Thursday 19 October 2017

Home where the heart is in qualifier campaign

McGeeney: Home draw for Kildare
McGeeney: Home draw for Kildare

A home draw in the qualifiers is worth its weight in gold, especially if it involves two teams from the same division in the league, an analysis of results from 2008 to 2012 shows.

Rob Carroll, who looks after the gaelicstats.com website, found that when teams from the same division played each other there was an 81pc success rate from 16 games for the home side.

Only once have two Division 1 teams met in a qualifier, outside of the last round, in the five years involved.

In contrast, all games, some of which may involve huge disparity in standards, saw a home success rate of 55.91pc from 93 games.

The 81.25pc home record for teams from the same division is significant because this weekend's qualifier games involve Kildare and Tyrone (Division 1), and Wexford/Laois and Galway/ Armagh in Division 2.

The research also found that when teams from the same or one division apart played each other at non-neutral grounds there was a 59.66pc rate of home success.

As the gap between the league divisions got greater (two to three divisions apart) the figure for home wins dipped to 48.39pc as the natural gap between the respective teams kicked in.

An Irish Independent analysis of home advantage in the league last year found that the success rate for the hosts was 60pc.

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