Armagh final: A statistical breakdown

MAGHERY and Armagh Harps battle it out for the Gerry Fagan Cup this Sunday and BMAC Performance Analysis have produced a statistical view on the two teams involved in the Armagh final.

They looked at Maghery’s semi-final win over Crossmaglen and Harps’ win over Ballymacnab to pick some key stats that could have an impact on this weekend’s final.

Maghery – caution needed on the counter

Maghery’s 2-13 to 0-16 win over Crossmaglen came despite their opponents having a ridiculously high shot efficiency (80 percent).

The champions led 2-7 to 0-9 after an entertaining opening half.

Maghery’s primary source of scores came from winning their own kick-outs, with 0-5 of their 2-7 coming as a result of this.

They were able to win 8/13 of their own kick-outs, six of those from break balls. Their ability to get 13 shots out of 17 attacks served them well, as they converted 69% of these shots.

Cross had fewer shots but a better return as they converted 75% of their 12 shots in the first half. From 15 attacks. Cross decided to carry the ball into Maghery’s defensive zone with 7/15 attacks coming as a result of carrying the ball forward.

Fivw out of their nine points also came from play. Whilst Rian O’Neill (2) and Aaron Kernan (2) scored 100% of their side’s shots from free kicks.

Maghery controlled the start of the second half but four wides opened the door for Cross to get back into the game, and the Rangers were taking full advantage.

Maghery always maintained their lead though and Paul Forker secured their passage to the final with their last score.

Maghery were able to retain 66 percent of their kick-outs throughout the game, while also winning 12 of Crossmaglen’s 26 restarts. This meant that 10 of their 15 scores had come from winning restarts.

They had 15 shots in the second half and converted 54 percent of their chances throughout the game.

Although Cross converted a huge 80% of their shots, they simply didn’t have enough shots to win the game. Out of 29 attacks, they had a total of 20 shots, kicking an incredible four wides throughout the match.

While Crossmaglen only marginally won more of their own kick-outs (14/26) this only provided them with three points. Their ability to counter-attack was their best scoring source, seven of their scores coming as a result of turnovers.

Armagh Harps – turning on the heat

Turnovers played a big part in their win over Ballymacnab with John Toner’s side forcing a high number yet coughing up possession a number of times too.

Their ability to efficiently counter-attack at speed provided nine of their 14 scores against the ‘Nab as they turned defence into attack with 26 turnovers throughout the 60 minutes.

At half-time the sides were level with the Harps’ accuracy keeping them on level terms.

Ballymacnab’s best chance of scoring in the first half came from turnovers with 50 percent of their total coming as a result of winning the ball back.

They turned the Harps over 16 times throughout the half, with 11 of these coming in their own defensive third. This provided them with an opportunity to attack, which they did 22 times. However out of their 14 shots, they converted just 43%, kicking seven wides and dropping one shot short.

The Harps scored three points as a result of turnovers. However they also got two points from their own kick-outs, winning nine out of their 13 restarts in the first half.

The Harps had fewer shots than their opponents, but had a better accuracy return, kicking 50 percent of their shots over the bar whilst kicking just two wides and two short from their 19 attacks.

Armagh Harps played most of the second half with 14 men after Gareth Swift’s dismissal, but they were able to earn a 1-13 to 0-11 win.

Overall, Ballymacnab’s ability to win their own kickouts – 19 out of 21 (17 were won short) – gave them the perfect platform to launch their 37 attacks.

Out of these 37 attacks, Ballymacnab were able to have a shot at goal 24 times, converting 46% of these chances. Five of their scores game from winning their own restarts; while they also scored once from the five Harps’ kick-outs they won.

The Harps won an impressive 75% of their own kick-outs, which they converted to scores four times including the goal.

However, it was their ability to turnover Ballymacnab and effectively counter-attack which led to most of their scores. Nine times they were able to score from a turnover, while having 26 turnovers throughout the game. They also converted 54% of their 26 shots from 36 attacks.

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