We love a good bit of statistical analysis and that is what Sure have delivered as they have released a round up of some of the key reasons behind Tipperary and Dublin’s All Ireland Success in the season just past.

Sure is the official statistics partner to the GAA, making a selection of the data they capture available as part of RTÉ’s and Sky’s Liver coverage of games and on the big screen at Croke Park.

If trying to pinpoint the exact nature of the success of Jim Gavin’s Dublin team in becoming the first men’s team in history to capture five in a row of All Ireland triumphs then somebody might have stopped their run by now.

There are always clues though and Sure has compiled and analysed every pass, tackle and shot of both Dublin and Tipperary’s championship seasons, as well as those of Sure ambassador and Dublin footballer Ciaran Kilkenny, to shed light on the stats that made them unbeatable this year. 

Dublin Statistical Analysis:

  • Dublin’s shot efficiency improved on the previous two campaigns at 66% compared with 64% and 62% in 2018 and 2017 respectively
  • Dublin improved their ability to maintain possession allowing just 26 turnovers this year compared 44 in 2018
  • Dublin maintained a pass completion rate of 96% which is on par with 97% in 2018 and 2017
  • Scores from play were a key factor in deciding the replay versus Kerry. From play, Dublin converted 18 of their 28 scoring opportunities, while Kerry only managed to score 11 of their 24 chances
  • Dublin won 85% of their own kickouts and won 27% of all opposition kickouts

Tipperary Statistical Analysis

  • Tipperary scored 16-193 in the championship with 73% of their scores coming from play. This compares favourably with beaten finalists Kilkenny, who amassed 11-176, 59% of which came from play
  • Seamus Callanan scored half of Tipperary’s 16 goals during the campaign, which equated to a goal per game for the star forward. Callanan also managed shot efficiency of 70% compared to an average team shot efficiency from play of 58%
  • A key difference between Tipperary and Kilkenny over the course of the championship was the turnovers for and against with Tipp (54 won, 24 lost), in striking contrast with Kilkenny (31 won, 45 lost)

Ciaran Kilkenny statistical analysis:

  • Kilkenny’s shot selection appears to have improved year-on-year according to the statistics. While he attempted fewer shots this year, his shot efficiency rose from 61% last year to 74% in 2019
  • Kilkenny appears to have an increased focus on passing with his total foot passes increasing from 24 to 37 and hand passes from 145 to 176 between the 2018 and 2019 season. Despite the increase, he maintained an overall pass completion rate of 96%
  • The contrast between Kilkenny’s stats in the drawn final and his man of the match performance in the replay are also revealing;
  • He scored 0-4 in the replay, while he didn’t take a shot in the drawn game
  • His number of possessions improved from 37 in the drawn game to 43 in the replay
  • He also went from a personal championship low for passing accuracy of 92% in the drawn final compared with a high of 97% in the replay.

“This is the fourth year of our partnership with the GAA and stats have never been more of a focal point and part of the conversation in dressing rooms and water coolers around the country,” said Karen Murphy, Brand Manager for Sure at Unilever Ireland.

“As a business we know that data and research are vital to unlocking potential and improving performance.

“Our partnership with the GAA bring the values of performance and movement to life as well as allowing GAA fans to embrace stats as part of the experience whether they’re at home, in stadium or in conversation with their mates.”

The challenge for Managers hoping to gain an upper hand on Gavin and Sheedy next year though is not in knowing how good they are but in building their own plan to be better.

Data may provide them with an important piece of the jigsaw and it makes us feel far more intelligent about the games we are watching.

Watch out tomorrow for news of a special event which Sport for Business is partnering with next week around the Rugby World Cup.