Barry John Keane is shaping up to be the new Kevin McManamon.

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The importance of impact subs

BY SHANE STAPLETON

 

Barry John Keane is shaping up to be the new Kevin McManamon. No player has made more of an impact from the bench during the 2017 Allianz league Division 1 than the Kerry star.

McManamon’s goal from the bench was a major reason behind the 2011 All-Ireland comeback win and he repeated the feat in the semi-final against Kerry two years later. In fact that 2013 clash at Croke Park highlights the advantage of quality subs better than any other game as the Dubs brought on 2-3 worth of scores, a decisive impact. Dean Rock, before nailing down the starting spot he now enjoys, came on to claim 0-2 for a fifth game running.


It’s a commonly-held view that only teams in the top flight can win the Sam Maguire so we’ve zoned in on those eight challengers and the quality of their panel. We got a fresh reminder of bench importance recently because the winning score of the league final between the Kingdom and the Dubs was clipped over by replacement Bryan Sheehan.

 

It’s just so important for a manager to be able to trust men who didn’t quite make the starting XV. Kerry star Keane provided 1-7 from the bench during the Spring, and perhaps Eamonn Fitzmaurice was vindicated most in the league outing with Mayo, despite the game ending in a loss. Leading forward Paul Geaney had to go off injured, but in came Keane (1-3) and Conor Geaney (0-1).

 

Conversely, it can be so costly to have a thin panel. Monaghan could count on their bench for just 5% of their total and the vast majority of it by Owen Duffy (1-1 of 1-2) against struggling Roscommon. 

 

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In their biggest clash with the Dubs, Monaghan were in a winning position but while they got nothing from their back-up players, Jim Gavin sent on Bernard Brogan and Jack McCaffrey to score 2-1. By such margins, and so forth.


No county used more subs than Dublin (47) or saw so many find the target (10). Paul Mannion notched 1-2 in the league final against Kerry, and another day it would’ve been a winning impact. While the percentage return is behind the Rossies’, the Dubs’ bench has scored the most overall with 3-14.


On the face of it, Mickey Harte would seem to have options until you scratch beneath the surface. Almost a quarter of the bench scores came from a man who is likely to lead their attack in the summer, Sean Cavanagh.


Seven replacements did the job for Donegal but none more than once, while in just two of seven outings did any Mayo or Farney reserve trouble the scoreboard. Cavan are only slightly better than Monaghan in this regard.


Of course what’s just as important as having a scoring bench is nullifying the effect of the oppositions’. As such, this has been an interesting aspect of the league. Roscommon were poor throughout so it’s little surprise that the leaked 1-17 down this route, but Kerry were surprisingly taken for 1-16 by substitutes.


Dublin and Tyrone let through a meagre 0-6 but Donegal absorbed just half of that — perhaps suggesting their players can keep with fresh legs down the stretch. As the summer goes on, the McManamons of this world will again leave the mark.

sheahan

SCORING SUBS’ IMPACT DURING 2017 LEAGUE (% of teams’ total scores)

 

ROSCOMMON - 16%
5 of 1-9 - 6 subs (J McManus 0-1, F Cregg 0-3, N Kilroy 0-1) - Tyrone
0 of 2-9 - 4 subs - Donegal
1 of 0-14 - 6 subs (N Kilroy 0-1) - Mayo
3 of 0-14 - 6 subs (S Killoran 0-1, C Connolly 0-2, N Kilroy 0-1) - Dublin
3 of 1-13 - 5 subs (D Murtagh 0-3) - Kerry
1 of 1-13 - 6 subs (D Murtagh 0-1) - Monaghan
1 of 1-13 - 4 subs (T Corcoran 0-1) - Cavan
Total: 0-14 of 6-85


DUBLIN  - 15%
1 of 0-18 - 5 subs (C Costello 0-1) - Cavan
0 of 0-10 - 6 subs - Tyrone
1 of 1-8 - 6 subs (D Byrne 0-1) - Donegal
6 of 2-29 - 6 subs (S Carthy 0-1, J McCaffrey 0-1, C McHugh 0-3, D Connolly 0-1) - Roscommon
1 of 1-16 - 6 subs (P Flynn 0-1) - Mayo
2 of 0-13 - 6 subs (E O’Gara 0-1, P Mannion 0-1) - Kerry
2-1 of 2-15 - 6 subs (B Brogan 1-1, J McCaffrey 1-0) - Monaghan
1-2 of 1-16 - 6 subs (P Mannion 1-2) - Kerry
Total: 3-14 of 8-125


TYRONE - 14%
3 of 0-18 - 7 subs (blood?) (M Bradley 0-2, C McCann 0-1) - Roscommon
0 of 1-7 - 6 subs - Dublin
0 of 0-12 - 4 subs - Mayo
3 of 0-14 - 4 subs (S Cavanagh 0-3) - Monaghan
5 of 0-19 - 6 subs (M Bradley 0-3, R O’Neill 0-2) - Cavan
0 of 0-6 - 5 subs - Donegal
2 of 2-11 - 6 subs (D Mulgrew 0-2) - Kerry
Total: 0-13 of 3-87


KERRY - 12%
1 of 2-17 - 6 subs (J Barry 0-1) - Donegal
1-4 of 1-10 - 7 subs (BJ Keane 1-3, C Geaney 0-1) - Mayo
1 of 1-10 - 6 subs (BJ Keane 0-1) - Monaghan
4 of 0-13 - 5 subs (B Sheehan 0-2, BJ Keane 0-2) - Cavan
1 of 1-19 - 6 subs (S O’Brien 0-1) - Roscommon
1 of 0-13 - 6 subs (BJ Keane 0-1) - Dublin
0 of 1-21 - 6 subs - Tyrone
1 of 0-20 - 6 subs (B Sheehan 0-1) - Dublin
Total: 1-13 of 5-123


DONEGAL - 10%
4 of 1-17 - 5 subs (E McHugh
0 of 0-16 - 5 subs - Roscommon
0 of 2-5 - 4 subs - Dublin
2 of 1-11 - 5 subs (P McBrearty 0-2) - Monaghan
4 of 1-16 - 6 subs (J Brennan 0-3, M McHugh 0-1) - Cavan
1 of 0-12 - 6 subs (C Mulligan 0-1) - Tyrone
0 of 0-13 - 5 subs - Mayo
Total: 0-11 of 5-90


MAYO - 7%
0 of 0-12 - 4 subs - Monaghan
0 of 0-15 - 6 subs - Kerry
6 of 1-19 - 6 subs (L Keegan 0-2, C Loftus 0-2, B Harrison 0-2) - Roscommon
0 of 1-10 - 6 subs - Tyrone
0 of 0-7 - 5 subs - Dublin
1 of 0-15 - 5 subs (S Nally 0-1) - Cavan
0 of 1-12 - 5 subs - Donegal
Total: 0-7 of 3-90


CAVAN - 6%
1 of 0-11 - 6 subs (C Madden 0-1) - Dublin
1 of 0-7 - 5 subs (C Madden 0-1) - Monaghan
3 of 1-10 - 6 subs (N McDermott 0-2, S Johnston 0-1) - Kerry
0 of 0-11 - 6 subs - Donegal
0 of 1-9 - 5 subs - Tyrone
1 of 1-14 - 5 subs (J Dillon 0-1) - Mayo
0 of 1-10 - 6 subs - Roscommon
Total: 0-6 of 4-72


MONAGHAN - 5%
0 of 1-11 - 4 subs - Mayo
0 of 0-7 - 5 subs - Cavan
0 of 2-8 - 5 subs - Kerry
1 of 1-11 - 6 subs (S Carey 0-1) - Donegal
0 of 0-10 - 4 subs - Tyrone
1-1 of 2-17 - 6 subs (O Duffy 1-1) - Roscommon
0 of 1-15 - 5 subs - Dublin
Total: 1-2 of 7-79


WHAT COUNTIES HAVE CONCEDED TO OPPOSITION BENCHES

Roscommon 1-17
Kerry 1-16
Cavan 0-16
Monaghan 2-9
Mayo 1-7
Dublin 0-6
Tyrone 0-6
Donegal 0-3

 

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