Welcome to new season from OCC As the new season kicks off in earnest the OCC wishes to remind clubs, administrators, captains and players of some things that will make the running of LCU competitions more smooth and easier for all.
I'm sure that for the 232 players who competed in Division 3 last season, and perhaps for a few diehard supporters as well, the 2016 title race went down as a classic.
The regulations for League Divisions 1-4 and related cups specify the use of the current version of DLS. This is Version 2 which has replaced Versions 1 and 1.1 which were in use last season.
Railway Union advised OCC that due to insufficient player numbers they would have to withdraw a team. After discussion, it has been agreed with them that this will be their Division 9 team. Please note therefore that your fixtures against them are cancelled.
From the outside, Division 6 looks like a league that no one wants to be in. 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams residing here should really be playing at a higher level if a club has aspirations to improve. Seven teams fall into that category, with the only one who wants to be here (and in fairness has no choice!) is Merrion 5. Of the other seven, only two will have the opportunity of promotion to the promised land of Division 5, and for two teams, there will be the nightmare of dropping eveb further down the ladder.
Our last league preview looked at Division 5, and was full of optimism for teams who by and large had a good chance of winning the league Division 7 is similar - most of the teams have a good chance of winning the trophy. There is a difference however, that difference being that the majority of the eight teams in Division 7 look to be prime relegation material.
But to be perfectly honest. we could have also said that they we wanted to have a look at Division 5 because it is so darn interesting. Division 5 this year has everything - nine teams, who all could realistically say that they have a chance of winning; a few up and coming teams who could surprise a few; a couple of established teams experiencing slight decline; and a couple of champion teams who are there to be shot down.
Division 8 will be a seven team division in 2017, and even at this early stage, it looks as if those 42 matches will lead to a table of two halves with a definite top four and a bottom three. To see who we think will be in each half, read on.
Many of our league reviews so far have predicted that teams will finish in approximately the same order as they finished last year. Teams that were relegated from above should stay too strong, those that are promoted from below will find it too tough. But Division 9 looks as if it could be a bit different. And so at the risk of looking stupid come September, our Division 9 preview has some slightly left field predictions.
Division 10 has the honour of starting the 2017 season, when Cabinteely 1 travel to Tymon Park this Saturday, to play Clondalkin 1. It will be the first of over a thousand Open Competitions matches over the summer. This league is a multi-county affair, with three of Dublin's counties, along with Longford, Wicklow, Westmeath and Louth all represented. There will be some kilometres on the cars of Division 10 players this year!
Ringcommons 1 and Clondalkin 1 ran away with Division 11 in 2016, but this year's episode looks a much closer affair. Sxx of the teams were in Division 11 last year, with newcomers Ashbourne 1 and North Kildare 3 joining Clontarf 5, Rush 3, The Hills 3, Lucan 1, Terenure 3 and Merrion 6. Where Ashbourne and North Kildare fit into the general scheme of things will be crucial in how things pan out come the autumn.
Division 12 is going to throw up some fascinating matches in 2017. Let us cast our mind back to 2012. Leinster 5 were flying high in 60th place in the league structure - a solid Division 8 side. North County 4 weren't too far behind - in Division 9. At the other end of the scale Balbriggan 3 were struggling at the bottom of Division 16, finishing in 115th place.
Division 13 will throw up an intriguing possibility for at least three of the seven teams competing this season. All seven have had tough times over the last few seasons. Some are on the way back up, some are still on the way down. But most are capable of pulling off a few surprise victories, and for the three teams that fill the medal positions, they will at least know that the rot of recent years has been reversed.
The General Playing Regulations and the Competition Regulations for all league divisions and all weekend cup competitions are now on the Cricket Leinster website. The regulations for the various T20 competitions will be posted shortly. The main changes from 2016 are highlighted below. In addition to these there are changes of wording in some regulations for clarification purposes.
Seven teams will embark on the good ship Division 14 for the 2014 season. To find out which ones will sink to the bottom of the sea, and which ones will break the records for circumnavigating the globe, read on.
Division 15 throws up something of a clash of the old versus the new for 2017. Ringcommons have added a second team to their all conquering first team of the last five years; Dublin 15's Tyrrelstown enter the leagues for the first time after several years in cup competitions, and Carlow 2 start their second season after a promisgin debut last time out.