ATTACKING Jason Doherty taking the game to Roscommon in Monday's All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final replay in Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile
THERE were plenty of compelling stats from Monday’s All-Ireland quarter-final replay. We’ve referenced many in this week’s Mayo News, but having reviewed our notes and watched the game back, unsurprisingly, there are plenty more nuggets in there too.
Here are five more striking stats from Mayo’s 22-point win over Roscommon.
1) Mayo’s early dominance
JUST how complete Mayo’s devastating opening to the game is apparent when you review the attack numbers for each team.
An attack is defined as having possession inside the opposition 45’. By the time Mayo had opened a six-point lead, they’d had 12 attacks – arguably they should have been further in front.
Roscommon? In those first 16 minutes of the game, Roscommon had only one attack, when they won a 45’ after Seamie O’Shea tackled the ball from the inrushing Cathal Compton. Colm Lavin missed the 45’ and Roscommon went back to being under the cosh.
2) Mayo’s dominance of their own kick-outs
THAT David Clarke only had to take 17 kick-outs on Monday is telling in itself. Typically a goalkeeper will take at least 20 and often much closer to 30 kick-outs in a match.
In the drawn game, Roscommon put a decent amount of pressure on Mayo’s kick-out and Mayo won just 68 per cent of their own kick-outs, a figure Mayo would not have been happy with.
In the replay, they fairly put that right and of Clarke’s 17 kick-outs, 16 found a Mayo jersey. It helped Mayo that only four of Clarke’s kick-outs went long to a contest. Mayo won three of these and all of the kick-outs short or to space.
Clarke found a team-mate with eight short kick-outs and five kick-outs to space. The accuracy of the kicks to space was very impressive, though Mayo will realise there will be much more pressure applied to these kick-outs against Kerry than Roscommon managed.
3) Attack is the best form of defence
THE sword of Damocles hung over Ger Cafferkey after the Cork game, but he appeared to perform well in the drawn quarter-final, and we expected him to take his place in the team for the replay.
However, Cafferkey was dropped and as the game played out, we started to see why.
In the drawn game, Cafferkey ended up on more ball than usual. He had four possessions in the second half – believe me, that is high by his standards!
But it appeared that Roscommon were happy to mark other Mayo defenders, safe in the knowledge Cafferkey was not a threat from deep.
So, for the replay, Mayo played with six defenders who all like to drive forward.
This was proven by one remarkable stat. Every single Mayo defender had a shot at goal. Keith Higgins (1-0), Chris Barrett (0-1) and Donie Vaughan (0-1) all scored, Colm Boyle and Paddy Durcan were off target with point efforts, and Brendan Harrison had his goal-bound shot well saved by Colm Lavin.
In fact, only Seamie O’Shea and David Clarke from Mayo’s starting team did not have a shot at goal.
Mayo’s runners were coming from every corner of the field and Roscommon were overrun. Attack was definitely the best form of defence for Mayo.
4) Spread of influence
WE recall plenty of Mayo games where the creative or finishing prowess of one or two players was central.
Monday was not one of them. The spread of influence from all over the field was very apparent.
As demonstrated with every starting defender shooting, Mayo really hit Roscommon from all over.
Ten of the starting team scored. Of the five who did not score, three provided assists for scores. Only David Clarke and Brendan Harrison, Mayo’s two deepest lying players, had neither a score nor an assist.
Seven players both scored and provided assists, and no one player had his hands on more than a handful of scores.
Only Andy Moran and Aidan O’Shea set up or scored five times. Keith Higgins, Diarmuid and Cillian O’Connor, Paddy Durcan and Kevin McLoughlin did so for three scores. Kerry cannot review this game and say ‘stop AN Other’ and Mayo are in bother.
The spread of performances and spread of scoring threats will be one of the more pleasing aspects of the performance for Stephen Rochford and Co.
5) Ground football
IT was the type of day for Mayo when little went wrong. On two occasions Aidan O’Shea was grounded and still came up with super passes.
After 30 minutes a poor first touch saw him grounded and under pressure from two Roscommon defenders. Despite this, O’Shea managed to skilfully hand-pass the ball out and up to release Colm Boyle, who missed from a scoreable position.
Better still was his incredible kick-pass from the hands while on the ground, under pressure, in first-half injury time, right into the lap of Andy Moran. It deserved a score but Moran’s shot came back off the post. Both passes would definitely have been at home in the ‘Unbelievable Tekkers’ slot on Soccer AM on Sky Sports back in the day.