Posts Tagged ‘Mayo’

O’Connor & Rock from frees (Rd3 of league)

March 3, 2017

From an analysis and review standpoint I am forever railing against recency bias. This “railing” comes about however because of its pervasiveness. It’s an in-built near automatic response. And of course I fell into the trap myself.

Watching the Mayo – Roscommon game last week Cillian O’Connor missed a central free about 33metres out and I had immediate flashbacks to (a) a number of missed frees in the previous round against Kerry and (b) that missed free in last year’s All Ireland final.

Was this latest missed free a sign of some cliff having been reached? Was one of Mayo’s most consistent weapons beginning to malfunction? Of course not.

oconnor-post-rd3

In the three league games to date O’Connor has hit 79% of his frees. Well above the ~72% Championship average. On Expt Pts his tally is -0.39; he has basically scored what is expected. Now the argument could be made that someone with O’Connor’s reputation should be in positive Expt Pts territory. Fine. However we must always remember that the Expt Pts tally is based off Championship returns. Frees taken in (mainly) pristine weather on (mainly) pristine surfaces. O’Connor is fine. To be slightly off in the middle of the league is acceptable? For comparison Dean Rock is running at 75% conversion rate with an Expt Pts tally of -0.86.

rock-post-rd3

What I did argue however in last year’s All Ireland review is that O’Connor had an arc outside of which he was vulnerable (the missed free in the drawn All Ireland being right on this arc). Given weather, pitch conditions etc. it is fair to expect that arc to contract at this time of year and if we placed this contracted arc over O’Connor’s frees to date then I would suggest that arguement is still relevant. He has taken 6 frees on the edges of this constricted arc and converted 3 – 50% Success Rate. He has also missed his only 45.

So in conclusion – bloody recency bias!! But O’Connor is generally fine and still remains one of the most consistent free takers once within his range.

Dublin v Mayo 2016 All Ireland Final Replay

October 5, 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
Dublin 49 38 26 1 – 15 17.59
Mayo 48 36 25 1 – 14 15.62

Attack Rates, Shot Rates, Conversion Rates and points per possessions; all the main metrics were incredibly even – as to be expected in a one point game that lasted over 80 minutes – but was there anything in particular that got Dublin over the line?

Dublin shooting

Deadballs

Dublin, and thus Dean Rock, were spectacular on the day from deadballs converting 100% from eight attempts with an Expt Pts of +2.10. Connolly’s penalty was inch perfect but coming in to the year the conversion rate was 83% (24 goals from 29 shots) so the Expt Pts for a penalty is very high at 2.48. He is expected to convert that. The positive Expt Pts is almost entirely Rock’s.

He scored 0 – 07 on seven attempts with an Expt Pts of +1.58. This from the player who returned a Conversion Rate of 43% (0 – 03 from 7 shots & an Expt Pts of -1.58) in the drawn game. He was essentially removed from frees in last year’s final taking just two of the nine Dublin deadballs after converting just 40% (0 – 02 from five) in that year’s semi-final. That was a performance with an exclamation mark.

This, along with the performance against Kerry in this year’s semi-final (0 – 10 from 11 attempts & Expt Pts of +2.48), should banish any notion that he cannot deliver on the big day. More on Cillian O’Connor below but both himself and Rock are now clearly the best free takers in the country.

Goal chances

One of the more remarkable aspects of the final was the fact that Dublin did not manufacture a shot on goal from play. They did have a few breaks through the middle, such as McManamon being stripped by Harrison after the long kickout from Cluxton or Fitzsimons strolling through the centre at the death, but never got to pull the trigger.

This is the first game since 2012 that this has happened and credit is due to the collective Mayo defence. Especially how they learned the lessons from the first day with Fenton not being allowed drift in behind at any stage.

Point attempts

Dublin recorded a 44% Conversion Rate (0 – 08 from 18) and an Expt Pts tally of -1.69 when shooting from play. In and of itself this is poor but set against the returns from the drawn game (30% from 20 shots and an Expt Pts tally of -3.03) and how Mayo handled Tipperary and Tyrone (26% & -3.11 and 27% & -3.36) it was a step up.

In the drawn game it was highlighted how 50% of Dublin’s scores came from shots with no pressure applied whilst Mayo were able to apply intense pressure to 45% of their shots. Dublin only converted 22% (0 – 02 from 9 attempts) of those taken under this pressure.

Mayo managed to apply the same levels of intense pressure here (44%, 8 of 18 attempts) however Dublin’s shooting was better scoring on 50% (0 – 04) as opposed to the 22% in the drawn game. The level of pressure is illustrated b the fact that Mayo blocked three of those eigth but Dublin just squeezed more out.

That’s not to say that all their shooting was good or improved. I graded 8 shots where no pressure was applied with Dublin only scoring 0 – 03. Undoubtedly it is due to small sample size randomness but on the day those shooting under intense pressure performed better than those that had no pressure applied.

Mayo Shooting

Goal attempts

Mayo had one shot at goal and what a shot. A beautiful goal by Keegan.

A lot of ink was spent on the run up to the game on the battle between Connolly & Keegan and the impact/intensity of that battle can be viewed through the two point attempts they combined for. On Keegan’s point attempt in the 25th minute it is Connolly flying in to put him off. For Connolly’s point attempt in the 34th minute it is Keegan flying in to try – unsuccessfully – and put Connolly off.

keegan-goal-v-dublin

I bring the point attempts up above as when Keegan takes the shot at goal Connolly is not in the picture. When S O’Shea launches the ball into A O’Shea on the 45 Connolly (11) has Keegan (5) within arm’s length but doesn’t track him. By the time Keegan pulls the trigger it is Fitzsimons (22) who has put in an incredible shift from trying to block O’Shea’s kick pass to get back on Keegan’s heel.

Point attempts

Mayo converted 38% of their point attempts (0 – 05 from 13 shots) with an Expt Pts of -0.85.

Dublin managed to properly pressurise five of those 13 shots (38% – similar to Mayo’s 44% on Dublin’s shooting) which was a big step up from the Dublin defence. The last day they only managed to pressurise two, or 11%, of Mayo’s point attempts.

Mayo responded well to this pressure scoring 0 – 03 from the five shots taken under pressure. The problem came when they were placed under no, or minimal, pressure. Here they only scored 0 – 02 from 8 attempts (25% – in the draw game it was 0 – 09 from 16 attempts – 56%).As an illustration C O’Shea & Jason Doherty dropped shots into the goalkeeper’s hands from very central positions when under no pressure whilst Andy Moran pulled one wide from the left inside the 20m line.

They created the chances – the execution just wasn’t there.

Deadballs

Up until the final free kick Cillian O’Connor had been flawless converting 100% of his frees (0 – 09 from 9 attempts) with an Expt Pts of +1.34. This followed on from converting 100% of his frees (0 – 05 frees from 5 attempts) in the drawn game.

And then we had that final free. The average, from 2012 -2015, for the area of the pitch that the free was attempted from (sector6) was 64% on 650 attempts. For the same period I have O’Connor converting 75% from this sector (0 – 09 from 12 attempts). Unsurprisingly, given his overall returns, O’Connor has been – historically – above average from this range.

coc-deadballs-2016

His shot charts for frees in 2016 is above. Overall he was 77% with an Expt Pts of +1.28 and 67% in Sector 6. Below his historical averages but nothing untoward.

What is apparent from the above however is that there is an arc – in the same shape as the D but starting inside the two “x”s at the 20m line above – outside of which is accuracy becomes human! Every free taker has this arc. Basically his range. But in this instance the final free (marked in the above with a black “x”) is right on the O’Connor’s 2016 arc. He had two frees from a similar range against Galway and Westmeath converting one and missing the other.

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows the esteem I hold O’Connor’s deadball ability in. He is the best around (though Rock has now joined him). There is no one else I would want taking that free but it was no “gimme”. It was right on the edge of his 2016 comfort zone.

Kickouts

Mayo won 14 of their 20 kickouts. Of those six were taken by Clarke with Mayo gaining possession on all six whist the split was 8 – 6 in Mayo’s favour when Hennelly was in goal. On its own that looks very poor for Hennelly however of Clarke’s six kickouts we only saw where five landed and of those four (80%) went short. Dublin did not pressurise the recipient on any of these four. Clarke’s kickouts were very safe.

Of Hennelly’s 14 kickouts only six, or 43% ,went short. Hennelly, whether by choice, by design or due to the Dublin press went longer than Clarke and as such placed more in harm’s way. The flip side of this is that Mayo had a net score of four points on Hennelly’s 14 kickouts (scored 1-03 and let in 0-02 directly from the possession’s gained) whereas the net benefit of winning Clarke’s six short kickouts was 0 – 01

A lot has been written about the decision to start Hennelly, and the success of kickouts is as much to do with the outfield players as it is the goalkeeper, but Hennelly was, despite the commentary, coming out on top in terms of end product on the kickouts.

Again the commentary was that Cluxton had a superb game from kickouts. He undoubtedly had some absolute peaches in the second half when he pinged two straight to Flynn & McManamon in midfield but is our view of the overall performance coloured by these just after the Mayo keeper switch?

Mayo lost six out of 20, Dublin lost five out of 21. Better but by no means outstandingly so. By the time Hennelly had lost six Cluxton had lost four. Mayo had a net gain of four points. Dublin? Broke even. Scored 0-02 from the possessions they gained on their own kickout but also conceded 0 – 02 fro he five they lost.

Again a goalkeeper’s role is not all about kickouts. Nor is the goalkeeper the sole reason for a kickout ending to a score. I may be trying to push too positive a spin on Hennelly’s performance (forget trying – I am pushing!) *but* the very negative narrative – in comparison to the very positive one on Cluxton’s – around Hennelly’s kickouts just doesn’t ring entirely true.

Appendix

For a wrap up find the stats for the two games combined below

dublin-mayo-finals-2016-combined

How anyone can categorically state that this Mayo team is “gone”, or “cannot win” the big one is beyond me. There was the width of a cigarette paper between these teams. And Dublin are considered one of the greats.

Dublin’s shot chart
dublin-shooting-v-mayo-16-replay

Mayo’s shot chart
mayo-shooting-v-dublin-16-replay
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half, red = goal attempt

Dublin v Mayo 2016 All Ireland Final

September 20, 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
Dublin 57 46 31 2 – 09 17.30
Mayo 53 40 26 0 – 15 14.80

Dublin’s returns don’t look too bad – scoring 2 – 09 from an Expected return of 17.30. Those two goals however came from non shots (yes they created the chances but from an Expt Pts vantage they don’t count as they didn’t come from a Dublin shot on goal) meaning that Dublin’s actual shots returned more than 8 points below Expected and showed a Conversion Rate of 29%.

In their five games this year Dublin were showing a 61% Conversion Rate and a combined Expt Pts value of +11.21. In the 23 other Championship games since 2013 Dublin’s Conversion Rate has only dropped below 40% once – and that was a 39% against the ultra-defensive Westmeath in the 2015 Leinster final. The next lowest after that is 44%.

This was a spectacular derailing of the well-oiled machine. How did it happen?

Dublin’s shooting

Goal attempts

Dublin had three goal attempts in two different sequences (Brogan’s shot after Fenton’s original chance was saved as well as Fenton’s second attempt) which produced one goal – but the goal did not come from any of the three Dublin shots. As such the Expt Pts on the three shots was -3.42 (even though Dublin did get 3 points from the scramble – God the Expt Pts model really doesn’t like own goals!).

Note that for the second goal there was no actual goal shot – Rock spilled Connolly’s (wondrous) pass before Boyle put his foot through it.

Just on those two Fenton goal attempts – they were eerily similar with four different Mayo players committing the same basic “lack of communication” mistake.

dub-goal-chance-v-mayo-16-ai-final-actual-1st

In the first Mayo are basically set with S O’Shea (8) on Fenton (8). Fenton lays the ball off to the wrap around player and drifts towards goal however both O’Shea and Higgins (4) then go towards the player with the ball. Neither goes with Fenton.

dub-goal-chance1-v-mayo-16-ai-final

Same again for the second. This time replace McLoughlin (10) for O’Shea and Durcan (7) for Higgins. Fenton lays the ball off to the wraparound runner and continues to drift towards goal. Both Mayo players get sucked to the ball leaving Fenton acres of room in behind.

Deadballs

Unfortunately there is just no hiding from the fact that Rock had a bad day. He scored 0 – 03 from seven attempts for an Expt Pts tally of -1.57.

Much had been made of his 93% success rate this year coming in to the game (0-37 from 40 shots with an Expt pts of +7.98 from frees and 45s) however it must be remembered that he was also on 93% coming in to the 2015 semi-finals. From there on he only converted 0 – 02 from 5 attempts in the two 2015 games against Mayo and only attempted two of Dublin’s nine deadballs in the final against Kerry.

He is undoubtedly the real deal however there have to be concerns about his ability to maintain the averages at the end of the season. His excellent performance against Kerry had put some of these concerns to bed (0 -10 from 11 on frees & 45s with an Expt Pts tally of +2.48) but he’ll have to step up in the replay to silence them again

Then we have Connolly’s sideline attempt. Up until the start of this year’s Championship 18 point attempts from a sideline had been charted with a combined 28% Success Rate. Connolly is a better player than the majority, if not all, of those players who had taken those 18 attempts however (a) he is not the free taker and (b) those 18 were probably taken in better conditions and not in the 74th minute of a pulsating All Ireland final. It was a punt but he was always more likely to give the ball to Mayo having missed than having scored.

Point attempts

That leaves 20 point attempts throughout the game which saw Dublin convert 30% (0 – 06) with an Expt Pts tally of -3.03. Granted the conditions were not great but that is just very, very poor. And it was not confined to a handful of individuals having a day off – 12 separate Dublin players had a point attempt. There was just no sign of this.

In reviewing the SF against Tipperary we noted that the Mayo defence had restricted Tyrone to 27% and an Expt Pt return of -3.36 whilst holding the previously free scoring Tipperary to 26% and -3.11. We now add Dublin’s 30% and -3.03 to that tally. They are obviously doing something right. Against Tipperary & Tyrone they applied pressure to 66% of their point attempts when the norm is somewhere around the 51% mark. Again here they pressurised – to one extent or another – 75% of Dublin’s shots. But that doesn’t fully tell the story. In an attempt to somewhat measure what they were doing I graded all pressure on the shooter from 0 (no pressure applied) to 3 (intense pressure)

pressure-index

As can be seen Mayo were very good at applying intense pressure to 45% of Dublin’s point attempts. We don’t have any other comparison point for this but Dublin only applied a similar amount of pressure to 11% of Mayo’s shots.

It is no fluke that Dublin struggled – but it is strange that they struggled so much.

Note Colm Boyle shows up really well in this context. I have him charted as applying pressure to four separate shots with three of the being strong pressure (one “2” in the above table and two “3”s)

Mayo shooting

Goal attempts

Mayo had two clear cut goal attempts coming away with 0-01. The first fell very early to Durcan who had his shot blocked by Cooper. Hindsight is 20:20 and all that but looking at the position just as he was about to strike you would love to have seen him ship it left where they had an overlap with two of their best finishers standing on the square
mayo-goal-chance1-v-dub-16-ai-final
The second one was Moran’s attempt on the 52nd minute
mayo-goal-chance2-v-dub-16-ai-final
There was a split second where O’Connor was free on the square and when I put the still up on Twitter there was a split opinion on whether the ball needed to be fisted across. Personally the picture makes a fisted pass look a lot easier than real time did – it would have to have been spot on – and I would want Moran having the confidence to take that shot on.

Point attempts

Mayo were slightly above average with a Conversion Rate of 50% (0-09 from 18 shots) and an Expt Pts of +1.07.
Much like Dublin there was a large spread of shooters with ten different players having a shot. O’Connor & Vaughan showed well here scoring 0 – 02 from three attempts each but the overall spread means that no one really stood out.

Again like Dublin however there were some wild efforts in there – not sure either O’Shea should be taking pot shots outside the 45!

Deadballs

Immediately after the game concluded the thought had been that O’Connor’s deadball day had been spectacular. That however was more in comparison to Rock than anything else. O’Connor converted 86% (0 – 05 from 6 shots) with an Expt Pts was +0.41. A good day’s return on the numbers; nothing more.

However when looking at that stat line we need to take into account the context of the game. If Rock has question marks about him on the big day then O’Connor is the exact opposite – he thrives on it.

In eight All Ireland finals and semi-finals since 2013 O’Connor is 81% on frees and 45s (0 – 09 from 48 attempts) with an Expt Pts tally of +2.44. When everything is to play for O’Connor delivers well above average.

Kickouts

Dublin won 18 of their 22 but only managed 0-01, or 0.06 points per kickout won, from those 18 wins. In the 2016 Championship to date that was 0.51 points per kickout won. Another one to chalk down for the Mayo defence.

Another minor victory can be noted in the time it took Cluxton to get his kicks off. A lot had been made in the build up to the match as to how Cluxton looked to get his kickouts taken within six seconds. We didn’t see a number of the kickouts but when we did Cluxton was regularly taking over 15 seconds to kick the ball out (the first few were indicative; – stalled as had to be retaken, 15 second wait, 16 seconds, didn’t see on TV coverage, 12 seconds, 14 seconds, delayed for the black card, 20 seconds).

Mayo were, score wise, better racking up 0 – 04 on the 16 kickouts they won – 0.25 points per kickout – however they also coughed up 0 – 02 and nearly had a calamitous last few minutes when Clarke hit three poor kickouts in quick succession. The first was lofted to Parsons on the 45m line on the right wing allowing Mannion to break the ball to O’Gara forcing Barrett to give away a free that Rock pointed. On the resultant kickout Clarke managed to pick out Connolly short left who took one look and pointed. Clarke then placed Higgins under all sorts of trouble when he went short right.

Up until those three kickouts Mayo had taken 17 winning 14 – however when they went past the 45 they had lost three out of four. Given this, and the sequence above, it will be interesting to see if Dublin push up the next day putting Clarke under pressure and forcing him to go longer.

Appendix

Dublin’s shot chart
dublin-shooting-v-mayo-16

Mayo’s shot chart
mayo-shooting-v-dublin-16
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half, red = goal attempt

Mayo v Tipperary 2016 AI Semi Final

August 23, 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 57 41 33 2 – 13 21.34
Tipperary 52 39 29 0 – 14 16.36

Goals. They win games and set the tone for how a game unfolds. Mayo had three attempts scoring 2-00 whilst Tipperary, chasing the game for much of the afternoon and after carving out 13 goal chances combined (scoring 4-02) against Derry & Galway, didn’t have one attempt.

Tipperary shooting

First up the positive. Tipperary’s deadball accuracy was excellent hitting 0 – 09 from ten attempts and nine on the trot – especially when they needed them – after O’Halloran missed their first one from outside the 45. The Expt Pts for these ten attempts was 8.25 giving a return of +0.75. With a conversion rate of 90% an Expt Pts of +0.75 does not appear overly generous however this, as the chart below shows, is an indicator that the frees were of the easier variety and also ties in to the fact that they didn’t have any goal attempts.

Mayo were on notice and were not going to let them through.

Tipp deadballs

An overall Expt pts of -2.36 incorporating no goal shots and good accuracy on frees leads to some very poor shooting from play. Tipperary were just 26% (5 from 19) on point attempts from play with an Expt Pts tally of -3.11. These weren’t some collection of long range “shoot and hope” efforts either as only two came from outside the 45.

Tipp from play

As the chart above shows there were some very poor efforts contributing to that 26%. Tipperary had nine efforts from the most central zones but only scored 0 – 03 (Expt Pts -1.73). From wider angles they were 0 – 02 from eight (Expt Pts -0.62)

This is the second consecutive game whereby a team has underperformed when shooting from play against Mayo (Tyrone were 27% on 22 shots with an Expt Pts of -3.36). At some stage we are going to have to give the Mayo defence some credit for these poor returns!

Looking at Tyrone & Tipperary’s 41 shots from play Mayo applied pressure to 66% of them. We don’t use pressure in the numbers but for the last four years 51% of all shots tracked were recorded as being taken under pressure. Accepting that everyone’s definition of pressure will be different we can say that Mayo’s defence has applied pressure at a greater level than is the norm – and their opponents shooting has suffered, at least in part, as a consequence.

Mayo shooting

Mayo’s overall shooting was as poor as Tipperary’s with a total Ext Pts of -2.34. But whereas Tipperary were consistent in their issues throughout the game Mayo were gloriously inconsistent.

Expt Pts

Up until the goal in the 25th minute Mayo were a very poor 25% (3 from 12) with an Expt Pts of -3.84. From play it reads even worse with a paltry 0-01 registered from 8 attempts (13%) including a glorious missed fisted point attempt from the 20m line. And then the goal happened.

From the 25th minute until the end of the first half Mayo were a mirror image scoring 1-07 from just eight shots (Expt Pt of +4.70). Within that span they only had one possession that did not end in a score. A point per possession return of 0.40 is generally very good; Mayo returned a barely believable 1.11 points for those nine possessions. It was a stunning “power play”

And then half time happened. D O’Connor responded to Quinlivan’s free early with a trademark strike from the right in the 37th minute and then …. nothing. Radio silence. Mayo managed just two shots – let alone garner any scores – in the next 17 minutes. As brilliant as they had been prior to half time they were inept here. From their 1.11 points per possession – on 9 possessions – prior to half time they now went 11 possessions without scoring. Not only that they managed just five attacks and two shots in that period.

Mayo completely ceded the game to Tipperary who, in that same time period, garnered 17 possessions scoring 0 – 04 from 10 shots. If Mayo allow such a fallow spot in the final you have to imagine that either Dublin or Kerry would punish them at a higher rate than Tipperary did (0.24 pts per possession on those 17 possessions).

The goal

The build up to the second goal was very fortuitous but there was nothing lucky about the first.

Mayo goal v Tipp

Although the move for the goal emanated from a misplaced hand pass involving one of the Tipperary defenders bringing the ball out they were still well set when Higgins approached the 45. They were manned up 4 on 4 (Campbell (3) has McLoughlin (10) on his shoulder just out of picture) with an extra trailing defender (18). It is a testament to Higgins’ speed and close ball control that he was not just able to round Fox (12) but also that the covering defence couldn’t get across to him. By bursting through the defence at speed either Campbell (3) or Feehan (7) had to leave their man and stop the shot.

Appendix

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Tipperary 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) 8 0 – 07 88% 6.23
C O’Connor (Mayo) 7 0 – 03 57% 4.66
D O’Connor (Mayo) 6 0 – 02 33% 2.97
A Moran (Mayo) 5 0 – 04 80% 3.50
P Austin (Tipperary) 5 0 – 01 20% 2.33
C Sweeney (Tipperary) 4 0 – 03 75% 2.15
K O’Halloran (Tipperary) 4 0 – 02 50% 2.07

Mayo v Tyrone 2016 AI Quarter Final

August 8, 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 49 37 24 0 – 13 11.55
Tyrone 52 43 33 0 – 12 17.94

Given how the game progressed that is a fairly phenomenal set of returns. Every main marker (Possessions, Shots, Attack Rate, Shot rate) was in Tyrone’s favour yet they lost by a point. But it was no average one point loss. According to their Expt Pts Tyrone should have won by ~6.5 points.

Monte Carlo output

Cranking out the Monte Carlo model (first time this year!) had both teams converted their chances at an average rate Tyrone would have won the game by seven or more points 39% of the time. That’s not just “win the game” – that’s winning by seven plus!! They win the game 91% of the time (90.9% to be precise) with Mayo winning 5.3% and the remaining 3.8% throwing up a draw.

Now games are not, thankfully, played on spreadsheets – or within 20,000 simulations – but how did Tyrone lose a game that they should have won 90% of the time?

Tyrone shooting

The first obvious port of call is McAliskey’s goal attempt. Firstly it was a beautiful heel turn that absolutely foxed Higgins putting him in the clear in behind.

Mayo v Tyrone

In general you are expected to score 1.18 points per goal attempt. As outlined previously there is an inherent weakness in the Expt Pts for goals as it treats all goal attempts as equal. Over time this will even out but when reviewing one shot in isolation this can look quite harsh.

1.18 points per goal attempt equates to roughly 3-02 for every ten attempts. Do we think, out of ten attempts, McAliskey would score 3-02 from that shot? Perhaps not but I don’t believe it is overly harsh either.
Even ignoring the harshness, or otherwise, of how we mark up the goal attempt Tyrone’s Expt Pts from point attempts was -4.76. Breaking that down further it was -1.40 from deadballs and -3.36 from attempts from play.

A slight aside

The majority of the negative return on deadballs can be attributed to Niall Morgan’s three misses (-1.71 Expt Pts). Undoubtedly the attempt from the sideline just before half time was very difficult but the others were very “gettable”. In the three games he started in Ulster Morgan converted 50% of his deadballs (3 from 6) with an Expt Pts of +0.23. His conversion rate is lower than average (~67%) but the Expt Pts shows that this is due to him trying much harder shots. He was average up to this game. In the games covered in the last three years however he was just 36% (5 from 14) with an Expt Pts of -1.63

All told Morgan tries incredibly difficult shots, and his teammates have no hesitancy in calling him up, but over the last four years he is just 35% (8 from 23) with a quite poor, even accounting for the degree of difficulty of his attempts, Expt Pts of -3.11

Back to this game. Tyrone were -1.18 from their goal attempt and -1.41 from their deadballs. That still leaves their point taking from play as a quite terrible 27% (0 – 06 from 22) with an Expt Pts of -3.36.

Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly were excellent scoring 0 – 05 from their eight shots combined (Expt Pts. of +1.77). Of course that leaves the supporting cast returning 7% (1 from 14) and Expt Pts of -5.13. That is genuinely appalling and even more so when you consider that eight of those 14 shots occurred either from the central zone around the D or inside the 20m line.

And therein lies the heart of how you lose a game you should win 90% of the time; get nothing from your only goal attempt, poor long range deadballs & genuinely terrible shooting from the support cast.

Mayo shooting

Mayo were the opposite. They managed to score ~1.5 points above what an average intercounty player would be expected to. And they needed it as they only managed nine shots in the second half.

Mayo, in a similar manner to Tyrone, had two players on song with C O’Connor & L Keegan combining for a 71% Conversion Rate (0 – 05 from 7) and an Expt Pts of +1.71.

Mayo’s second rank were poor (33% Conversion Rate with an Expt Pts of -0.91) but importantly were good enough to easily outstrip Tyrone’s supporting cast.

One final point to note on Mayo’s shooting was what happened post the red card. In those fifteen minutes after Séan Cavanagh’s was sent to the line Mayo only managed one shot. One. In that same period 14 man Tyrone managed six. We have touched upon the dearth of accuracy therein but looking forward Mayo cannot go into their shells again as Tipperary have shown, especially against Derry, that they will look to get their main men onto the ball in any tight finish. And Quinlivan & Sweeney will get at least three of the six that Tyrone missed.

Kickouts

Tyrone went short on 90% of the kickouts we saw (one was missed by the TV cameras) losing the only two that went past the 45. There did appear to be a concerted effort from Mayo to force Tyrone to go up the left wing with their kickouts in the second half with only the very last one in the 64th minute going right. This meant that McCann or McCarron were bringing the ball out. From this vantage it is difficult to see what Mayo were trying to achieve with this but perhaps with D O’Connor & Durcan on that side they felt they had more energy to constantly track up and down the wing.

Generally speaking Mayo were comfortable on their own kickout winning 85% (22 out of 26). But that was achieved with a bag of pinpoint accuracy to the left wing (especially two kicks landing on Vaughan & S O’Shea) mixed in with losing three short ones.

Those last 10 minutes

We can’t leave without looking at those last few minutes. After McCarron’s missed shot at 67:52 only two Tyrone players touched the ball in the next 6 minutes and 11 seconds – those being Niall Morgan with his skewed free and Daniel McCurry’s snap shot after intercepting Clarke’s short pass to Durcan. In contrast Mayo had 3 team possessions with 55 separate individual possessions in that time. Despite seeming like a lifetime to Mayo supporters their players only held the ball for exactly four minutes. Given that Tyrone were sitting back Mayo were never in danger of giving away the ball however as Tyrone crept forward they had to be brave enough and get into the space inside Tyrone’s 45.

Appendix

Shot Charts

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Tyrone 16)

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Mayo 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
C O’Connor (Mayo) 9 0 – 07 78% 5.39
P Harte (Tyrone) 6 0 – 04 67% 3.41
C McAliskey (Tyrone) 4 0 – 02 50% 3.02
R O’Neill (Tyrone) 4 0 – 01 25% 2.49
M Donnelly (Tyrone) 4 0 – 03 75% 1.57

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

The best free taker?

June 17, 2016

This piece originally appeared in the Examiner’s Championship pullout. I had intended to link to it but it does not appear to be online so I have reproduced it below

The dearth of GAA data can lead to some curious problems. Take measuring the best free takers for example.

Normally all we get in any match report is a list of the scorers and how many of those scores were from frees, 45s etc. Rarely will their scores be put in the context of how many shots they had, how hard these shots were etc. Is the best deadball exponent (although frees make up well in excess of 85% of all deadball attempts we really should introduce penalties & 45s into the conversation) the player that scores the most? The one that converts the most? Neither?

Conversion Rates

The below table shows the Conversion Rates for any player with a minimum of 30 recorded deadball attempts over the last four Championships

Player Shots Scores Conversion Rate
D Rock (Dublin) 33 28 85%
C McManus (Monaghan) 48 39 81%
C O’Connor (Mayo) 112 90 80%
B Brogan (Dublin) 49 38 78%
C McFadden (Donegal) 54 41 76%
D McCurry (Tyrone) 39 27 69%
M Murphy (Donegal) 85 57 67%
M Newman (Meath) 39 26 67%
E O’Flaherty (Kildare) 36 24 67%
B Sheehan (Kerry) 41 25 61%
S Cluxton (Dublin) 56 31 55%

In and of itself this is noteworthy. Many would have placed the likes of McManus & O’Connor at the top of the charts but the long range experts such as Sheehan & Cluxton, who would also have had their proponents, are lower down the rankings.

This does highlight an issue with using Conversion Rates as shot difficulty (both in distance & angle to the goal) is not taken into account. Of Cluxton’s 56 attempts a remarkable 71% (29 x 45s & 11 x frees) were taken from the 45m line or further out. As a point of comparison only 10% (4 x frees & 1 x 45) of McManus’s 48 attempts were taken from the same range. How does McManus’s 81% Conversion Rate stack up against Cluxton’s 55%? Would we say that McManus is that much better of a deadball striker?

Expected Points

By dividing the pitch into segments, and using the results of well over 1,400 attempts, we are able to show what percentage of deadballs are scored per segment. We use this percentage to create an Expected Points (Exp Pts) return – along the lines of Expected Goals for soccer – for every attempt. So if a free from a specific area is converted 60% of the time the Exp Pts = 0.6pts. Doing this for every deadball attempt then allows us to compare players on a more equal footing.

Player Shots Scores Conversion Rate Conversion Rate Rank Total Pts above Expected
C O’Connor 112 90 80% 3 +7.4
C McFadden 54 41 76% 5 +6.1
M Murphy 85 57 67% 7 +4.2
C McManus 48 39 81% 2 +4.0
D Rock 33 28 85% 1 +3.7
S Cluxton 56 31 55% 11 +2.1
B Sheehan 41 25 61% 10 +0.9
M Newman 39 26 67% 8 +0.7
D McCurry 39 27 69% 6 -0.3
B Brogan 49 38 78% 4 -2.2
E O’Flaherty 36 24 67% 9 -4.1

This shuffles the ranking somewhat. The aforementioned Cluxton & Sheehan rise up the leaderboard as the difficulty of their respective attempts is filtered in. We also see the reverse as players with higher Conversion Rates drop down the ranking – Rock & Brogan noticeably.

Brogan is interesting. He only attempted three free kicks in 2015 meaning that the majority of his returns were pre the emergence of Dean Rock. Looking at the above it is easy to see why the free taking duty was passed to Rock. Although Brogan’s Conversion Rate was high at 78% – placing him 4th overall – the negative Exp Pts shows that he was missing too many easy chances. Of his 48 attempts 22 (46%) came from inside the 20m line; and he missed five of those.

Not that Rock is without his issues. In 2013 & 2014 he was an excellent 92% (11 from 12) on frees though this tally was racked up late on in games where the result was never in doubt. He started 2015 in similar form converting 93% of his first 14 however he then tailed off in the later rounds missing three of his last seven against Mayo & Kerry. Dublin have not looked to cultivate a free taker during the league campaign, so they have faith in Rock, however we won’t know if his late 2015 misses were just a small sample size or something else. If it occurs late on again when the pressure is at its most intense will Dublin be able to switch? Brogan, whilst an able deputy, is no better than average whilst Cluxton only hit one from seven in the semi-final onwards last year after coming in cold.

Cillian O’Connor

One of the more noticeable aspects of the Exp Pts table is how Cillian O’Connor & Michael Murphy rise to the top. The argument can be made that the more attempts you have the easier it is to build up an Exp Pts tally – that of course ignores that the opposite is also true. The more attempts you have the greater the opportunity to regress to the mean.

That O’Connor has maintained such standards across multiple Championships is a remarkable feat. Even more so when you consider that the methodology does not account for the majority of his attempts occurring in high pressure games (Provincial finals, All Ireland semi-finals & finals) whilst also being a load bearing totem. He has taken 76% of Mayo’s deadball attempts switching from the left to the right as well as taking high pressure penalties and the majority of Mayo’s 45s.

O’Connor’s consistency is beyond reproach and it is this, alloyed to his proven accuracy, that surely gives him the title of “the best free taker”.

NOTE: Due to space limitations I wasn’t able to expand on certain points in the article. One I wanted to address was E O’Flaherty’s returns. The above paints him as a very poor free taker which is incorrect. He is in fact a very good free taker but within his wheelhouse. By that I mean between the two 20m lines and to the left of the goals. The problem was that for years Kildare did not have a left footed free taker – or a long range one for that matter – so he was being forced to take shots that other designated free takers did not.

Expected Wins; how teams fared versus their odds

January 11, 2016

Once September rolls around only one or two teams will deem their year as being successful. In 2015 Dublin had a year of years winning the league, Leinster and the All Ireland (do we throw in the O’Byrne cup?). Monaghan winning Ulster made for a successful season whilst there is an honourable mention for Fermanagh with promotion to Division2 and the quarter final appearance. But what about the rest?

If the league is a means to an end for the majority, and the All Ireland and Provincial championships are regularly shared by the same teams, how do we measure the remainder’s performance? Or indeed how do we judge a team like Tyrone that got relegated, fell short in Ulster but rallied to get to the All Ireland semi-final? One way is to compare a team’s results against how bookmaker’s thought they should fare.

Bookmakers give odds on all games. The main markets are match odds and handicap. Any bookmaker worth their salt will tell you that though all odds can be converted into a percentage chance of winning this is not their primary aim when setting the line. They are not trying to exactly predict the likelihood of an outcome but rather set a line that will encourage multi way action on the game. This then enables them to have relatively evenly split betting on all outcomes and they can take the built in margin.

Still these lines are a very good proxy for how a team is expected to perform and the cumulative odds can thus be used to extract just how many games a team won above, or below, what was expected. Thus we create an Expected Wins (Exp Wins) metric.

Expected Wins

All odds for a game were converted to an Exp Win (see methodology in Note2 below) and then teams ranked according to how many wins they obtained in the League & Championship above this mark

Exp Win Top10

It comes as no surprise that seven of the top ten teams in pure win percentage appear in the top ten based on Exp Wins. Fermanagh and Monaghan are up there given their aforementioned successful seasons. Longford also had a good year winning 9 of their 13 games. In fact on pure winning percentage they finished second in the country behind Dublin’s 75%.

But what of the remainder? The biggest surprise by far was Limerick. They only won three games in total, ranking them in the bottom third on pure wins alone, but were 7th when compared to their Exp Wins. How so?

Limerick breakdownv2

They were the outsider in all seven of their league games but won three. From those seven games the bookmakers expected them to win 1.87. They outperformed their expected wins by more than a full game. In the Championship they lost by two points away to Clare in a game that had Clare favoured by two and then walked into Tyrone in the first round of the back door. The positive Exp Win total they accumulated in the league was not too badly dented by these two losses – especially the Tyrone one where they were huge outsiders.

Sligo were a bit of a surprise given that they only won four games but again they were quite large underdogs when beating Roscommon in the Championship and complete outsiders in the next two games against Tyrone & Mayo. Given the very low combined Exp Wins from those three games (0.39) that one victory against Roscommon puts them in positive territory for the Championship alone.

Against the Spread

Another way of tracking a team’s performance is to see if they covered the bookmaker’s handicap; or what their ATS (against the spread) was in American parlance. We would expect some cross over with the best performers in the Expected Win list but crucially you don’t have to win a game to beat this performance metric – only play above an expected standard

ATS Top 10

Again six of the teams that appeared in the Exp Wins top ten re-appear. A number of the teams, such as Limerick, Sligo, Fermanagh & Monaghan we have touched upon previously but there are a few surprises. Mayo, despite being a very high profile team, would have been a profitable one to follow on the handicap. Cork, for all the negativity following the losses to Kerry & Kildare, were also profitable but it is London & Leitrim that jump out. Between them they won four games all season but it could be argued they had a pretty good year; their performance exceeded expectations in 12 of their combined 18 games.

London only won one of their nine games all year but managed to cover the handicap on six occasions. Narrow that further and they covered the handicap in five of their seven league games including all three that they played away. You would never state that London had a good season but from a performance perspective we should probably cut them some slack. They performed well above expectation.

Worst Performances

Exp Win Bottom5

Originally the above table was going to be the bottom five but I expanded it to catch two of the bigger fish.

Some of the lower lights – Carlow, Wicklow & Waterford – being down here is not really a surprise given just how few games they won. However it does indicate that perhaps the bookmakers were generally over rating them despite their poor form.

Laois were particularly poor but looking purely at their Championship form they beat Carlow when their Exp Win was 0.86 so get very little credit for that and then had a further three games failing to win any of them when the combined Exp Win was 1.75.

Given they were relegated from Division 1 with just the one win from seven it is perhaps no surprise to see Tyrone down here.

Kerry won seven games throughout the year but were expected to win eight. Creating a league/Championship split Kerry had an Expected win of -0.81 in the league and -0.19 in the Championship. Their Championship was slightly less underwhelming than their league (I kid – sort of!)

ATS Bottom 5

Three of those that appeared in the worst Exp Win table re-appear when we look at the worst performances against the handicap. Wicklow and Waterford not only failed to win enough games but also played poorly in their losses covering a combined four handicaps over 18 games. Given that they won seven games but were only an outsider once during the year – and that a slight outsider in the final against Dublin – it is no surprise that Kerry are again represented.

They had, all told, a good year but were consistently over valued by the bookmakers. Or conversely the bookmakers kept their odds short as the public’s perception of Kerry was that they were performing better than they actually were.

APPENDIX

Note 1; there can be quite a difference in bookmaker’s odds. The odds used for this piece were taken primarily from Paddy Power rather than taking the best prices available across all bookmakers. The main reason for this was laziness on my part as it meant just one source rather than hopping around sites.

When you take the price can also be important. Lines do move. However they were generally taken on Saturday or Sunday morning when any early moves had been accounted for.

Note2; generally speaking the margin on GAA match odds is 109% with lesser games getting up to 112%. A typical line in a close game would be 10/11 (home team), 15/2 (draw) & 6/5 (away team) which equals a book of 109.6%. To make this, and all games, come in at 100% – and remove the bookmaker’s margin – I extracted 3% from each outcome. There is a valid argument that this should be more nuanced (take less off the draw perhaps) but for now it’s fine.

Exp Win Explanation

The home team has a 52.4% chance of winning on the odds. We know this is inflated to account for the bookmaker’s margin. Take 3% away from each of the three outcomes to account for this and the home team now has a 49.4% chance of winning. So using the above quoted odds we get an Exp win of 0.49 for the home team (priced at 10/11) and 0.42 for the away team (priced at 6/5).

Do this for all games for a particular team and you have created an Expected Wins metric.

Castlebar Mitchells V Breaffy 2015 Mayo County Final

October 27, 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
Castlebar 48 39 81% 30 77% 4-10 47% -0.966
Breaffy 49 34 69% 20 59% 0-09 45% -0.787

Both teams had the same amount of possession and were relatively even in the accuracy stakes. That though is where the similarities end. Breaffy struggled mightily to convert their possession into shots & scores; they scored 0.18 points per possession whereas Castlebar produced 0.46pts per possession. Breaffy’s inability to produce shots – manufacturing a full ten less than Castlebar – did not just occur in the second half when they were chasing the game. In the first half they attempted ten shots from their 23 possessions. The second half also returned 10 shots albeit from 26 possessions.

We don’t have many club games charted however Castlebar’s numbers tend to stack up against Corofin’s, possibly the best club in the country, in the Galway SFC final. In that game Corofin won by a similar margin with a possession count of 50 and attack & shot rates of 70% and 74% respectively. Where Castlebar will have to up their game is in their shooting. Corofin had a Success Rate of 62% and a weighting of +3.90 against Mountbellew. Here Castlebar were ~1 point below expected despite scoring 4 – 00 from five goal attempts.

 

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
Castlebar 24 4-06 42% -0.226
Breaffy 14 0-05 36% -1.440

As stated above Castlebar were ruthlessly efficient when going for goal. Their five goal attempts had a combined weighting of +2.31. This however means that their point attempts were quite poor returning a combined Success Rate of 32% (6 from 19) and a weighting of -2.54. They were also very “right-sided” in their shooting. As the shooting chart below shows only two, or 11%, of their shots from play came from the left – and even then they were as much central as left.

Breaffy? They only managed three shots from play until the 29th minute when Walsh, and then Seamús O’Shea, popped over points just before half time. None of their five first half point attempts were inside the 20m line.

At the start of the second half Breaffy had three quick goal shots with one hitting the post and another getting blocked on the line. The lack of return from this salvo seemed to knock the heart out of their fight as it was ~20 minutes before they had another shot, of any description, from play.

 

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success Rate Weighting
A Walsh (Castlebar) 4 0-03 75% -0.30
N Douglas (Castlebar) 2 0-01 50% -0.44
C O’Shea (Breaffy) 2 0-02 100% +0.46
R Hennelly (Breaffy) 2 0-01 50% +0.13
T O’Reilly (Breaffy) 2 0-01 50% +0.07

Breaffy’s reliance on the deadball early in the first half foreshadowed the drop off in the second. Five of their first seven shots were from deadballs and whilst Conor O’Shea and Hennelly scored two absolute peaches you felt it was never sustainable.

Castlebar were a combined four from six. They converted all those they would have been expected to get whilst missing the two longer range attempts

 

Kickouts

Castlebar’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Castlebar 8 50% 8 100% 6 75%
Breaffy 8 50% 7 88% 5 63%
Breaffy’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Castlebar 8 40% 8 100% 6 75%
Breaffy 12 60% 8 67% 4 33%

Breaffy “won” the kickout battle but the returns here, unsurprisingly, mirror those overall in that they struggled to convert that possession into shots.

Castlebar had the first three kickouts and lost all three. They were quick to recognise that landing the ball between the 45 & 65 was ultimately playing into the O’Shea’s so the fourth one went short. Thereafter, whilst they didn’t employ the short kickout, they did angle the longer ones to give themselves a better opportunity to compete. After those first three they then won six of their next eight which denied Breaffy any sort of platform to build from. Still it will be of some concern that they only managed to score 1
point from their 16 kickouts.

They were however much more productive on the opposition’s kickouts. Breaffy were more inclined to use the short kickout. We missed where the ball landed on three occasions but of the other 17 Breaffy went short on five occasions. Of the remaining 12 that went past the 45 Castlebar won 7 scoring 1 – 02.

 

Shot Charts

Castlebar’s shooting
Castlebar shooting v Breaffy 2015

Breaffy’sshooting
Breaffy shooting v Castlebar 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
N Douglas (Castlebar) 6 3-00 50% +0.53
D Kirby (Castlebar) 5 1-03 80% +1.69
C O’Shea (Breaffy) 4 0-02 50% +0.08

Dublin V Mayo 2015 All Ireland SF Replay

September 8, 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
Dublin 50 39 78% 30 77% 18 60% +4.010
Mayo 45 26 58% 22 85% 15 68% +2.959
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Once again brilliant accuracy from Dublin. Last week that accuracy enabled them to draw a game where they produced six shots less than Mayo; here that accuracy was maintained on a higher shot count thus enabling them to win comfortably (on the scoreboard at least).

One major shift in the numbers, from the first encounter, was Dublin’s ability to move the ball into Mayo’s 45. The previous week Dublin had 51 possessions but only manufactured 27 attacks; a 53% Attack Rate. They had to be ruthlessly efficient in their shot selection and finishing. Here, as a percentage, they were unable to produce the same volume of shots from their attacks – 77% shot rate versus 89% the last day – but the huge increase in the volume of attacks overcame this. It wasn’t just in the second half either when the introduction of McManamon & MacAuley brought new attacking impetus. Both halves’ returns, 72% in the first & 86% in the second, were well ahead of the 53% recorded previously.

What of Mayo? Last week we showed their half splits to highlight just how much they improved in the second half. Here we show them for exactly the opposite reason.

Team Possessions Attacks Attack % Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
1st Half 28 17 61% 15 88% 10 67% +1.988
2nd Half 17 9 53% 7 78% 5 71% +0.971

Mayo only managed nine attacks in the second half and despite their shooting holding up (78% Shot Rate & 71% Accuracy) they were never going to be able to overcome such a paucity of attacks; especially against a team like Dublin. Over the four halves Mayo’s volume of attacks to Dublin’s was +3, +9, -4 & -9. For three quarters of this tie they were ahead on the attack volume but Dublin’s accuracy was keeping them in step. Once Mayo’s attack volume dropped off that was the game.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Dublin 26 16 62% +4.644
Mayo 15 9 60% +2.173
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

The last day Dublin scored two goals from three attempts. Although Dublin’s conversion rate on goal shots has been high all year the thinking was that Mayo would be happy with that; restricting Dublin’s goal shots is half the battle and eventually their production would regress to the mean.

So much for that. Dublin had five shots at goal and scored 3 – 01. The only shot not to produce something was Fenton’s pull across the box that Brogan converted. By contrast Mayo created just the one goal attempt which O’Connor converted. Although it was one defensive lapse over 70 minutes that goal will have given the on looking Eamon Fitzmaurice some food for thought. It really was poor defending from Dublin.

Mayo goal v Dublin

O’Carroll has O’Connor covered however he has to come out and meet Moran due to some very poor tackling from Cooper & O’Sullivan. Moran should never be allowed turn in that scenario – you can see O’Donoghue, or Cooper, meeting a similar ball and spinning on a sixpence.

Some of the point taking in the first half was sublime with the teams combining for a 65% Success Rate – the average on point attempts is ~45%. As can be seen from the shot charts below though there were very different patterns in their shooting. 7 of Dublin’s 12 point attempts came from inside the 20m line; only 3 of Mayo’s 11 point attempts were taken that close in.

One final difference was who took Dublin’s shots. Andrews was sublime – and deserved of the man of the match accolade – but the last day Dublin’s backs only had one shot (6% of 18 attempts) between them. Here they had six (23% of 26 attempts) with McCarthy & McCaffrey chipping in alongside McMahon’s four attempts.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
D Rock (Mayo) 4 2 50% -0.634
C O’Connor (Mayo) 6 5 83% +0.722
A Moran (Mayo) 1 1 100% +0.064
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Another excellent display from O’Connor. Over the two games he converted 94% of his deadball attempts with his only miss coming in this game from an absolute hit and hope about 55m out. Of the 0-15 he scored the expected return was 0-12; his deadball accuracy added 3 points to Mayo’s total. After what was an average campaign, for him, leading up to the semi-final (15 from 21 combined in the Galway, Sligo & Donegal games) he has once again established himself as the top deadball proponent in the game.

Dean Rock by contrast has struggled. Here he converted the two that he would have been expected to get however missed two longer range efforts to go with the one he missed in the drawn game. His record for the year is still very strong at 85% (29 from 34) but his reputation has, undoubtedly, suffered.

Finally much was made of Dublin’s indiscipline the last day giving away 10 frees within scoring range. There was a stage in the first half where you feared the same thing was about to happen when two quick frees were conceded with 13m tagged on to both for indiscipline. The defence did well to regain their collective composure; having the steadying influence of O’Carroll, and releasing McMahon & McCarthy forward, undoubtedly played in to this.

Kickouts

Dublin’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 17 94% 13 76% 12 71%
Mayo 1 6% 1 100% 0 0%
Mayo’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Dublin 6 25% 6 100% 4 67%
Mayo 18 75% 12 67% 10 56%

In the first game Mayo managed to get their hands on six of Dublin’s kickouts. Here there was only the one. Mayo let Dublin have the short kickouts despite the fact that they won 4 of the 6 Dublin kickouts that went past the 45 the last day. The one they won in this game was the only one to travel past the 45.

Mayo were content to let Dublin go short as they believed they could turn over the ball carrier once engaged. In many ways that worked the first day as Dublin scored a net 0-03 from the 16 short kickouts. The problem here however was that Dublin adapted. Of the 17 short kickouts Dublin “won” they got a shot from 12 of the possessions and scored 1 – 07. In the first half that stat line was 0 – 06 off 8 shots from 12 short kickouts. Mayo needed to switch tactics early once they realised their containment policy wasn’t working.

In the first half Mayo went short on six kickouts scoring 0 – 02. Of the remaining seven – that landed past the 45 – Mayo were on top winning five and scoring 0 – 02. So in the first half Mayo won their own kickout 11 – 2 and scored 0 – 04. Not as prolific as Dublin but they were undoubtedly in control. So what happened in the second half?

Mayo went short with their first kickout and then went long & mid with the next two. Dublin won the long kickout. A sign maybe *but* given Mayo’s dominance of the contestable kickouts in the first half, and the first game, not alarming. Next Barry Moran goes off just before a Mayo kickout that led to Brogan’s goal. Should Moran’s absence have given Hennelly pause about going down the middle? Perhaps but again Mayo, in the round, were in control of their own kickouts.

More important than the absence of Moran, or previous returns, though was the fact that Hennelly wasn’t set for that kickout. He was messing with his laces and gloves and was rushed – to the extent that he only had one glove on when he took the kickout – by a combination of the crowd/referee. He was distracted and seems to have taken the old fashioned approach of booting the ball as far away as possible.

Now the kickout itself wasn’t to blame for the goal but it did appear to rattle Hennelly – supposition I know but did he take some responsibility for rushing the kickout? We’ll never know but what we saw next was Connolly getting a quick shot from Hennelly’s subsequent kickout followed by another long kickout that Dublin won – and that led to McMahon’s goal.

Two goals and a Connolly wide from three Mayo kickouts in ~90 seconds.

Turnovers

Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Dublin 10 8 5 2
Mayo 16 4 4 2

In the drawn game we highlighted how two midfielders – S O’Shea and Fenton – had led the way with six and four each. Remarkably O’Shea managed to top the charts again here with five turnovers despite only being on the pitch for 38 minutes.

Fenton was much improved with just the one turnover attributed to him. Top of the charts for Dublin was Andrews but I’m sure he’ll be forgiven. Less so next on the list. I noted Rock as being responsible for four turnovers. Given his relative lack of success from frees, and the fact that he only managed to attempt one shot from play over the near 90 minutes he was on the pitch, he really needed a cleaner game going in to the final

Shot Charts

Dublin’s shooting
Dublin shooting (V Mayo SF replay 15)

Mayo’s shooting
Mayo shooting (V Dublin SF replay 15) V2
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
P Andrews (Dublin) 6 5 83% +2.314
P McMahon (Dublin) 4 3 75% +0.739
K McLoughlin (Mayo) 4 1 25% -0.827
B Brogan (Dublin) 3 2 67% +0.853
C Kilkenny (Dublin) 3 2 67% +0.745