Armagh Club Championship 2016
A Statistical Preview
With Brian McClelland
As the Donnelly Group Armagh Club Championship kicks into action this weekend we have scrolled through the archives to examine the scorelines in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior championships from 2013 with a total of 209 games. The results produced highlight the attacking productivity and defensive efficiency of each club and how they rank in accordance to their championship division.
Attack productivity is measured as a percentage from the average number of points scored; either positive or negative. The greater this figure is from the average the more productive a team is in attack. Likewise defensive efficiency is measured from the average number of points conceded, however the lesser the figure is from the average the greater a teams defensive efficiency.
Where does your club rank?
When ranking each club on an all county basis without considering the division in which they have competed in since 2013, it is no surprise that Crossmaglen are ranked number 1 in both the Attacking productivity and Defensive efficiency leaderboards. The level of their dominance is what is most astonishing.
The Top 3 ranked attacking clubs in Armagh since 2013; Crossmaglen, Tullysaran and Clann Eireann were the respective winners of the 2015 Senior, Intermediate and Junior championships. Similarly, the Top 4 attacking inter county teams since 2014 are the 2016 All Ireland semi finalists; Dublin, Kerry, Mayo and Tipperary. View the attacking and defensive leaderboards here.
The attacking supremacy of Crossmaglen (+0.77) is almost double of second place Tullysaran (+0.40). This means Crossmaglen’s attacking productivity is 77% greater than the average, considering the average is 13.5 points, Crossmaglen are scoring 24.0 points per game. On examination of the Attacking productivity rankings; 8 of the top 10 clubs are playing in the 2016 Senior championship with Tullysaran and Whitecross the two exceptions. In contrast only 3 of the Top 10 ranked Defensive teams will play in the 2016 Senior championship, although Clann Eireann are only promoted to the Senior division this year.
Many will be tipping Crossmaglen to win the 2016 Senior Championship for the seventh year in a row and it is difficult to argue with those punters. When comparing Crossmaglen, relative to the Senior championship their attack productivity is 66% greater than the average and their Defence efficiency is 54% greater. Wolfe Tones have been ranked second in the attacking rankings having only played 3 games but this largely due to a high scoring game against Tir na nOg in 2015. While Sarsfields are ranked fourth having only won 3 games from 8 with two of those games going extra time in 2015. Armagh Harps seem to be the best placed team in terms of Attacking Productivity to challenge Crossmaglen operating at +0.23; 23% greater than the average.
Maghery are second in Defensive Efficiency rankings operating at -0.21, marginally ahead of Annaghmore performing at -0.20 which means they are 21% and 20% respectively, greater than the average. With both teams meeting in the opening weekend, will it be a close low scoring game with defences cancelling each other out? Considering their relative attack productivity is only separated by 2% with Maghery on top.
For teams who place an emphasis on setting performance targets ahead of games, the average score of a winning team since 2013 has been 17.6 points while conceding 10.4 on average. The average points for, by winning teams has risen from 16.5 in 2013, 17.6 in 2014 to 20.9 in 2015. While the average points conceded by winning teams in 2013 and 2014 remained at 10.4, it increased to 13.9 in 2015. Will the 2016 campaign follow the same trend with higher number of scores? Does this mean that in order to win Senior championship games a team should focus on improving their attacking productivity?
The Intermediate championship is more difficult to interpret due to the rotation of teams to and from the Senior and Junior championships each year. Since 2013; 23 teams have played at Intermediate level with Clann Eireann and the Grange competing in the most games, both winning 8 from 11. Killeavy and Carrickcruppen competed in the Senior championship the past 3 years while Tullysaran have been promoted from the Junior championship for the first time this year. Therefore no data is available to consider these 3 clubs in the Intermediate championship rankings.
Five teams competing in the 2016 campaign are included in the Top 10 of the Intermediate Attack productivity rankings; Whitecross the best placed in second operating at +0.35 while their Defence efficiency is equally as good operating at -0.33 relative to the Intermediate championship average.
2016 Intermediate 1A Winners Culloville have had poor Attack productivity returns in the championship, relative to the average of the respective year; +0.33 in 2015 and +0.10 in 2014. However their Defensive efficiency has consistently ranked high; -0.31 in 2015 and -0.41 in 2015. With league honours secured and a consistent defensive record can they be considered the team to beat?
In order to be considered in the Top 4, teams would be aiming to be operating at an Attack productivity level +0.68 and a Defensive efficiency level of -0.27 relative to the 2016 average.
For teams who place an emphasis on setting performance targets ahead of games, the average score of a winning team since 2013 has been 16.3 points while conceding 10.8 on average. The average points for, by winning teams has risen from 13.8 in 2013, to 17.3 in 2014 and 2015. The average number of points conceded however has been less consistent in 2013 it was 10.3, increased to 12.1 in 2014 and reduced again in 2015 to 10.2.
The Junior championship has seen 20 teams compete since 2013 with Annaghmore and Forkhill projecting themselves to the Senior championship in that short time period. Lissummon topped the 2016 Junior league and only one point separating Keady, Clonmore, Ballyhegan, Collegeland and Dorsey in the fight for second place. All 6 teams, except Ballyhegan, have tasted Intermediate championship football in the previous 3 years.
The previous two Junior champions Tullysaran (+0.48) and Keady (+0.25) lead the Attack Productivity rankings. Keady also top the Defensive efficiency rankings operating at -0.43. Lissummon will be looking to carry their league form into the championship in order to complete the double. Their previous Junior championship performances can be classed as average; Attack productivity +0.05 and Defensive efficiency operating worse than the average at +0.01.
The low scoring history of the Junior championship in comparison to the Senior and Intermediate grades, gives reason to believe that the team with the best Defensive efficiency will have a greater likelihood of being crowned champions. The Defensive efficiency rankings illustrate the 3 previous winners as the Top 3 sides. In order to achieve this teams should be aiming to hold the opposition to 8.8 points per game on average.
For teams who place as emphasis on setting performance targets ahead of games, the average score of a winning team since 2013 has been 16.5 points while conceding 8.8 on average.