Armagh SFC Final 2016 Preview

Cullyhanna v Maghery

With Brian McClelland

Cullyhanna enter the final having scored 5-63 in their four wins, an average 19.5 points per game. Whilst conceding a total 3-38; an average 11.8 points per game. Maghery winning four games scored a total of 4-59; an average 17.8 points per game. And conceded 3-30; averaging at 9.8 points per game. Notably Cullyhanna’s four wins all came against teams who competed in the Senior 1A League this year including the famous 1 point win over Crossmaglen in the semi final. Maghery on the other hand have defeated 3 teams competing in the Senior 1B League, a 5 point win over Wolfe Tones was their only opposition from a 1A League team.

Maghery are ranked the best defensive side in the 2016 Senior championship operating at 43% greater than the average team. Having kept two clean sheets in the opening two games and conceded no more than 12 points in total in their four games Maghery’s defence has been resilient enroute to the final. Cullyhanna are ranked second, their defence being 32% greater than the average team. In the opening 3 games Cullyhanna also conceded no more than 12 points in total but conceded 17 points against greater opposition in the semi final, however, vitally kept their only clean sheet of the championship campaign in that game.

In attack Cullyhanna are more productive operating at 21% greater than the average team ranking them in third place. A highlight from the semi final win over Crossmaglen was the high shot accuracy return; converting 73% of 22 shots, half of which came from play. Maghery are ranked sixth operating at 10% greater than the average team. Maghery are creating high volumes of scoring opportunities; 36 shots v Dromintee converting 44% and 38 shots v Clann Eireann converting 50%. Against a Cullyhanna defence which is operating at a greater level than Clann Eireann and Dromintee, Maghery will look to be more accurate if allowed to maintain the high volume of shooting opportunities.

Although Cullyhanna narrowly won the league title by one point over Maghery it was the Loughshore men who enjoy success in both head to head encounters. 6 points the greater side at home and an 11 point win away in Cullyhanna. The difference between both side in this years championship is only 1% in favour of Maghery. Maghery’s defence is 11% greater than Cullyhanna’s however Cullyhanna’s attack is 10% superior. Can Maghery use that 1% advantage to claim their first Armagh Senior championship title?

Prediction – ‘The Numbers’

Using a prediction algorithm, not considering league form, quality of previous opposition, experience in finals or possibility of a curse ‘The Numbers’ lead to a Maghery victory by 1 point.