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Grassroots-gaa 100% Record on 2017 Football Predictions

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With the huge upset in Rathnew last weekend, the curtain has been drawn down on the Dublin senior football club scene, probably a tad earlier than most would have seen coming.

We’ll be selecting a Grassroots-gaa team of the year in the coming weeks, but for now, it’s time to take stock and have a look back at what has been an exceptionally impressive year for Grassroots-gaa in terms of making predictions on the football championship.

In fact, throughout the entire football championship, from ten games which Grassroots-Gaa did a full preview, we only got one game wrong – and that was the Plunkett’s vs Ballyboden game where we hadn’t previously seen either side under their new managers.

From games where we had seen the two sides play in the last thirteen months under the management team which they had in place, we got it bang on eight times out of eight. That included backing the apparent underdogs twice.

In six games we backed the favourites. In one we backed 11/8 underdogs, Vincent’s against Ballymun, and in another we backed 3/1 outsiders, Castleknock against Plunkett’s, to be an even bet – and they drew in normal time!

Not alone that, but we also came pretty close in terms of predicting how competitive/what kind of winning margins would be in involved.

Wondering what the magic formula is? Apart from what we like to think are a couple of keen eyed football analysts, we apply the formulae from the fixed templates from the GaaProStats video and statistical analysis software.

By the time you’ve taken “Zonal Kick-out Analysis” and “Zonal Defence Analysis” as well as “Possession Analysis” on both teams from a couple of games, you can start to see very clear patterns emerge. These patterns lend themselves to making pretty accurate predictions regarding what problems sides will face, and in turn, what you can expect to happen between two given sides.

Armed with the GaaProStats software, designed specifically for Gaelic football and hurling, it generally becomes significantly more predictable than you might imagine.

The software is available to download for a free month’s trial. There are no credit card numbers or deposits required, so why not download it and have a look for yourself – www.gaaprostats.com. 

So, with that in mind, take a look below and see what we predicted and what the outcomes of the Dublin Senior Football Championship games were.

St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER vs Castleknock

Bookies’ odds – Castleknock 3/1

What we said

“If Castleknock can get quick kick-outs off and consistently breach “the Killer Quarter”, I can’t see them being beaten”

“They (Castleknock) have the most technically correctly structured zonal defence in Dublin, and the players with the brains to correctly apply it”

“what I see as virtually a 50/50 game”

“at 3/1 for Castleknock to win, that bet isn’t the best you’ll find this year. It’s the steal of the century!”.

As we predicted, despite the 3/1 odds against Knock, this was indeed a 50/50 game with the sides tied at the end of normal time. Knock weren’t allowed to get off quick kick-outs and breach “the Killer Quarter” in normal time. In extra time, however, they did so five times and scored points from three. They won extra-time by three points!

St Vincent’s vs Na Fianna

Bookies’ odds – Na Fianna 10/3

What we said

“If you want to understand just how little, and why, Na Fianna’s championship form against Vincent’s over the last four years bears no relation whatsoever to what we can expect in Parnell Park on Thursday night, let me tell you a short story”

“If Phil McElwee had the summer to experiment with his side, I genuinely wouldn’t see this as being far off 50/50”

“it’s possibly still a big ask (for Na Fianna), but not beyond reason”

“You would still have to fancy Vincent’s”

As we predicted – Vincent’s won but not by nearly as much as previous years/the odds suggested, with a five point margin, and Na Fianna hitting the post, four points down, with fifteen minutes left. They’d been massacred the three previous times they’d met in four years, which was reflected by the odds.

Vincent’s vs St Sylvester’s

What we said

“With such a wealth of talent, it really is hard to see how Syls can cope with them”

“I can only see a Vincent’s win”

As we predicted – it was a big win for Vincent’s, almost making triple scores.

Ballymun Kickham’s vs St Brigid’s

What we said

“Playing with their efficient sweeper system (Brigid’s), it’s not beyond reason that they could get under Mun’s skin, but you simply have to fancy Ballymun as significant favourites.

As we predicted, Brigid’s caused some trouble early on, but were ultimately beaten comfortably enough, by eight points in the end.

Kilmacud Croke’s vs Castleknock

What we said

They (Castleknock) managed only six points from 22 attacks into blanket defences against Plunkett’s this year. They scored 2-4 from attacks where they had manoeuvred a man-on-man attack or created an overlap. If they don’t get the quick kick-out off against Croke’s, it’s difficult to imagine where these types of attacks will come from”

“When all is said and done, however, it’s going to require a mammoth tactical manoeuvre from Knock to come out on top”

“ You have to fancy the side with three recent All-Ireland winners and a host of former county seniors and recent under 21 All-Ireland winners.”

As we predicted – Croke’s just about came out on top, winning by a point, with Knock not creating a single man-on-man attack.

Kilmacud Croke’s vs Ballymun Kickham’s

What we said

“There’s simply no evidence that Croke’s can break down a stable blanket defence with any consistency”

“I think you’d have to favour Ballymun”.

As we predicted – Ballymun won with Croke’s trailing by seven points to two on twenty minutes at before they had a man sent off.

St Vincent’s vs St. Jude’s

What we said

“If they (Jude’s) can beat them, it will be all about frustrating the life out of them up-front and a combination of catching them on the counter-attack and scoring a bit more than a low score they’ll have to keep Vincent’s to”

It’s a big ask though (for Jude’s). With all the little details swinging their way, it’s certainly more than feasible. All in all, though, you have to favour Vincent’s.

As we predicted – Jude’s gave it a good rattle by keeping it tight at the back, but were beaten in the end

St. Vincent’s vs Ballymun Kickham’s

Bookies’ odds – Vincent’s – 11/8

What we said

“those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

“11/8 (on Vincent’s). I just can’t quantify that”

“Vincent’s are still the only club in Dublin who, even against top sides, consistently, score more off short kick-outs to the full back played more than 9.5 seconds after the ball has gone dead. This is the purest acid test of a side’s raw ability”

“ You’d still have to shout Vincent’s”.

As we predicted – despite Ballymun’s array of talent, Vincent’s won.

By Stephen O’Meara

@somearagaa

@grassrootsgaa