Posts Tagged ‘Tyrone’

2018 Division 1 Review

April 27, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At a league wide level

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offensive Production

A few things that jump out

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player level

SHOOTING FROM PLAY

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

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

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

DEADBALLS

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

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

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

ASSISTS

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

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

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

Defensive Production

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kickouts

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

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

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

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

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Dublin v Tyrone 2017 AI SF

September 5, 2017

Unfortuantely I haven’t been able to get to the game and at this stage there really is nothing I can add to the commentary that is already out there.

Instead I will just leave the raw outputs here in case anyone wants them

Game overview

Dublin attack

Shot Chart

Assists & shooting overview

Tyrone attack

Shot chart

Assists & shooting overview

Kickout overview

Derry v Tyrone 2017 Ulster

May 30, 2017

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

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Derry 44 38 26 0 – 11 13.81
Tyrone 53 49 42 0 – 22 23.59

That is as comfortable a game as a team is likely to have. Tyrone had 9 more possessions, 11 more attacks and a whopping 16 more shots than Derry. There are examples of such disparities where teams begin to rack up numbers towards the back end of a game, as the competitive edge has gone out of the encounter, but (sadly) this was not the case here. When the game was – notionally – at its most competitive in the first half Tyrone had six more attacks and eight more shots.

Derry shooting
Although each game takes on a life of its own there are some stark similarities to the 2016 meeting (see here) . Then the gap in Expt Pts was ~8.5pts. Here it was just under 10pts. Below is a straight lift from the 2016 game review …

Derry had 18 attempts for a point from play throughout the game; only two of those came from inside the prime scoring zone (extending from the D in towards the goal) with none at all in the 2nd half. Outside of this only one other point attempt came from inside the 20m line. Derry’s fundamental lack of attacking speed allowed Tyrone to set defensively which in turn aided them in repelling Derry away from the most productive shooting zones. Derry were then forced to try less productive long range efforts.

Below are the Derry point attempts from play in the first half. Their whole game shot chart is in the Appendix. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.

Tyrone shooting
Tyrone had their way with the Derry defence returning a 92% Attack Rate & an 86% Shot Rate. This was off an already enlarged possession total. What will (should!) concern them however is – as ever – their shooting. A score of 0 – 22 looks very impressive but with the chances they had they should have scored more (total Ext Pts of -1.59) – the high score was as a result of volume rather than accuracy.

It could be argued that this view – that they had a poor shooting outing – is on the harsh end as the negative Expt Pts return includes their two goal attempts being blocked/saved as well as some simple frees being missed (Harte’s left footed effort in the first minute being a prime example). When we only review point attempts from play the view is somewhat rosier; 0 – 13 from 27 attempts (an average. conversion rate of 48% but a positive Expt Pts of +1.11 indicating harder shots were converted).

Dig a little deeper though and 21 of those 27 shots were taken under no – or very little – pressure (another indictment of the Derry defence). Yes the next day their frees, or goal chances, might compensate for more pressurised point attempts. But what happens in August when they don’t get a goal, get five frees instead of 11 in a game and their shooting comes under a lot more pressure?

Tyrone free taking
Free taking has been a problem for Tyrone. Over the last 3 Championships they have returned a poor 61% (0 – 39 from 64; Expt Pts -4.00).

Shots Scores Conversion % Expt Pts Vs Expt Pts
D McCurry 17 0 – 10 59% 11.24 -1.24
N Morgan 14 0 – 06 43% 7.05 -1.05
C McAlliskey 11 0 – 09 82% 7.84 1.16
R O’Neill 10 0 – 05 50% 8.15 -3.15
S Cavanagh 7 0 – 06 86% 5.22 0.78
P Harte 5 0 – 03 60% 3.50 -0.50

This 61% is in stark contrast to a combined 84% from Rock & C O’Connor over the last two years.

Against Derry they were 73% (0 – 08 from 11; Expt Pts -0.50). Again – in a game with little or no pressure – their shooting was below average. The one bright spark was Séan Cavanagh who hit 0 – 06 from7 (86%; Expt Pts +0.38). As the above table shows he hasn’t taken many frees of late but when he did he was accurate. That flowed through to this game.

As a designated starter, and given Tyrone’s travails of late, it may be best for Tyrone’s to leave him on the frees. If he does nothing more than hit average then this will be an improvement.

Appendix

Derry’s shot chart

Tyrone’s shot chart

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

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

Donegal v Tyrone 2016 Ulster

July 19, 2016

Styles make fights. If that is the case then, for 65 minutes, these were two counter punchers who warily circled each other with Donegal winning the first five rounds and Tyrone the next five. And then for some unknown reason they stood in the middle of the ring and threw the most spectacular haymakers at each other.

But that probably doesn’t do the flow of the game justice. Whilst Donegal were three points ahead at half time this was due, in the main, to Tyrone’s abysmal shooting.

First half

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Donegal 20 20 16 0 – 07 6.89
Tyrone 21 20 17 0 – 04 7.91

Donegal produced a below average Conversion Rate of 44% but were +0.11 ahead on Expt Pts. This was achieved by attempting difficult shots – two sideline balls from inside the 20m line anyone? – but converting enough to keep the scoreboard ticking over. MacNiallais nailed one from outside the 45 to add to Ryan McHugh’s three lovely righted footed efforts from out on the left. Indeed the best illustration of the difficulty of their shots can be seen in their shot chart (below) where they did not have a shot from play inside the 20m line.

Tyrone on the other hand were atrocious. It is not a word I would normally use but 0 – 04 from 17 attempts for a 24% Conversion Rate and an Expt Pt total of -3.91 is just that.

Tyrone had a nice mixture of shooting positions (four inside the 20m line, four close to or inside the D and nine
longer attempts but all inside the 45) but they had some very bad options in there; McNabb tight in the 1st minute, McShane basically a metre or two in from both the 45 and the sideline being prime examples. There was also some really poor execution; Mattie Donnelly’s pulled effort in the 23rd minute and Sludden’s central effort when under no pressure stand out in this regard. We can’t even attribute such poor returns to tenacious Donegal defending. From Tyrone’s 15 first half shots from play eight were charted as having no pressure applied to the shot.

It was just a complete systems malfunction epitomised by the fact that neither Harte nor Séan Cavanagh had a shot in the half.

And then the second half started

Team Possessions Attacks Shots Scores Exp Pts
Donegal 16 14 6 0 – 04 2.54
Tyrone 20 18 16 0 – 09 7.50

The complete systems malfunction transferred itself to Donegal. They only managed six shots in the entire half and went a full 30 minutes with just two shots attempted. Their paucity of shooting is best illustrated by the Expt Pts graph below. Just look at how flat their second half line is.

Don - Tyr Exp Pts blog version

As in the first half Donegal struggled to shoot from in close but this time there was no long range shooting to augment their poor returns. MacNiallais got another bomb from the 45 but that was it – the only other shots from more than 30metres were the two late Murphy frees and Eoin McHugh’s effort in the 50th minute. So what happened? Tyrone engaged Donegal closer to the 45 – epitomised by McMahon hounding McGrath back 20metres and then just turning around and running straight back into the goal – but Donegal also appeared to run out of ideas. Or employ a very, very risk averse shooting policy.

As part of an experiment I have been tracking how many individual player possessions there have been in every team possession. In the first half Donegal’s 20 team possessions averaged 7.7 player possessions. In the second half that jumped to 13.6 player possessions. Three separate moves had a player possession volume of 38, 29 & 24. That is a huge jump with some absurdly long periods of possession. But rather than an element of control it indicates inertia and a lack of decisiveness. Donegal continuously hand passed the ball outside Tyrone’s defensive shield but could not make an impression. For the record those three possessions with the high player possessions only produced one shot. Tyrone’s largest player volume was 13 with an average of 5.4

Tyrone’s finish

We will all be left with the memory of Tyrone’s final few shots but up until the 67th minute their shooting, whilst nowhere near as bad as the first half, was still below average. In that ~30 minute period they had a Conversion Rate of 45% (5 from 11) and an Expt Pts total of -0.59. And then they went, relatively speaking, berserk, scoring four from four. Harte & Cavanagh’s efforts were other worldly – as was Cavanagh’s earlier score from just outside the 20m line on the right touchline – but we must also remember that McCurry & McGeary were no more than five minutes on the pitch when they took their efforts.

To highlight just how good those four shots were – the average intercounty player would get four from four 2.5% of the time. And that’s without the added strain of the last few minutes in a tied Provincial final

Appendix

Shot Charts

Donegal’s shooting
Donegal shooting (V Tyrone 16)

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Donegal 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
O MacNiallais (Donegal) 4 0 – 02 50% 1.72
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 3 0 – 03 100% 1.50
C McShane (Tyrone) 3 0 – 01 33% 1.37
N Sludden (Tyrone) 3 0 – 01 33% 1.27
P Harte (Tyrone) 3 0 – 02 67% 1.21
R McHugh (Donegal) 3 0 – 03 100% 1.11
C McAlliskey (Tyrone) 3 0 – 00 0% 1.02

Cavan v Tyrone 2016 Ulster

July 7, 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
Cavan 59 51 38 2 – 17 21.28
Tyrone 54 45 33 5 – 18 22.83

It is not often that we will find a team take five more shots and end up being so comprehensively defeated. This is when context is required to ensure the game flow is taken into account. From the 68th minute onwards, when all intensity had left the game, Cavan scored 1 – 05 from 8 shots with a combined Expt Pts of +4.72.

In the original game the late goal helped Cavan outperform their Expt Pts whilst Tyrone’s shooting saw them return ~3 points below expected. Show the two games back to back and we begin to get a sense of just how much Tyrone dominated – not just in terms of total scores but also in Expt Pts.

140mins Expt Pts

Peter Harte

Harte had a great game scoring 2-04 from just the six shots producing an Expt Pts total of +4.40. Within those scores there was a free on his left, two points from play, with one off either foot, and three goal attempts returning 2-01. He was also on the shoulder form McAlliskey’s 3rd goal so, being unrealistically greedy, as good as his day was it could have been even better.

Still that accuracy was good enough to place his returns 4th overall since 2012 (>100 TV games in that span).

Harte

Cavan’s defending

Tyrone had six goal shots in the replay scoring 5-01. Generally speaking that is unrepeatable however more surprising than this level of accuracy was the fact that the goal attempts did not occur in the first game when they only produced the solitary McNulty attempt. Tyrone ran down the throat of Cavan but this “soft” center was identified in the Armagh game where on more than one occasion there were Armagh men standing on their own centrally in front of goal.

Tyrone’s Deadballs

There has been some commentary on how poor Tyrone’s free taking has been. Over the three games in this year’s Championship (the two against Cavan & Derry) they returned 0 – 10 from 18 deadballs with a combined Expt Pts of -3.67. We have 3 games from their 2015 run (the Ulster game against Donegal, the QF & SF from Croke Park) where they returned 1-13 from 21 attempts with a combined Expt Pts of +0.11

Their 2016 deadball performance has indeed been very poor but do we base our view on the most recent returns or smooth it out over time? Is the 2016 form natural variance due to small sample size or the manifestation of something more serious? Only time will categorically answer that one however it is fair to say that at best their deadball striking reaches average whilst on current form it is very poor.

dEADBALLS

Tyrone have used six different players to take deadballs in that six game span. Evidence would suggest that this chopping and changing is as a result of not having any great free taker – as opposed to the poor returns being as a result of the chopping and changing – however I am not sure why Séan Cavanagh was taken off the frees. Granted we do not have the games from their qualifier run last year however he was three form three against Donegal up in Ballybofey and hasn’t taken one in the five games since. It is worth remembering that he was 67% (16 of 24) with an Expt Pts tally of -0.04 during 2013 & 2014. Average yes but looking at Tyrone’s returns of late they would take average.

Derry v Tyrone 2016 Ulster

May 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
Derry 46 35 27 0 – 12 12.74
Tyrone 47 36 30 3 – 14 21.36

Despite Derry being down to at least 14 men for the last 20 minutes both teams produced similar total possession, attack and shot volumes. Unfortunately for Derry that was where the similarities ended.

Over the 70 minutes Derry amassed 289 individual player possessions (instances where a Derry player controlled the ball). That equates to 6.3 players on the ball per team possession with 93, or 32%, of those touches occurring inside Tyrone’s 45. Tyrone’s 47 team possessions included, in relative terms, a mere 201 player possessions (4.3 player possessions per team possession) with 56, or 28%, occurring inside Derry’s 45.

Tyrone were much more decisive and incisive, moving the ball at speed whilst Derry were ponderous eking out the metres in a series of hand passing necklaces around the main scoring zone. Yes they had 37 (93 to Tyrone’s 56) more player possessions inside the opposition’s 45 but the quality of those possessions is borne out in the Expected Points (Expt Pts) gap. Derry manufactured three less shots than Tyrone but more tellingly the shots they did produce were expected to score in the region of 8.5 points less than Tyrone’s. For all Derry’s possession there was no bite, no incisiveness and a lack of an end product.

Scoring Zone

One of the major factors in the margin of victory (and thus the Expected Points gap) was the type of shot attempted. As a unit both teams scored close to what was expected yet Tyrone dished out an eleven point beating with only three more shots. How so?

As stated previously Derry’s attacking play was ponderous allowing Tyrone to filter back and protect the D. Derry had 18 attempts for a point from play throughout the game; only two of those came from inside the prime scoring zone (extending from the D in towards the goal) with none at all in the 2nd half. Outside of this only one other point attempt came from inside the 20m line. Derry’s fundamental lack of attacking speed allowed Tyrone to set defensively which in turn aided them in repelling Derry away from the most productive shooting zones. Derry were then forced to try less productive long range efforts. Indeed in a testament to Tyrone’s defensive solidity one of the two point attempts that came from inside the scoring zone was blocked (McFaul’s effort just outside the 20m line in the 23rd minute).

Derry shooting from play
Derry shots from play

Derry’s shooting from these long range efforts was almost exactly what was expected; 0–05 scored from 15 attempts with an Exp Pts return of 5.11 for those 15 shots, but even with elevated shooting those chances are never going to keep pace with a team scoring at the rate Tyrone were.

Tyrone

Tyrone had 19 attempts at a point from play with five of these coming from inside the scoring zone. Another seven were attempted inside the 20m line. Not every shot inside the 20m line is the best option – Kevin Johnston’s attempt in the first minute being a prime example – but they are an indicator of a team getting in behind a defense. After being drawn up the field in an attempt to work their way through the Tyrone defensive shield Derry were unable to counter Tyrone’s attacking speed. This was best illustrated for Ronan O’Neill’s first goal when Brendan Rodgers was dispossessed inside Tyrone’s 45. Richard Donnelly chipped the loose ball off the ground to Mark Bradley and set out in support. Seven seconds and two hand passes later Donnelly launched a pinpoint pass, from outside the 45, to O’Neill on the edge of the square. Simple, direct, accurate and with no little degree of skill involved.

Goal attempts

In addition to the more advantageous point attempts Tyrone had six shots at goal converting three whilst Derry, again despite all the possession they had inside Tyrone’s 45, only manufactured two with both coming in the goal mouth scramble at the start of the 2nd half. In total 60% of Tyrone’s shots came from attempts from play either inside the main scoring zone or in close to goal. Only 19% of Derry’s came from similar positions.

Ultimately Tyrone moved with speed and purpose and despite having so much less of the ball (in terms of player possessions), and less of that ball inside Derry’s 45, their accuracy produced easier point taking opportunities and more goal chances.

Appendix

Shot Charts

Derry’s shooting
Derry shooting (V Tyrone 16)

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Derry 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
R O’Neill (Tyrone) 4 2 – 01 75% 3.72
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 0 – 03 75% 1.93
D Heavron (Derry) 4 0 – 02 50% 1.41
M Lynch (Derry) 4 0 – 01 25% 1.22
S Cavanagh (Tyrone) 3 0 – 01 33% 2.50

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.

Kerry V Tyrone 2015 All Ireland SF

August 24, 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
Kerry 51 43 84% 31 72% 18 58% +1.711
Tyrone 45 35 78% 25 71% 12 48% +0.734
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

In a nutshell Kerry were able to manufacture more shots and convert their shots into a score at a higher rate.
Kerry’s Shot Rate at 72% is lower than the average but it was on course to be quite problematic in the first half.

With Donaghy on the pitch Kerry engineered 14 shots from 24 attacks for a 58% Shot Rate; in the second half, with Geaney in, that rose to 89% (17 shots from 19 attacks). Whilst that dramatic rise cannot all be laid at Donaghy’s feet the impetus to kick it in long, to a packed defence, was removed when he was taken out of the equation.

Within Tyrone’s lower Success Rate there are three separate components – deadballs, goal shots and attempts for a point.

Tyrone had five attempts at a goal scoring 1 – 01 – or a 40% Success Rate. On deadballs they were 43% – both of which dragged down the attempts at a point which was an excellent 57%.

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Kerry 24 12 50% +0.661
Tyrone 18 9 50% +1.610
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Kerry did not manufacture a shot at goal but that won’t unduly worry them. They can play a multitude of styles and are usually very good at finding the right one.

Their point taking was average here but that is a boon when compared to the All Ireland final when they last met a hugely defensive team in the Championship – that day they were 17% (!!) on point attempts.

Considering O’Donoghue was out of sorts from play (0 from 3), and Cooper was more or less tied up (1 shot all game), it will be heartening to the management that at various times during the game the “second” tier stood up; Buckley was 3 from 3 in the first 10 minutes, O’Brien then convert 2 from 3 in the next 15 minutes – finally Geaney came off the bench to attempt four shots.

Pity the Tyrone defence. You keep Cooper, Donaghy & O’Donoghue to 0 – 02 from a mere six attempts over 175 minutes … and still let in 0 – 12 from play.

When we exclude the four goal chances we can see that Tyrone’s point taking conversion rate was excellent at 57% (0 – 08 from 14 attempts) with a weighting of +2.336. It is not that they failed to take their chances; they failed to take their goal chances.

Why two of those goal chances were not taken is reviewed in more detail below but all four came from straight, hard running down the middle. If you turn over Kerry (admittedly not always an easy thing) in the middle 3rd your first thought should be a direct run at goal. O’Connor’s goal in the drawn Munster Final was also the result of direct running.

PhotoGrid_1440347463287

Marc O’Sé is credited with a wonderful block on McAlliskey to stop the first goal attempt. Without doubt it was executed perfectly but he should never have been allowed to get into that position. In the top picture Harte has the cover beaten – he needs to drive straight and commit O’Sé before shooting or offloading. Instead he shows pass all the way staring down McAlliskey and holding the ball in a striking action – queues that allow O’Sé to drift back. When a pass is finally given it is high & loopy allowing O’Sé further time.

PhotoGrid_1440343122508

For the second goal attempt it is almost a role reversal. McAlliskey does everything right up until the final act; he drives towards goal committing the last defender and burning his trailing marker. In this instance he needs to give the ball to McCurry for an easy fisted goal (think Flynn across to the back post for Brogan). Instead he shoots.

Fine margins for sure but when you are the underdog these are the moments on which results turn.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 5 4 80% +0.823
C Cooper (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.163
P Geaney (Kerry) 1 1 100% +0.064
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 1 25% -1.315
N Morgan (Tyrone) 2 1 50% +0.257
P Harte (Tyrone) 1 1 100% +0.182
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Perhaps the best way of summarising Kerry’s deadball outing is that Sheehan was not missed. They converted 86% (6 from 7) of their attempts for a combined weighting of +1.05. Geaney & Cooper popped over relatively easy frees so the majority of the weighting can be attributed to O’Donoghue. He converted one in close to goal but other than that he was 3 from 4 from around the 45 – equivalent to 0.5pts above expected.

Looking forward to the final it will be interesting to see what Kerry do were Sheehan to be on the bench and the long range frees come from the other side – O’Donoghue’s right. Moran & Buckley both attempted long range efforts in 2014 – would they be given the ball? Buckley’s 3rd point was a free on the 45 which was taken quickly; Tyrone should have been alert to this possibility of a quick one (with no Sheehan) but is it a precursor?

Morgan hit one stunner from the sideline then missed one from c50m – the kind of inconsistency you expect from multiple long range efforts – whilst Harte’s penalty was converted with aplomb.

McCurry had a hard day at the office but much of that was due to Kerry’s excellent defence. Only one of his four attempts was given within a comfortable scoring range – the three McCurry missed were out to the side or long range. Yes he should have converted one, if not two, but he never got his eye in on a simple chance due to Kerry’s defensive discipline.

Kickouts

Kerry’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 16 76% 11 69% 6 38%
Tyrone 5 24% 4 80% 3 60%
Tyrone’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Kerry 8 31% 8 100% 5 63%
Tyrone 18 69% 14 78% 10 56%

Where to start. Firstly much has been made of the short kickout as a strategy. As a strategy it is fine – see results from 2013 – however it needs to be executed properly. A lot of the issues for Tyrone on the short kickouts was poor execution (both from the goalkeeper and those looking to receive the ball).

Tyrone lost three of their short kickouts whilst another three that went past the 45 were also lost (two went straight to a Kerry shirt). From those 6 kickouts Kerry scored 0 – 02 whilst Tyrone scored 0 – 04 from the 12 they won inside the 65. Not ideal by any means – but not disastrous either. You get the sense that the difficulties were more mental – a key area wasn’t functioning so the panic alarms started to sound.

Of course what does not help the argument for “going short was a sound strategy” is that when Tyrone went long they won the battle 6 – 2. We have no way of knowing what Kerry would have done if all kickouts went long – they destroyed Kildare in the first half of that game on long kickouts – but there is definitely an argument that Tyrone should have gone longer more often irrespective of how they were doing on the short ones.

Kerry? They went short on 9 kickouts, scoring 0 – 02, with no real pressure applied by Tyrone. When the ball went past the 45 Tyrone were competitive with Kerry winning the possession battle 7 – 5.

Turnovers

Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Kerry 8 11 3
Tyrone 8 5 3 8

As expected Tyrone were very good in the tackle turning over a Kerry player on 11 occasions however difference in natural skill sets is evident in the “other” category. On a wet, dirty, day Tyrone turned the ball over through either mishandling, or fouling, the ball on 8 separate occasions. Kerry didn’t turn it over in this method once.

Shot Charts

Kerry’s shooting
Kerry shooting (V Tyrone 15 SF)

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Kerry 15 SF)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play,

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 2 50% +0.435
C McAlliskey (Tyrone) 4 2 50% +0.157
P Geaney (Kerry) 4 2 50% -0.053
J Buckley (Kerry) 3 3 100% +1.417
M Bradley (Tyrone) 3 2 67% +0.968
S O’Brien (Kerry) 3 2 67% +0.794
D Walsh (Kerry) 3 1 33% -0.370
J O’Donoghue (Kerry) 3 0 0% -1.583

Monaghan V Tyrone 2015 All Ireland QF

August 11, 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
Monaghan 46 38 83% 27 71% 14 52% +1.466
Tyrone 43 37 86% 30 81% 18 60% +1.643
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

The above table is a little quirky. Tyrone’s shooting accuracy was excellent at 60% but their weighting – as judged against Monaghan’s returns – does not reflect this. Normally I introduce the shot charts at the bottom of the piece but it is instructive to look at Monaghan’s at this juncture.

Monaghan shooting (V Tyrone 15 QF)

What immediately jumps out is how clean the two central – and thus high scoring – areas are. From the arc of the D in to the square Monaghan only attempted one shot from play – and that was the last minute goal attempt from McManus. Monaghan’s weighting is as good as Tyrone’s despite the lower Success Rate because they were trying shots that were a lot harder.

Part of this was due, undoubtedly, to Monaghan’s methodical build up play which allowed Tyrone to block up the middle. But a great amount of credit must go to Tyrone’s defensive structure & effort on the day. If they keep their central channels as clean against Kerry they will believe they are well on their way.

Further to the disparity in the weighting the below chart shows, were the game to be played 20,000 times with the same shots taken, how often Tyrone would win – 74% of the time. In the context of the shots taken throughout the game Monaghan never had a chance.

Mon-Tyr outcomes

Shots from Play

Team Shots Scores Success % Weighting
Monaghan 18 8 44% +1.105
Tyrone 22 10 45% +0.070
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Initially I believed the discrepancy in shot accuracy & weighting would be entirely down to the types of deadballs attempted – Monaghan trying long range & Tyrone having shots closer in to goal. There was evidence of this but the logic flowed through to the attempts from play as well.

Both teams had a Success Rate of 45% but Monaghan scored 1 point more than expected – again the accuracy was there but the volume, and shot location, meant that they were relying on individuals to produce excellent long range displays. Some did (Duffy & McManus) but the majority did not.

Shots from deadballs

Player Shots Scores Success % Weighting
C McAliskey (Tyrone) 4 4 100% 0.787
D McCurry (Tyrone) 4 4 100% +0.786
C McManus (Monaghan) 6 5 83% 0.944
R Beggan (Monaghan) 2 0 0% -0.763
P Finlay (Monaghan) 1 1 100% 0.180
team avgs 7.2 4.9 68.7%

Very good striking from Tyrone with McCurry & McAliskey converting 8 from 8. Whilst the majority were definitely of the more “gettable” variety the combined weighting of +1.57 indicates that the expected return from these 8 frees was 6.5 points; they converted all the ones they should have and then also scored from a 45 and one tough one out right on the 20m line.

From their 9 attempts Monaghan would have been expected to return 5.7 points. Their attempts were much harder than Tyrone’s but given their usual excellence they will not be happy with basically average returns – especially Beggan who dropped both his long range efforts short.

One of the hidden value adds of players are frees they win inside the opposition’s 45 which lead to more productive shots for other players. Séan Cavanagh only had one shot all day however he won three of the frees that Tyrone converted. Similarly Mattie Donnelly’s runs earned two scores from frees (though given the commentary around this game Cavanagh’s free winning ability is more front and centre than is the norm!)

Kickouts

Monaghan’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Monaghan 22 96% 18 82% 11 50%
Tyrone 1 4% 1 100% 1 100%
Tyrone’s kickouts Won % Turned into an attack % Shot %
Monaghan 6 30% 5 83% 3 50%
Tyrone 14 70% 12 86% 10 71%

Monaghan won a quite ridiculous 22 of their own 23 kickouts. This was aided of course by the fact that they went short on 68% of their kickouts (that the TV cameras caught). Monaghan scored 0-06 on their 22 wins but also gave up a point on the one they lost (a horrible short one down the middle). A net gain of 0.22pts per kickout

The TV cameras missed quite a few of where the Tyrone kickouts landed so we can’t make too many absolute statements on length. However they gained possession on 14 of their 20 kickouts scoring 0-09 and allowing 0-02 – a net gain 0.35pts per kickout.

In terms of the kickout battle you have to say that Tyrone won despite the macro level results showing that Monaghan won 65% of all kickouts.

One further point to note was how Tyrone were able to move the ball on their kickouts when they absolutely had to. Thrice in the second half Monaghan scored inspirational long range points (Duffy x2 & McManus) only for Tyrone to take the subsequent kickout and score a point from the possession won. Absolute momentum killers.

Turnovers

Team giving up the ball Pass In the Tackle Shot Other
Monaghan 12 6 5 1
Tyrone 5 4 3 4

The possession led nature of the game is reflected in the low turnover volumes. Tyrone in particular were excellent at retaining possession; in the second half they only coughed up the ball seven times.

Shot Charts

Tyrone’s shooting
Tyrone shooting (V Monaghan 15 QF)
x = missed, disc = score, yellow = deadball, black = 1st half from play, white = 2nd half from play,

Players with >= 3 shots from play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
D McCurry (Tyrone) 5 2 40% -0.138
Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone) 5 2 40% -0.564
O Duffy (Monaghan) 4 2 50% +0.258
C McManus (Monaghan) 3 2 67% +0.869
D Mone (Monaghan) 3 1 33% +0.031
C McAliskey (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.193
P Harte (Tyrone) 3 1 33% -0.193