The score required to win: Dublin v Mayo previewed


There is nothing I can tell the readership of this blog about the Mayo attack that they don’t already know. So I won’t try. Instead we will review the Dublin attack, pitting their returns so far this year against those of the Mayo defence, and see if we can arrive at a score that Mayo will have to beat.

Possession and attack volumes

There are two main components when looking at how teams attack. The first is to review the possessions they gain and how frequently they move those possessions into an attacking position (an attack is defined as having control of the ball inside the opposition’s 45); following on from that we look at what they do with the ball once they have it in the attacking zone.

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Dublin are averaging 60 possessions a game. That is quite high – in the four Kerry games shown on TV they have produced returns of 41, 52, 60 and 51 whilst Mayo have returns of 47, 61 and 48 in their three. Styles make fights so the type of game, and indeed opposition, will play in to this return, but it is fair to say that Dublin play a fast, high octane game. How have the Mayo defence fared in this regard? They have allowed the opposition to have 43 (Galway), 52 (Sligo) and 46 (Donegal) possessions. So Dublin average 60 and Mayo allow 50.

Neither team will have met anything like each other in this respect. Dublin won’t have met a team that pressures them on kickouts nor as high up the pitch as Mayo do; equally Mayo won’t have met as slick an attacking force as Dublin. However as we will see below where Dublin’s possession volume lands will be crucial. If Mayo can keep it to the low end of the range – 50 – they’ll have the advantage. Let it creep to 55 and upwards and Dublin will be in control.

How effective Mayo’s pressing game has been can be gauged by the fact that they have only allowed 62% of the opposition’s possessions to be advanced to an attack (60% against both Galway and Sligo; 65% Vs Donegal). Dublin are running at 79% with three games in the 80 percentile. Another hugely influential battleground. Can Mayo’s outfield pressing game force Dublin turnovers or will Dublin be able to kick-pass their way up the field and maintain their high attack rate?

Dublin get their hands on a lot of ball. How do they do it?

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It is not just their own kickout that is strong in this regard – Dublin have hoovered up the opposition’s kickouts as well. The importance of the kickout to Dublin’s overall well-being is outlined by the fact that kickouts accounted for 57% of their scores but only 48% of their possessions.

Mayo? They allowed the opposition to have 141 possessions with 47% coming from kickouts. Remarkably similar to the volume that Dublin achieved but the vast majority of that 47% was gained by the opposition on their own kickout. Think of Sligo kicking short, getting the ball but not being able to do anything with it – hence Mayo’s ability to stop teams converting possessions to attacks. In their three games Mayo have only lost 12 of their own kickouts.

Dublin have averaged 60 possessions a game and manufactured 47 attacks from those possessions. What did they do with those attacks?


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Dublin have created a shot from 80% of their attacks. Whilst that may seem high the average is 77.7%. In their three games Mayo have allowed 75% with them tightening up as the games progressed (Galway 81%, Sligo 74% & Donegal 70%). Dublin slightly above average – Mayo allow slightly below average.

Dublin’s high scores are not the direct result of any innate ability to create shooting opportunities; more it is linked to their high number of possessions (hence the importance of the possession battle) that lead to a high volume of shots. That and accuracy in their shooting. The average success rate for shots taken is 51%. Dublin are operating at a quite ridiculous 61% with three of their four performances above 64%. How are they compiling such impressive numbers?

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Dublin are well ahead of the averages on all three elements of shooting.


Dublin converted all their deadball attempts in the Longford, Kildare and Fermanagh games. The three misses occurred against Westmeath when Dean Rock relinquished his duties – Connolly and Brogan missed one each.

Rock has attempted 14 deadball attempts in this year’s Championship converting 13. A conversion rate of 93% is phenomenal but 14 is not a huge sample size. Bringing in the league semi-final and final against Monaghan and Cork, Rock’s conversion rate is maintained at 93% (25 from 27 attempts) which includes 3 from 3 on 45s – he is (or at least has been thus far) a huge weapon for Dublin.


Dublin are attempting 5.5 goal shots per game – which doesn’t seem excessive however two of those games, Westmeath and Fermanagh, were against packed defences. In those two games they managed 7 shots at goal. Against Kildare and Longford they had a combined 15. What Dublin are doing this year – as opposed to the previous three years – is converting those chances. They have scored a goal on 55% of their attempts; in the last three years this was 31%.


Although this has the lowest conversion rate of the three components it may be the most impressive. Dublin have had 113 point attempts converting 63% of them. If we were to use an Expected Points analogy their accuracy is adding 3 points a game to their scoreline above what an average team would return from the same shots. Three points. A game.

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There is no one area of strength in their point taking – just all round general excellence though it is worth highlighting the “inside left” position. Brogan has been on fire from here this year taking 11 of the 15 shots – and converting 8.

What of Mayo? They have allowed teams to convert 52% of their shots which is essentially average. The relatively low volume of scores (10, 13 and 11) is not as a result of brilliant defensive play at the back but rather, as we have seen above, through them minimising the volume of attacks that the opposition has and then allowing average returns on shooting once a team gets inside their 45.

What will Dublin score?

So based on nothing other than the returns we have seen from both the Dublin offence and the Mayo defence in 2015 what can we expect Dublin to score?

Dublin average 60 possessions whilst Mayo cough up 50. Picking the midpoint at 55 is too easy; for all their faults Kildare’s strategy on their own kickout limited Dublin’s possessions to 49. Mayo will be more competitive on Dublin’s kickouts depriving them of easy possession on their main primary source. I’ll plump for below the midpoint – 53 possessions.

Dublin convert 79% of possession into an attack whilst Mayo have allowed 62% – this is the big imponderable. I think Mayo will be very strong here – but very strong is still restricting Dublin to an Attack Rate of ~70%.

So Dublin will have 53 possessions and will convert 70% to an attack. That equates to 37 attacks. Dublin get a shot from 80% of their attacks whilst Mayo allow 75%. The average is 78% so we’ll give Dublin that; Dublin end up with 29 shots (53 *0.7 *0.78).

Mayo have allowed 11 attempts at goal in their three games (3.67 per game). Dublin have averaged 5.5. I don’t see Dublin ripping Mayo apart but without the defensive cover that Westmeath and Fermanagh brought I think it is fair to assume that Dublin will have more goal chances than in either of those games (3 and 4 respectively). I’ll plump for 5. Dublin are converting 55% of their goal chances (which would equate to 2.75 goals) whilst the average is 33% (1.65 goals). Law of average says two but this will be huge for Mayo. Keep Dublin to one goal and you have to fancy they are favourites – Dublin get two and the confidence will surge.

The remaining 24 shots need to be broken down into deadballs and point attempts. Mayo have allowed the opposition c.6 shots at goal from deadballs; Dublin have attempted 4. The threat of Rock should see a disciplined performance from Mayo – if not he will do serious damage on his own. We’ll go for the middle ground with 5 attempts. Given Rock’s performances to date we could give him all 5 but we’ll assume he regresses in this game and give him 4 – an 80% conversion rate.

That leaves 19 shots for a point. Overall Mayo are allowing the average whilst Dublin are shooting the lights out. I don’t for a second believe Dublin will have the same lack of pressure as previously encountered (both in terms of physical pressure and mental through being so far in front) so they will regress. But how far? Normally 45% of all point attempts are converted (the 51% average includes deadballs) with Dublin running at 61%. I think somewhere in the 52% range is reasonable given the talent, and form, that is at their disposal. This converts to 0-10.

So there you have it. Dublin will score 2-14 with 10 points coming from play and 4 from deadballs.

For more stats-based Gaelic football analysis, go to dontfoul (web), @dontfoul (Twitter). 

62 thoughts on “The score required to win: Dublin v Mayo previewed

  1. Thank God football is a sport and unpredictable. Great piece of analysis all the same. Begs the question, based on the same analysis, how much are Mayo going to score on Sunday. Can head for the bookies then and clean up!

  2. Good work don’t foul please don’t take this the wrong way but I found your article incredibly boring but you obviously know you’d stuff

  3. 2-14 is a big score in Gaelic. Other factors need to be highlighted as well e.g. conditions on the day, ref calls etc. Over the summer the refs have in my opinion always been involved in at least two big calls per game. I see the same happening on Sunday. So discipline will be a key factor.
    Another is the non-celebration of scores. Cluxton will be re-starting games at lighting pace. There will be no time for a goal or point celebration in front of the hill. It has to be heads down again and back into position immediately. The alternative is the Hill laughing as a score goes over the other end while celebration is still going ahead.

  4. Great analysis.
    Don’t meant to be greedy but……
    ….can we get the same for Mayo scores as well?

  5. Watch the 2nd half of 2013 final ,you will see Dublin kicked points from distance even their defenders came up the field to do this,where as we ran into cul da sacs…because both teams will probably play sweepers ,who ever is able to kick points from distance will win on Sunday…Dublin are very good at this which worries me.

  6. Very impressive stats breakdown, well done don’t foul, and it’s a fair call for the dubs score! That’s a point more than the drawn semi v kerry and exactly the score (amount) that Kerry scored in normal time, 1-16 and 3-11 respectively. Suffice to say, management would know all this and plan accordingly. Mayo by 3?

  7. Great article , Dontfoul , 2.14 is a great score but are the figures based on div 3 teams?

    its a different game when you are playing div 1 teams in a semi fiinal in front of a full house. mayo by 6

  8. Great work, Dontfoul excellent analysis. I found this site early this year and always found it very helpful . Sure both management teams know about it and use or themselves. An opinion here, anyone thinking of backing any particular outcome with your local bookie, I think the bookies discount the odds based on analysis like this like they do on ask sport’s being. Sorry to be a spoil sport. It does not take into account the weather, the a ref, hunger or an injury to a key player. 2-14 is allot to concede and would be Dublin’s worst return in championship, so for that senerario we’d need or shooting boots. I don’t know for sure but using my less scientific instinct I think our will be a lower scoring match than that, Three logical reasons for my hunch. 1 Whatever Jim Gavin says I think Dublin will keep extra bodies back to nullify Big Aiden. (Even more convinced of that following the genial Jimmy Keavney,s concurring with JG) Only Sinn Fein are as in tune as that! Coincidence Maybe? Maybe Not? 2 Mayo now are recycling the ball patiently until they get a proper opening meaning less shorts at goal

  9. I posted my shot for goals bit premature there. Less shots at goal means less Cluxton kickouts, this will restrict Dublin possessions meaning less Dublin scores! 3 finally Dublin will have to just as careful on possession as Mayo. So not a high scoring game for me. But either way I don’t care as long as Mayo win. So come on Mayo on Sunday. PS I have set my alarm on my phone for 3:43pm so as we all can pay tribute to our fallen hero, Darragh Docherty in Croke Park where he got to play and won on an All Ireland final!

  10. Great work there Dontfoul and no doubt time consuming. Interesting stuff but would this formula have predicted Mayo to score 6-25 v Sligo or Kerry to get 7 goals against Kildare? Its all on the day as they say.

  11. I retract my previous statement about your article being boring I read it again it’s a very good analysis I hope you are involved on the pitch with a team or with kids Dontfoul because we need shrewd observers like you well done

  12. Good article but I think with these two giants meeting each other that this game will possibly come down to a slight hitch in the battle plan, an unfortunate injury or an unlucky bounce of the ball for either team. I think Mayo will win the game but I would not be surprised in the slightest if the Dubs get over the line either. I would much rather be meeting Dublin in this game than in the final as they are vulnerable as a result of a succession of poor games where their finer skills and speed of thought has not been sufficiently awakened.
    Mayo have a great opportunity to win the final this year and if ye win Sunday I think it’s Mayo’s year.

  13. They scored 2-12 against us in 2013 and 0-16 in 2012 those scorelines are probably a more accurate representation of what they are likely to score if we break even in MF and defend half decent. our defending was average for all Ireland contenders in above games.

    Interesting re Rock WJ never realised he was such a good freetaker.
    Also stat on Brogan confirms how dangerous again he is. need to stop the ball getting into his hands. He has wreaked havoc against us many times

  14. To be fair Dublin were down to 13 men in 2013 and didn’t really bother attacking near the end as they were pretty much in control so that 2-12 doesn’t really tell the whole tale

    It was also a ridiculously heavy day, which sapped both teams and definitely kept the score down

    there are way too many variables in predicting exact scores, it’s a pretty futile exercise tbh

    I’d be fairly certain we ain’t winning if we concede 2-14 unless we go completely goal crazy tho 🙁

  15. Hi Willie….Hi All,
    My last post before the big game to wish you all the very best of luck on Sunday, I have no doubt it will be a swing of a point or 2 either way, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  16. Great article, refreshing to see a post like that put up before a big game. Its like reading the form of a horse before a race, but, as is said above, anything can happen on the day. Personally, I think wer gunna be dissapointed sunday evening. But im wrong more times than im right, and hopefully im wrong again on this one. If we do lose id love Dublin to beat Kerry, JOD was a biteen up his own hole in his interview after the match on Sunday, love to see him taken down a peg or two. Just watched that clip that was posted above, quality stuff, im chomping at the bit for 3.30pm Sunday. The strepsils have been bought in bulk and are ready for consumption around 5pm 🙂

  17. Appreciate the article Dont Foul.
    For those of you who don’t know Dont Foul has a bank of incredible work done in terms of how you win games, specific teams, specific players etc..
    If he is from Mayo he has got useful insights for the county team for sure in my opinion.
    I particularly liked the article he had on James ODonoghues 2014 season. He was probably the most out-performing attacker in any team sport globally and it was relatively uncommented on RTE. 70% shooting accuracy from play when next best was 50% if I recall!!
    What I find admirable about Dont Foul is that he is the last person to big himself up even though he was the first person to deduce a lot of interesting stats about how to win Gaelic football matches. I find it a bit similar to the Moneyball analyst who broke early ground in baseball.
    The thing to remember with stats is that the numbers are only telling you what your instincts know or wrestle with. They also help you to ignore one off incidents. Like for example do we struggle with high ball with Dublin? I dont think so bar one goal incident. I personally like stats, I cant bear analysts who get paid to provide analysis and come back with opinion based fluff.

  18. James Horan tipping Mayo to win by 3 on Sunday , and he has called the last 3 game correct . let hope he right on this Sunday

  19. To provide example there is article today stating that whichever team has more hunger will win. The hunger games 🙂 live every Sunday at 3:30pm.
    Iv played with and against inter county players and they have no on/off switch in terms of going for a ball and effort.

  20. I can’t wait for this game one question I have is big bird will play midfielder or full forward what do you think let the best team win

  21. I might as well sell my ticket for Sunday if this is true. If Dublin score 2:14 they will win with a few points to spare. I feel our hope is we score one or two goals and keep them goal less. I think they will score 3-5 more points than we will.

  22. Yea I would have to agree that I think hunger will be the thing . Who wants the dirty

    ball more. If its a pretty fancy game we`ll not win. This is going to be like minding

    mice at a crossroads. I`ve watched Dublin three times this year. It reminded me of

    indoor soccer. The ball never seems to be out of play. No respite. And it takes a

    fierce amount of energy to keep harrying. But……… that`s what will have to be


  23. Great analysis Well done to you. I dont like the sports punditry stuff you get on TV. i avoid it like the plague. It provides a talking point for fans who watch sport on TV. I prefer to attend games when ever I can and make up my own mind. The above analysis will I hope sharpen my focus on the game on Sunday. If Dublin win on Sunday I would expect them to have too much for Kerry. Think I am repeating myself here.

  24. Really interesting read dontfoul but then, it always is. And I like evidence over anecdote too, but the beauty of sport is that nothing is ever written in stone. I hope Dublin are kept to considerably less, but 2-14 is not unbeatable either. I’ve a feeling we may hit the back of the net ourselves more than once.

  25. You will not deny the Mayo hunger this time around.I truly believe Mayo will win on Sunday.And maybe with a little to spare too!

  26. Tactics for both sides will cancel any early advantage. Then it’s down to graft and very hard tackling. As I’ve said before, Mayo will not come second in the latter.

  27. All I know is,Bernard Brogan had hardly a tackle put on him in the previous games but maybe a new remedy of Higgins / Boyle might negate his scores to 0…that would be a huge stepping stone for us

  28. Great stats, there might be a job for dontfoul if the game ever goes professional. What it doesn’t allow for is big turning points, the biggest one coming to mind being MDMA’s intervention 2 years ago against Kerry when Dublin looked like going out and ended up winning by 7 or 8. He dived between 2 Kerry lads on a desperate lunge, punched the ball on and it ends up in the net. 3rd goal was icing. If one of our players does something unexpected in this game it could be the difference. My prediction based on gut an wishful thinking Mayo 3-13, Dublin 1-15.

  29. Sunday supposed to be slightly cloudy and about 17 degrees with no rain and no strong wind – That would be just about perfect for us – cos the heat defo got to some of them in 2013.

    You would think it would be high scoring in those conditions but its hard to tell what type of game either wants to play till they take off the tracksuits. Loving all the shadowboxing and podcasts and articles. Makes the week flyby. Pity Midwest had to ruin their programme this evening by bringing up ‘the curse’ though. Jaysus lads ?

  30. We are almost there!!!
    We need huge colour and voice on Sunday.
    I can recall the 2013 final where we did not roar and shout like we should have during the final 10 or 15 minutes.
    Sunday will be full of Mayo and Dublin supporters where as the final will have a lot of neutrals. I encourage all Mayo supporters to have flags and anything red & green in order to show support for our magnificent team.
    Finally we all need to shout and be the dominant supporters on Sunday.
    Safe travelling to one and all.
    Mayo by.. . 1 will do

  31. Great analysis Dontfoul. Based on the data and on previous encounters, it does seem reasonable that Dublin could score that much. I think if they do score ~2-14 they will win. Its the old cliche, goals win games! However I think Mayo will hold them to a single goal and if we are really disciplined and focused, maybe not concede a goal atall.
    If we do that (prevent the goals) I think we will out score them. Of course there are stil many known unknowns, variables, intangibles etc…

    And finally, yall should take a gander at the Elverys clip on YouTube… pebblesmeller shared the link above.
    Won’t be making the trip home this time but just cant wait for Sunday. #MayoProud

  32. Brilliant and well thought out piece, although most of it went clean over my head.

    Th day of reckoning looms ever nearer and I feel that this Mayo team are well poised to make the break through this year. We are now all well aware that Cluxton can and will dominate and control the match if he is allowed the mental space. Up until the “Pizza Express” fired Cluxton and ball over the line, Cluxton conceded zero goals in the championship. Two short minutes later and Cluxton conceded another goal. This tells it’s own story. Cluton will get rattled if he is put under pressure.

    Aidan is now a marquee power house of a forward and Cillian O. Conner barely can get a shoulder mentioned. Aido will cause The Dubs to worry and second guess. The super swash buckling Dubs, scything video game like through the meanest of defences, we’ll have to see now won’t we.

    Got to head off here. If the Dubs win they will have to fucking beat us. I feel confident. Roll on Sunday!

  33. They say you shouldn’t read the comments …. but I appreciate them all the same 🙂

    I know the numbers based approach is anathema to some. And that’s fine – its the differences that make the world go round.

    I had intended to incorporate Mayo’s attack into the piece but the 9-5 (or more accurately these days the 08:00 – 18:30!) got in the way.

    Yes 2-14 is high, and Dublin have not met anything like Mayo to date, but I’ve tried to temper the numbers to take that into account. And for what it is worth the bookmakers have set Dublin’s total points line at …. 20.5

  34. Thanks for the article Don’t Foul. Really enjoyable and informative. I really like all that kind of stay stuff. I think 16 scores is about what is required to win most games. Mayo may need 2 or 3 goals on Sunday I feel. So realky could be all about AOS….

  35. I am very pleased with my 1-18 prediction for Dublin on a previous thread calculated via a slightly different route now!

    (unfortunately i have Mayo at 1-14!)

  36. I think we will need 2 goals to win the game. Remember in 2012 when Dublin came back at us….well we had numerous goal chances to finish them off, Doherty, Cillian and Conroy all missed easy goalscoring chances. If and when they come along Sunday we need to take them.

  37. I admire the impressive analysis applied to games on the dontfoul website and the above (sobering) perspective on our upcoming SF clash with the Dubs is as commanding of attention as ever. For a long time now, sport has been using science, whether in terms of building physical strength and fitness, psychological resilience or using statistics to yield key data for management, etc. However, I would suggest that musing on such matters is best left to the back room team, and I hope and am sure they are paying due attention to the excellent analysis above. However, in terms of this forum, as fans and supporters maybe we should remember our primary role is unwavering support through thick and thin, perhaps accepting science but not forgetting religion has a part to play, i.e. faith. If, and I am as guilty as the next, we over analyse team selections, tactics, etc, we run the danger of undermining faith because we have no control on management’s actions and lean towards a glass half full mentality. Am not saying faith needs to be blind but let’s leave the job of management to management and concentrate on the job of supporters i.e. first believe, then get out there and show the team that you believe they can and will win. Who will forget when Andy Moran equalised the last time we faced the Dubs in HQ and did we, or did we not, question our faith in this team at a critical juncture? I don’t know the answer to that but I do know we should have raised the roof for those last 15/20 mins in support of the team. I say, leave the analysis to those whose job it is to examine it (and well done to dontfoul for providing it) but for the ordinary Joes amongst us, keep the faith!! Even Stephen Hawking now recognises there may be a “God factor” so let us recognise that. Despite the massed opinions of (definitely not scientific) pundits on Sunday’s game and despite the challenging target of the above analysis, there is always a possibility of another factor not easily explained and we should keep the faith. My head does not possess facts enough to convincingly deny the predictions of pundits or contradict the stats, but my heart says: Believe! Keep the faith Lads and Lassies, Maigheo go deo and thank you to this magnificent group of men who continue to inspire us all with pride in our wonderful county, the best of the best. Let’s make noise on Sun, not just when we are elated when things are going well, but when our team needs that 16th man. Now, for my non-scientific but faith based prediction…… Mayo machine to crush previously untested Dubs and roll on to deal with unfinished business from last year’s semi.

  38. Under Jim Gavin…….

    3/3/13 Dubs 2-14 Mayo 0-16
    14/4/13 Dubs 2-16 Mayo 0-16
    22/9/13 Dubs 2-12 Mayo 1-14
    30/3/14 Dubs 3-14 Mayo 2-17
    14/3/15 Dubs 2-18 Mayo 0-10

    Average Dubs 21.4 Mayo 16.4………Dubs 11 goals Mayo 3 goals
    2-15 more likely than 2-14!!!!…..Mayo will need goals.

  39. Totally agree with ye there Steve, despite being second best Tyrone had 4 goal chances last week and only took 1, even 1 more converted could have shook Kerry to the point of unsettling them enough to beat them. We had some mighty chances to roast Dublin a 2nd time at the end of the 2012 game and got away with not taking them. But 2015 is a better Dublin.

  40. Nice comment Dilis. I kind of keep a half eye on the numbers and ride along on the journey of it all. Sometimes they’re a topic of common debate especially kickouts.

  41. Honestly Dilis i think with the state the world is in at the moment, God has way too much to think about than helping us to win the All Ireland.After all when you look at it realistically football is folly, and having said that I’m just as mad about it as the next man.
    So for me I won’t be bringing religion into this particular equasion ..sorry

  42. V good article Don’t Foul. But as Oran Boy noted above, the sample is from Dublin playing poor sides this year.

    I think we have a much more balanced team this year, and are playing in a solid balanced way. I firmly believe we were the best team in the championship last year but almost everything went against us down in Limerick.

    If you look at the 2013 Final, of our forwards only Andy and Keith scored from play, something which I would be pretty sure won’t happen again.

    We now have a more focused but also balanced forward line, and a very mobile midfield. And I think we are more solid in defence now that we have a sweeper at times.

    One thing I am disappointed in is Hennelly not getting the nod ahead of Clarke. In this game of tight margins, his kickouts are far pacier and more dynamic. Clarke is grand chipping the ball out against Sligo or Donegal when they weren’t contesting them, but when the pressure is put on by the Dubs (or Kerry) the slow pace and high trajectory of his kicks increase dramatically the chance of not winning our our KOs. And we all know how key winning KOs are to winning games. I watched the highlights of the ’13 Final and I forgot how many incredible one on one saves Hennelly made (McAuley, McMenamon, O’Gara).

    I’m going with Mayo by four, 2-10 to 1-09

  43. Steve don’t I remember it well 😀 . Heart still isn’t right after that Mickey Conroy moment of madness!

    Tom- very interesting stats there, thanks for posting

    According to the stats, we will need a few goals to win this one

  44. I think Dillis was referring to faith in the non-religious sense.
    Like the Wright brothers having faith they could one day fly a plane as they believed in what they were doing. That kind of faith is powerful where supporters/team believe in the crusade. Crusade …. in the non-religious sense 🙂 I don’t want to start sending Mayo knights into different parts of the country to convert the non-believers.

  45. Come 3.30 on Sunday stats won’t matter a Shite.It’s the hunger and desire to win that will make the difference and there is no shortage of that in the Mayo camp.These lads hold huge belief in themselves and every man around them,that’s why they keep coming back year after year.Mayo by 3 or 4 points.Maigh Eo Abu

  46. Good piece there Dontfoul; always good to see hard data being used in analysis.

    That said, one could say that the analysis is based on past performance, whereas Sunday may not reproduce that pattern.

    The case against Mayo had been that with our full court press we were leaving our defence vulnerable to opposing attacks. How many times did we hear Joe Brolly proclaim that Mayo would be torn asunder by top teams like Donegal whose goal scoring abilities etc etc?

    The management have taken the defensive problem and, on the basis of the Donegal game, dealt with it effectively. Concession of 0-11 was pretty good going against a ‘top team…’

    Dublin are another ‘top team’. We can be sure that management are working very hard on the Dublin problem and will seek to limit the space to the greatest extent possible and will be as defensive as is consistent with building a lead and protecting it. I don’t believe that either team will go out to shoot the lights out.

    So, if Mayo’s likely strategy works, they will hold Dublin to a lowish score – Westmeath did this in the first half of the Leinster final – and can win by trumping Dublin in the areas they are strongest – power, pace and athleticism. Remember this is what they have been working towards all year.

    However, if Dublin get a run on Mayo, they will be unstoppable; think Castlebar in March. This is by no means unlikely and would spell disaster really.

    Let’s hope H&C are as inventive as they have been up to this.

  47. disagree with you PJB Mayo

    Clarke has proven it twice on the big stage against Dublin 2006 and 2012, I think he is the better option for now ..

    ok kick outs may not be as good, but does the basics far better.

    Mayo by 3

  48. Good stuff Tom. I think the key is to prevent the goals, if we do that, we will win.

  49. Spot on JP, no I was not talking about “religion”, and no I am not counting on “God” to tog out in the green & red either, if He is up there He has enough on his hands to deal with as PJ pointed out and anyway He’d have a tough time making the panel without some cheating superpowers! We can do this ourselves. A little positivity please guys. I feel sorry for the players getting drawn into all the BS, poor old Bastick sounding so weak as he meekly posited that Mayo are the favourites, no doubt on orders from the camp, and fair dues to Keith, no nonsense. Sure it’s great craic analysing it all, I do the same myself, but maybe a little less for now and lots more after, for now we need to focus on belief. Some of the comments here and you’d feel we should give up on Sun if the Dubs score 2 goals. For f@=*’s sake lads will yez give over and enjoy the build up and trust a little!! Sure if it doesn’t work out ye can all analyse the shite out of it after.

  50. I’m an optimist and believe in possibilities. The stats piece gives us all a fair idea of what it’ll take to beat the Dubs but absolutely it is possible. Both teams have hunger after last year’s semis so itcould be a few battles or little things that’ll win it. I reckon any team including Mayo will do well to keep Dubs below 14 points so we need to put up a good score and make sure if they do get goals they are very hard made. Concede 1, good chance, concede 2 hard but winnable, concede 3 and it’ll take a shootout like Limerick to win. Our recent championship average to them is 0 and 2 so 1 per game. I’d be happy enough if we concede one so long as we score at least one ourselves. Then it’ll be those small battles or one turning point that matters. And can our lads out hunger them like Galway did to Tipp.

  51. I am happily waiting for this encounter..and wish our men the very best. Let us really believe and never give up. Look at the team…coming back again and again and letting the hurt and disappointment simply drive them on to try again…they are bloody amazing. What other team in Ireland has taken such a battering in terms of not crossing the line yet continues to try with such passion. I am proud to say i am a Mayo man and I love that spirit…never let failure tell you that you’re not good enough. We are and we will…this is our time.
    My daughter is 10 years old…born in the Coombe and a Dublin mother and granny. But she is a passionate Mayo girl and loves the very bones of our county. I love ‘us’…Mayo men and women and our children and I know what this win will mean when we finally do it. BELIEVE…always believe in these men cause that’s the very least they deserve. My blood is green & red and I am more than proud of that. Always Mayo…

  52. Dillis Great point and I agree completely with your call to all supporters to keep, the faith. Our great team exists and some day soon they will succeed because we keep the faith. This is our secret weapon, so use it on Sunday when you get the chance.

  53. i dont want to come across as a kill joy to my fellow county men ,but has no one noticed that the curse is still upon us!!,if it was a shoot the frog over the bar competition we would have some chance with paraig nally togging out at full forward,but unfortunatley its not, so im predicting a much anticipated high scoring match loads of entertainment ,plenty of goals,six in total ,cmon mayo!!!

  54. Just to wrap up

    What was predicted (actuals in brackets)

    Score ; 2 – 14 (2 – 12)
    Possessions ; 53 (51)
    Attacks ; 37 (27)
    Shots ; 29 (24)
    – Goal attempts ; 5 (3)
    – Deadballs ; 5 (5)
    – Point attempts ; 19 (16)

    The big difference was in the volume of attacks. Mayo were very, very good at denying Dublin the opportunity to progress up to the 45. In the four previous games Dublin had gotten 72%, 84%, 80% & 81% of their possession into the opposition’s 45. Mayo restricted them to 53%

  55. But isn’t that even scarier, they got within 2 points of what the numbers would predict should be their scoreline with 10 less attacks and 5 less shots. they are in seriously accurate form and realistically Mayo need to maintain (what I think) is the tactic of early containment and kick on in the third quarter.
    Our accuracy let us down in the third quarter, if we get that right we have a great chance again.

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