There is little getting away from the fact that Merrion are going to be tough to beat in 2017. Their squad is settled, with much the same as last…

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.

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.

Rush's best and worst of the 21st century cannot really be taken in isolation. The second half of the 1990s shaped the two decades that were to follow, and that is where we begin our tale.

The 2016 National Cup was a celebration of Leinster cricket, Laois taking on Rush to make the first all Leinster final. Rush retained their 2015 title making it the second time that Leinster clubs have completed the Irish Senior Cup and National Cup double. Merrion and Rush matches Clontarf and Malahide's feat in 2013.

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