For those of you who have the misfortune to read through all eleven divisional previews so far, you will have realised that all there is to go on are historical facts. There is not too much room for the heart in these predictions - just trying to predict how past behaviour will affect future performance - Bayesian statistics for anyone who cares.
With the leading run scorer and wicker taker in Divison 4 having departed to higher things (Division 3 with North Kildare), it is up to others grasp the mantle, and help their side to Division 4 glory. But who will it be?
Predictions are always much easier when some of the action has already occurred. At least that is what I though when this article was being researched. Unfortunately, one of my tips has already lost twice, so a change needed!
You will be aware of the situation with Merrion at the moment with the reconstruction of the pavilion. As notified, changing facilities and teas will be provided in Old Belvedere Rugby Club. All clubs are therefore advised that OCC has decided that until further advised the tea interval for all matches at Anglesea Rd will be extended to 45 minutes.
Early season news from the Open Competitions
The way scorecards have been collected over the last half dozen years has changed drastically. Over the winter Pembroke posted on their Facebook page a copy of the postcards that had to have rudimentary match details entered, before the walk to the post box to send it to Michael Sharp.
Division 6 presents a bit of a problem for someone wishing to pen a thousand words on the exciting prospects for the forthcoming season. Nothing much has changed from last year!
There is a frequently a sub plot to league cricket in Leinster, that oftens goes unnoticed, but gives an added touch of excitement all the same. The number that appears after club names is often said, but may not be thought about very often. First team cricket is the pinacle in any club, whether you are playing for Irish Senior Cup glory, or battling for promotion to Division 13. Those playing second team cricket are always striving to take that blinder, or knuckle down for that crucial 50 that may see them selected to the 1sts.
The predicting and analysing of competitions in Leinster boils down to five simple ingredients. A dollop of "How has this team finished in the league in the last few seasons", a handful of "How has this team been performing against this year's opponents", a cup of "What has happened in the club over the winter?", and a sprinkling of "Have there been any major signings or defections from the club?".
Every year throws up a division that is closer than all the others, and this is it. Some one is going to be unlucky to be relegated, someone will rocket up the table after a couple of wins in August, and there will be a battle royal at the top. All we have to do is to try and find out who will fill which role.
Division 10 has all the potential to be the plot of Netflix's follow up to House of Cards. Will the young upstart Slieve Bloom 1 dramatically steal the limelight and push on for higher presidential glory? Will Merrion 6 bounce back up through the Capitol after several years in minor positions? Can those stalwarts of middle government Rush 3 finally realise their potential, or will they be disposed of in a ruthless fashion?
Michael Sharp, Secretary of the OCC, outlines the important competition regulations changes ahead of the 2014 season
Another preview, another set of excuses. Division 11 for 2014 is like the first day of school. There will be a number of teams who vaguely recognise each other, but the vast majority have never met before, and will spend the first term warily circling each other.
Division 12 looks like being a league of two halves this season, with the nine teams nicely dividing up in to a perceived bottom four, and a top five based on a bit of guesswork. However, I predicted the winner of this league last year, so lets try again!
Let us start this preview with a little bit of honesty. Division 13 looks like being a complete lottery in 2014. A case can be made for all nine teams to finish in the top three. But where is the fun in that? So once again, without wishing to offend anyone, and in the search for a small bit of entertainment, here is the 2014 preview of Division 13.
We started last year's league previews, bemoaning the fact that it was too hard to predict any winners at this level - before going to correctly predict that Castleknock 3 would walk away with the silverware. So no such attempts at deflecting criticism and failure, let's cut to the chase. Who will Division 14 in 2014?
University College Cork were crowned Inter-varsity indoor cricket champions at the weekend following a truly memorable competition at Jordanstown.
Nine teams will take the starting line for the 2014 Division 2 season. With Dublin University playing seven matches, the first nine rounds of the league will feature one team sitting out each week, with Dublin University's matches being allocated double points. The 2013 Division 2 season was a one sided affair, with Clontarf running away with the title. This year looks much closer though, and most of the teams would have ambitions of promotion (Merrion 2 and Pembroke 2 being the obvious exceptions).