This weekend sees the completion (weather permitting) of three Leinster Cup competitions
The semi final line up for the 2015 Alan Murray Cup was confirmed last night, when the North Group came to a conclusion. The Hills, North County and Clontarf were all in the mix, but North County dropped out of the equation when their match against Balbriggan was brought to a premature, bad light induced end. Balbriggan were 34-0 at that stage - seven runs ahead of the DLS par score from five overs, handing Balbriggan a famous win over their neighbours.
Craig Senior looks at some of the more unusual stats from this year's Open Comps
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.
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
How are teams and clubs doing at about the halfway point in the season.
The two top sides in Division 4, Malahide 2 and North County 2 both faced tricky away encounters against mid table opposition last weekend, and both came away with the points.
It is easy to forget that the Division 1 season is still at its very early stages. Saturday's matched were round five on the fourteen match season, and although clubs are the bottom of the table will start to be worried, and those at the top will start to think of whether they can keep going towards the dreamed of title, in reality, we are still a long, long way or knowing who the title contenders (or relegation contenders for that matter will be)
Saturday's Division 2 league program was characterised by glimpses of youthful brilliance which more often or not wasn't quite enough to win the match, with age and experience providing the crucial performances to the winning teams.
The five remaining clubs in Cricket Ireland's two all Ireland club competitions will be generally happy, with three of the five getting home draws.
With only one Division 4 game played this week - and that in a league that is only a third of the way through the season - means that there is little change to this week's averages.
North Kildare 1 kept up the pressure on leaders Merrion 2 with a narrow four run win on Sunday. They were the visitors to Milverton, where The Hills 2 were desperate for a first win of the season, as they look to close the gap on the safety of 6th place - 61 points away at the start of the match.
Division 2 is shaping up to be a rip roaring contest. And after the result of the weekend's only match, both ends of the table promise to provide the entertainment. YMCA 2's 46 run win over leaders Terenure 1, has lifted the Claremont Road second string to mid-table, and has left other clubs - such as Rush and Leinster, distinctly worried.
There were three more matches over the weekend, with the fourth, the abandoned tie between Dundrum 1 and Greystones 1 left out of the averages until the OCC decides on the outcome of the game.
Charles Dickens had no idea that his opening words of a Tale of Two Cities would be so apt for a weekend’s cricket. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...’