With only twenty games remaining to be played in this year's Division 14, the competition is very much rounding the final bend. Three teams only have four matches left, and as such will not be able to massively improve their league standings.
There has been a huge amount of cricket played in Division 3 since our last round up - nine matches in all. Those nine matches have had a big affect on the averages, but there have also been some big changes in the league table.
"We should organise a 5 day game and call it a test match, that would be awesome", words from Peter Borren captain of the Netherlands and our special guest on this week's Slog Sweep.
There are two changes from the squad which played in that T20 title-winning game, Kevin O’Brien returning having fulfilled his county commitments this season, and we are delighted to announce the addition of YMCA’s & Irish U-19 captain Jack Tector to the squad for the first time – which we feel is just reward for his recent performances this season for both club and country.
Merrion’s A. Varma remains our leader for a second week, helped undoubtedly by the weather and the number of games that were not played last week. If this weather were to keep up then a large number of leagues are going to be decided on the basis of 20 over evening matches. However this has not deterred A. Varma who managed to increase his total by 75 points this week.
It all starts, in my experience, at the Club’s Annual General Meeting. As well as a forum for dissatisfied members and providing a opportunity to review the past season, the A.G.M. also sees the election of Club Officials, including the captains, for the next season.
If you are needing your memory refreshed, those three matches saw Phoenix beat Rush by 116 runs (with Samuel Anderson scoring 120); Leinster beat Balbriggan by 130 runs (Leinster's Joe Carroll scoring 94 and 5-39); and The Hills maintaining top spot after a three wicket win over Terenure (Ben Speake scored 81 for Terenure and Tomas Rooney Murphy took 5-45 and 34* for The Hills).
Civil Service 4 have dominated the season so far, and with only five matches left, cannot finish lower than 54%. It is unlikely they will finish in the bottom half, and have to be the favourites for the title. Behind them, the next five teams all have a chance of being in the shake up for the top....or the bottom depending on how things go. Dundalk 2 and Merrion 8 are adrift at the bottom, and need points - but with over half their season left.
Because of pressure with dates when determining the fixtures programme, the Alan Murray Cup Finals day date of 9th August was clashing with a Leinster Lightning Interpro fixture. This was obviously less than ideal and now looking at the teams likely to be in the contest would be likely to be seriously affected.
With low cloud, heavy drizzle, and worse enveloping Leinster yesterday, the only Division 1 match to escape the worst of the conditions was in Cork, where Cork County entertained Railway Union. Both teams find themselves in the bottom half of the table, and even at this stage of the season, the match had a feel of a relegation clash. That is possibly a little harsh - Pembroke and Malahide find themselves in a similar situation - but a Railway Union loss would have left them with a lot of work to do.
With 32 of the 56 games included in the league table (Adamstown vs Civil Service and Ashbourne vs North Kildare are not yet in), Carlow 1 and Ashbourne 1 have pulled clear of the chasing pack, with their players dominating the averages below
The following boys have been selected to the Leinster U13 squad for the Taunton cricket festival, being held at King’s College, Taunton, Somerset from July 26th - July 31st.
Merrion and Pembroke have advanced to finals day of the Alan Murray T20, being held again this year in Pembroke's home ground on Sunday 9th August.
A summary of Cricket Leinster's Youth competitions so far this season
Listen to this week's episode of the Slog Sweep
How many youth [U18] players are there in the top four OC Divisions. A mid season review.
Sunday next (26th July) see the finals of another two of Leinster T20 competitions at the Railway Union club (Park Avenue), members of which have a strong association with both competitions.
The normal start for evening matches during the season is 6.00 pm but this is obviously impractical in late season. When clubs are agreeing evening T20 refixtures they should acknowledge this and agree a start time. AS a minimum the late season dates when afternoon matches start times change should be followed i.e. from 8/08/15 to 21/08/15 start time 5.30 pm from 22/08/15 start time 5.00 pm. Clubs may of course agree an earlier time should they wish and in very late season it may be advisable. If so, website and umpires should be informed.