy from Donegal last year. Whilst this may only be the league, and there’s no reason for panic, a worrying trend is developing.

On a side note John Doyle’s penalty was the first one I’ve charted as saved in well over 60 games ….


Team Won % Turned into Attack % Turned into Shot %
Kildare 19 40% 13 68% 11 58%
Kerry 29 60% 16 55% 12 41%

Given Kerry’s relative dominance of kickouts (58% v Mayo off 36 kickouts; 56% v Dublin off 32) in the two previous games I was interested to see how Kildare, with a smaller mid 8, would approach this segment of the game.

Overall I imagine Kildare will be fairly content. They are in the same vicinity, possession wise, as perceived better teams in Mayo & Dublin. Kerry won 71% possession on their own kickouts which is bang in line with the two previous games. Kildare were ahead in the possession stakes on their own kickouts until the final 15 minutes when Kerry won 4 in a row.

Incidentally those 4 came at a time when Kildare went away from the strategy that had served them so well up to that point. Kildare had two pods; Morgan O’Flaherty standing under Daniel Flynn to pick up breaking ball and Brian Flanagan under Padraig O’Neill. The majority of kickouts went to the vicinity Flanagan was in (I made it 17 of the 24 Kildare kickouts that Flanagan was on the pitch for) and he was excellent at getting his hands on the dirty ball. Of the 4 we mentioned earlier none of them wen t to the O’Neill/Flanagan combo.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
S Johnston (Kildare) 8 4 50% -0.0635
J Lyne (Kerry) 4 2 50% +0.4718
J Buckley (Kerry) 3 2 67% +0.6398
J Doyle (Kildare) 3 1 33% -0.2099
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 3 1 67% -0.4424
E Bolton (Kildare) 3 1 67% -0.5307
E Brosnan (Kerry) 3 0 0% -1.213
T O’Sé (Kerry) 2 1 50% +0.2724
BJ Keane (Kerry) 2 0 0% -0.9289
D Walsh (Kerry) 2 0 0% -1.339

Cork V Kildare

August 21, 2012
Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Cork 37 31 84% 21 68% +5.85
Kildare 34 28 82% 12 43% -1.64
avg 38.5 27.6 71.7% 13.9 50.4% 0.00

At first glance the numbers show that despite the final score Kildare had their chances. Unfortunately for them their critics were proven correct – when the pressure came on their shooting let them down. What may come as a surprise is that it was their free taking that did for them and not their shooting from play (see below).

Cork were (again) excellent. They turned possessions into shots and converted a high percentage of those shots. Both their shooting from play (63%; 15 from 24) and from deadballs (86%; 6 from 7) were top drawer. The one issue that Conor Counihan might worry about is that after they got their 2nd goal midway through the first half they only had 5 possessions and 2 shots for the rest of that half. In the same period they allowed Kildare 12 possessions and 9 shots. In what is expected to be a tight affair against Donegal they can’t allow such a fallow period.

From play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Cork 24 15 63% +4.09
Kildare 17 8 47% +1.01
avg 20.5 9.2 44.9% 0.00

From deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
D O’Connor (Cork) 4 3 75% +0.18
C O’Neill (Cork) 2 2 100% +0.98
A Walsh (Cork) 1 1 100% +0.60
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 4 1 25% -1.05
M Conway (Kildare) 3 1 33% -0.78
J Doyle (Kildare) 2 1 50% -0.45
A Smith (Kildare) 2 1 50% +0.14
S Johnston (Kildare) 1 0 0% -0.51
team avgs 7.2 4.8 66.2% 0.00

As stated Kildare had their chances. When they got within 3 points they then missed two frees, a snatched Alan Smith shot from in front of goal and a Daryl Flynn shot from relatively straight in front of the posts. In the 4 possessions after this Cork scored 3 points and broke Kildare.

Now perhaps Cork’s returns from play were aided by an easy second half, when Kildare were beaten and the middle opened up, however we must remember that they were quite good against Kerry as well in a competitive game.

One cannot question Cork’s deadball striking however – when Kildare were generally on top in the first 10-15 minutes Cork hit 4 wonderful deadballs to keep in touch (O’Neill wide right, O’Connor wide left, Walsh from outside the 45m line & an O’Connor 45m). Given Kildare’s struggles with deadballs the difference was remarkeable and must have eaten away at Kildare’s belief.

A note on Kildare’s deadball striking. In 2010 when Kildare got to the semi final their shooting from play was excellent however the deadball striking let them down. John Doyle was, in the main, on the frees then and I assume that Kildare looked at the stats & then tried to develop alternatives. Unfortunately those alternatives didn’t fire in this game.

Kildare carried 3 non scoring forwards in O’Connor, E O’Flaherty & Conway. Between them they took 1 shot from play. O’Connor did do his ‘job’ in that he won 3 frees that resulted in shots however O’Flaherty & Conway just didn’t click at all. Kildare may need to re think carrying all 3.

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
A Smith (Kildare) 5 3 60% +0.83
P Kerrigan (Cork) 5 3 60% +0.40
J Doyle (Kildare) 5 2 40% +0.27
C O’Neill (Cork) 5 2 40% -0.29
D Goulding (Cork) 3 2 67% +0.64
P Kissane (Cork) 2 2 100% +1.22
P O’Neill (Cork) 2 2 100% +1.17
A Walsh (Cork) 2 2 100% +0.92
D O’Connor (Cork) 2 1 50% +0.23