In Galway’s last three championship encounters they have made excellent starts and opened up big leads against their opposition. These great starts have been followed by periods in the game where they have let the opposition significantly reduce their lead.
Look back at some periods in the last three games.
- After 20 minutes and 30 seconds of Galway’s All Ireland Semi Final replay against Clare they led by 9 points. In the end they claimed victory by one point.
- 17 minutes had been played of the All Ireland Semi Final the week before and they led Clare by 9 points. The game ended up as a draw.
- After 24 minutes in their Leinster Final replay against Kilkenny the Tribesmen led by 10 points. After 55 minutes they only led the cats by a point but they recovered very well to show their quality and win by 7 points.
Why are these lull periods in play occurring?
A regression in the standard of Galway’s decision making when in possession is one reason for their lull periods in the games. We have some stats and examples below to back up the argument.
In Galway’s two games against Clare, the Banner men changed their set up which would have altered the picture a Galway defender was seeing when moving the ball out of defence and in to attack.
The changes in the set up by Clare seemed to be influencing the standard of Galway decision making being made.
But what we show below is that many of the poor decisions were self inflicted and not all down to Clare pressure.
Galway have control of these lull periods and can ensure that they don’t experience another lull period in the final.
Using the All Ireland Semi Final Replay as an example we see the possession use and scoring stats for each Galway player in the opening 21 minutes of the game compared with the next 20 minutes of the game.
Table from first minute of game to the 21st minute of game.
The table below highlights Galway’s excellent passing and shooting accuracy from play in the opening 21 minutes of the game. Their decision making after receiving short puck outs was excellent.
Their decision making during broken play helped them to work the ball through the lines of the field. The spare Clare player’s influence was being nullified in the game.
Table above shows Galway having a 78.78% passing success rate from their outfield players.
The Tribesmen’s shooting accuracy on goal was 75 %.
Table from the 21st minute of game to the 41st minute of game.
What we can see here is Galway’s passing accuracy had reduced to 44.44% from the 21st to 41st minute of the game.
Their shooting accuracy had regressed to 20%.
In this time the Clare team did flood the middle area of the field and their half back line. We will show below some poor decisions made by Galway players in possession which contributed to Galway’s poor performance over these minutes.
In first half
21 minutes and 10 seconds:
Niall Burke took on a shot under pressure and dropped it short. At this time he had Conor Cooney unmarked to his right. Clare were able to work the ball up the pitch to score a point. (See graphic below)
21 minutes and 39 seconds:
Skehill hits puck out aimed at Canning over the side-line.
22 minutes and 23 seconds:
Adrian Tuohy solos through the centre of the pitch and in to the Clare half. He gets hooked trying to hit a shot. When instead the best decision was to stay running at space where he could have drawn another Clare player and popped a pass to a team mate. (See graphic below)
22 minutes and 40 seconds:
Aidan Harte wins the breaking ball from a clearance but hits the ball out over the side-line. He had two Galway players free for a pass in the middle of the pitch.
23 minutes and 35 seconds:
Padraic Mannion takes a puck out off James Skehill. Mannion has Aidan Harte unmarked available for a pass on his inside but instead he hits a long clearance on the sideline which Colm Galvin collects in the Clare half of pitch. (See graphic below)
24 minutes and 49 seconds
Adrian Tuohy hits a clearance over the side-line when he had David Burke free for a pass in the centre of the pitch. (See graphic below)
27 minutes and 20 seconds
Skehill hits a puck out to the wing on top Johnny Glynn. No Galway player has read the puck out and gone to the get on a possible break. Glynn is surrounded by 3 Clare players and Clare win back possession. (See graphic below)
30 minutes and 25 seconds
Coen’s hand pass is poor when trying to transfer the sliotar to Conor Whelan who is free. This would have created a point scoring opportunity. Galway end up losing possession. (See graphic below)
31 minutes and 7 seconds
Aidan Harte hits a poor clearance under no pressure and Galway lose possession . At the time he had David Burke free for the pass but the poor execution puts Burke under pressure and Clare win back possession.
35 minutes and 36 seconds
Tuohy hits a clearance towards Glynn but Clare are able to break the ball to their spare man in defence. At the time he had David Burke free ahead of him looking for the pass in the middle of the pitch. (See graphic below)
The examples above show how Galway need to compose themselves and adapt quicker when an opposition changes their set up as it is effecting their composure on the ball.