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All-Ireland Final: The Stats That Will Decide Who Wins Sam Maguire

All-Ireland Final: The Stats That Will Decide Who Wins Sam Maguire

It’s Mayo and Tyrone in this Saturday's All-Ireland final. It's impossible to call. The bookies have Mayo as slight favourites, but there's very little between the counties. The recent rivalry between the counties is respectful but the two counties haven't shared the GAA's biggest stage,   so we don't have much to go on in terms of forecasting this one. However, the statistics from the 2021 Championship do tell their own story. The brilliant people at GAA Insights have been kind enough to share on their stats package from the 2021 Championship and they tell a very interesting story about how this match will take shape.

From the importance of Robbie Hennelly to Tyrone's reliance on turnover ball for building an attacking platform, you'll find the talking points that will decide tomorrow's All-Ireland listed below.

1.  Robbie Hennelly is Mayo's most important player

Robbie Hennelly is Mayo’s most important player. He might even more important than Niall Morgan is for Tyrone.

Just look at these numbers:

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  • 90% of his kickouts have been won this year
  • Mayo reaped 7-46 scored from his kickout
  • Compare that against just 0-7 conceded from the Mayo kickout, including crucially a single point in the Connacht final and All-Ireland semifinal
  • Hennelly is 4 for 6 from dead ball frees

2. Turnover ball will be a vital attacking platform for both counties in the All-Ireland final, especially Tyrone

  • Tyrone get 55% of their scores from turnovers
  • Mayo get 49% of their scores from turnovers

3. The stats show both counties have rigid defenses, but Mayo’s defence is more ruthless 

  • Tyrone: allowed .35 points per possession
  • Mayo: allowed .31 points per possession

For comparison, Dublin and Kerry typically score around 0.6 points per possession.

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4. The stats show that Mayo are more comfortable pressing higher up the field

Both counties have brilliant defenses, but Mayo's is high press is more effective in creating a scoring platform.

71% of turnovers won by Tyrone that end up in shots have been in their own third. Compare that against the same stats for Mayo: 50% of turnovers won by Mayo that end up in shots have in their own third, while 38% have been in the in the middle third.

5. How the kickouts will shake down 

We know Niall Morgan has no issues with kicking long in tomorrow's All-Ireland final. As for kicking short, Tyrone allow 80% of short kickouts, while Mayo allow 50% of short kickouts. Quite a difference. 

GAA Insights is a leading provider of sports data and insights in the areas of Gaelic Football, Hurling, Camogie and Handball. Since 2016, they have worked with numerous, successful Inter-county and club teams across all codes. For more information, contact [email protected]

Donny Mahoney
Article written by
Donny Mahoney is Chief Sportswriter and one of the founders of Balls.ie

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