Open Division 3 stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2019) - Vijay Anand Gopal (Clontarf) - 2329 runs @ 30.25
Most runs in a Division 3 season - Daniel Barclay (Pembroke) - 782 runs (2018)
Highest score - Niranjan Shankar - 161 - Merrion 2 vs Pembroke 2 - Sydney Parade 1 - 11 Aug 2018
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2019) - Mark Collier (Clontarf) - 139 wkts @ 14.88
Most wickets in a Division 3 season - Mark Collier (Clontarf) - 32 wkts (2015)
Best bowling - Glenn Kirwan - 7-14 - Malahide 2 vs Pembroke 2 - Malahide 1 - 17 Jul 2016
Most matches - Mark Collier (Clontarf) (2011-19) - 86
Team of the YearBatsmen: Waqar Azmat (Clontarf), Tom Anders (YMCA) (Div 4 (2012,2013)), Sean Rooney (North County) (Div 6 (2015)), Andrew Vincent (Clontarf) (Div 7 (2014)), Beant Bhathal (Merrion) (Div 3 (2016, 2017), Div 4 (2014, 2017), Div 5 (2015)) Wicketkeeper: Chirag Poddar (Merrion) (Div 6, (2018)) Bowlers: Aviral Shukla (YMCA), Jimmy Bansal (Clontarf), Gavin Hoey (Pembroke), Craig Mallon (Leinster) (Prem (2017)), Agnibesh Paul (Malahide)
Review In Open Division 3, all 54 games were played Runs per wicket for all teams - 20.96 Runs per over for all teams - 4.47 - Division Competitiveness 88%
YMCA 2 - Champions - (Pos in league - 15 (2018 - 18)) - Batting Rating 127 - Bowling Rating 131 - RpO for 4.50 - RpO against 3.76 - Youth %age (by appearances) 28.6% - Average age of team 22.5
Now that the model of promoting 2nd teams to the top two divisions has been removed from the equation (rightly or wrongly), the third tier can return to it's position as a nurturing of future talent and providing a place to pay for those who aren't quite good enough for the top divisions (and so speaks a ex-player who played a lot of cricket in the third tier). YMCA 2 had their highest league finishing position of 15th, their best since 2015, and that - in our eyes - is down to two reasons. The first is that as youth players get a year older, they get a bit better. Not rocket science but as key players from YMCA's youth system "graduate", they should be nearly the finished article. And with three of YM's key players this season being 19 or 20, this looks like a key reason. And the second strand was the arrival of Ian and Tom Anders from Phoenix, who both made a massive contribution to the success of YMCA 2. One negative from YM's season were the two losses to Pembroke, and it is difficult to get away from the feeling that Pembroke threw the season away rather than YM winning it. Those two losses to Pembroke, along with an early season defeat to Railway were all that YMCA did wrong. Pembroke lost to Leinster, Merrion and North County and didn't play North County at home. But YM could only do what they had to, and five wins at the beginning of the season, coupled with a run in July and August of six more was enough to lift the title. The team has two players on our Team of the Year, one from each of our two explanations. Tom Anders last made TotY as a 17 year old in 2013 for Phoenix 2, and since then had only played 13 games below the top level. Not surprisingly, he found Division 3 to his liking, scoring 488 runs at 48.8 and 10 wickets at 16.10. Aviral Shukla continues to develop into a fine all rounder, and was the team's leading wicket taker with 22 wickets at an incredible 10.09 along with 232 runs at 25.78. Since the 2011 season, 22 players have taken at least 22 wickets in a Division 3 season, and only three of those were at a better average that Shukla in 2019 - Pembroke's JJ Garth in 2016, Cork County's Muhammad Junaid Amin in 2013 and Clontarf's Asim Nazir in 2014. The side was pretty balanced, with four batsmen passing 200 runs, and five passing 10 wickets - normally the mark of champions. Davansh Singh continued his massively impressive start to a Cricket Leinster career with 19 wickets at 18.95, Sam Streek took 16 at 22.50 and 15 year old Jamie Forbes took 12 at an incredible 6.92. Forbes would have made the Team of the Year, but for playing less than the five minimum matches. His four matches for YMCA 2 saw him take 3-12 (from 9 overs) against Leinster, 6-16 (from 8.2 overs) against North County, 1-17 (in 10 overs) against Clontarf and 2-38 (from 9 overs) against Pembroke. 12 wickets at 6.92, a strike rate of one wicket every three overs, and at 2.3 runs per over. The 6-16 was the second best bowling for YMCA 2 in the last nine seasons (behind Yaqoob Ali's 8-16 in 2011) and the 7th best for the club as a whole. With the bat, Ian Anders scored 330 at 30 and Andrew Blair-White had 207 at 20.7
Pembroke 2 - 2nd - (Pos in league - 16 (2018 - 16)) - Batting Rating 117 - Bowling Rating 115 - RpO for 4.69 - RpO against 4.30 - Youth %age (by appearances) 23.8% - Average age of team 25.5
As was mentioned above, Pembroke 2 will possibly look back at the 2019 season with a bit of regret. They did the hard work of twice beating YMCA 2, but after starting the season with eight wins, three losses from the last five sealed their fate. Individually, the season has an odd look to it. But it is probably only odd looking to an outsider and presumably looks blindingly obvious from inside Sydney Parade. Plenty of well known Pembroke players played for the team during the season, Andrew Leonard, Bill Whaley, Jack Balbrinie, Kim Garth, Danny Hogan, Conor Hoey and more. But is was a younger guard who came out tops. Highest wicket taker was 18 year old Scott Ruttle, who took 25 wickets at 15.76, to take the second highest number of league wickets in a season for Pembroke 2, after Andrew Leonard's 29 in 2018. Leading run scorer was Diarmuid Tucker who scored 345 runs at 31.36, and similarly to Tucker, not too many have performed better for the team - Daniel Barclay (782 in 2018) and Sanil Gupta (383 also in 2018) were the only ones. But neither quite blitzed the opposition to make the Team of the Year, and incredibly only one Pembroke player did. Gavin Hoey took 17 wickets at 14.29 in the nine matches he played, the first time he has been so named. More surprises were the limited number of players who filled their boots. Only David Cosgrave (another 18 year old) got to 200 runs (201 at 22.33), with Srikanth Venkata Subramanian (13 at 21.54) and Bill Whaley (13 at 23.08) the only others taking 10 wickets. But there are another four or five players under the age of 20 who will be trying to force their way into the strongest team on the island next year.
Merrion 2 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 17 (2018 - 17)) - Batting Rating 118 - Bowling Rating 102 - RpO for 5.07 - RpO against 4.45 - Youth %age (by appearances) 14.9% - Average age of team 28.0
Unusually for Merrion 2, there season was over before May was out, with four of their first six being lost. But they fought back well, and although they were a long way back from Pembroke, only in 2013 and 2014 have the team finished higher. An honest appraisal of the team's season would probably say it was just one of those things. There was lots of talent, and lots of players had good seasons, but just in that crucial first few weeks of the season, the results couldn't be strung together. Beant Bhatal won his sixth mention on a Team of the Year (after missing out in 2018), and was pretty handy without being amazing 254 runs at 31.75. And perhaps that explains some of Merrion's problems - six scored over 200 runs, but none could average more than Bhatal's 31.75. Vikas Dhiman scored 323 at 26.92, James Hitchcock 213 at 23.67 and Timcy Khanduja 212 at 26.50. But to break into a 1st team batting line up with five current or ex Irish internationals in the top six, you need to be scoring heavier than that in Division 3. One more batsman did make the Team of the Year though - keeper Chirag Paddar scored 249 runs at 24.90 and had 21 dismissals. Nitin Sharma took 16 at 16.63, 17 year old Peter Forkin took 11 at 19.64 and 18 year old Richard Bisgood took 13 at 17.77.
Clontarf 2 - 4th - (Pos in league - 18 (2018 - 19)) - Batting Rating 103 - Bowling Rating 111 - RpO for 4.27 - RpO against 3.98 - Youth %age (by appearances) 19.0% - Average age of team 25.5
The fourth member of the Big 4 of Division 3, had a pretty similar season to Merrion. Clontarf 3 lost four of the first six, ending their season in early June. but in some ways it was even more successful, and the 18th place they achieved was matched in 2009 and 2015. The team had a bowling attack that was stronger than the batting, and how that attack was comprised provides an interesting couple of paragraphs. A couple of names for the not too distant future with 16 year old David Vincent taking 16 wickets at 17.38 (alongside 259 runs at 26.78) and 17 year old Ben McCabe taking 13 at 27.85. Vincent's 6-10 against Railway Union in May is the best bowling in Castle Avenue for Clontarf 2 in the last nine seasons, and the fourth best for all Clontarf teams in the Open Comps in Castle Avenue. It's the second time he has taken six wickets in the Open Comps, after taking an incredible 6-0 for the 5ths in 2017. Niall Delany took 10 wickets at 24.20 and Jimmy Bansal took 16 wickets at 12.25. Bansal arrived over the winter from Adamstown, and in the ultra competitive world of Division 5 had a career average of 36 wickets at 20.86. He found the more relaxed world of Division 3 a bit easier though grabbing his first ever Team of the Year. David Vincent may have grabbed the odd headline in the Vincent household, but older brother Andrew gets the invite to the proverbial Team of the Year Ball, with 273 runs at 34.12, a season return that was dominated by one innings in September. Against North County, Vincent arrived at the crease with Tarf in some early trouble at 3-2. That was as good as it got for County, as Vincent scored 121* from 138 balls. It was his second Open Competitions century, and the highest score in Inch for Clontarf since Vijay Anand Gopal hit 154 in 2012. The batting is completed by Rana Asad, who scored 305 runs at 21.79, and Clontarf's final Team of the Year player, Waqar Azmat who scored 208 runs at 52 in the five matches he played, all coming after he returned from the Dublin University season.
Malahide 2 - 5th - (Pos in league - 19 (2018 - 26)) - Batting Rating 94 - Bowling Rating 97 - RpO for 4.50 - RpO against 4.66 - Youth %age (by appearances) 15.4% - Average age of team 30.2
A real breakthrough season for Malahide 2, who ended up with their highest league placing in living memory (as long as your memory only goes back to 2009). The one slight downside is that most of those who starred with bat and ball, were still at the centre of things back in 2009, and the team was more or less nine old guys, 17 year old Ben Askew, and another youth player. But all teams have to start somewhere, and Malahide have strong foundations, and cementing their place in Division 3 is as valid a strategy as playing in Division 4 with lots more youth players. Agnibesh Paul was the one player on the Team of the Year, having a decent all round season with 312 runs at 26 and 11 wickets at 15.73. Alongside Paul, there were some of the great and good of the last 20 years in Malahide cricket. Nick Turner scored 224 at 28, and Callum Riches 266 runs at 29.56. Peter Saville also put in another solid season at the coalface with 18 wickets at 16.22. Ashish Jain moved to Malahide from Civil Service, and interestingly was another player (see Clontarf's Jimmy Bansal above) who found Division 3 easier than lower Divisions. Jain took 11 wickets at 19.64, putting his Division 4 record of 2 wickets at 40 to shame and his batting was similar, just missing out on 200 runs with 198 runs at 19.80, much better than his Division 4 record of 232 runs at 12.21.
North County 2 - 6th - (Pos in league - 20 (2018 - 20)) - Batting Rating 95 - Bowling Rating 69 - RpO for 4.66 - RpO against 5.55 - Youth %age (by appearances) 27.3% - Average age of team 23.5
Another team who will be justifiably happy with their season's work. On the face of it, only winning five matches all season doesn't sound great, but league position is paramount, and staying clear of the two probably relegation spots would have been the team's main aim, and this was achieved. Not since 2012 have North County 2 finished higher in the league, and that isn't a bad epitaph for the season. A future piece of research to be done with our large dataset, is trying to bring lot of variables into the analysis to accurately measure how good a team is in any particular year. For example, it is all very well saying that North County's bowling attack was underpowered this year (which it was), but if you are playing most of your games in one of the highest scoring venues in the country (which North County's Inch is), then bowling is always going to be tough. For one reason or another, Clontarf and Merrion each played two league games in North County this year, and on all four occasions, the opposition made over 250, which goes some way to explaining why the North County bowlers had relatively poor figures. The side's all time leading wicket taker, Manmeet Singh was once again out on his own with 16 wickets at 23.50. The other three to get past 10 wickets were expensive - Sean Sludds with 13 at 28.92, Anthony Mooney with 11 at 30.27 and Ankit Gugale with 11 at 37.73. These returns are ok if you are merely support bowlers, but when an attack rests on your shoulders, the opposition is always going to be scoring runs. The batting has a similar feel of being not quite good enough. However, don't let this overshadow the team's success - the batting wasn't perhaps good enough to challenge at the top of Division 3, but it was good enough to avoid relegation. Exciting youth player John Devane was the leading run scorer (and most consistent player) with 268 runs at 29.78. Manmeet Singh scored 238 at 19.83, although that included 102* away to Railway Union, his first Division 3 century since 2013, the first century by a North County player in Park Avenue we have on (post 2010) record. And in a similar manner, North County gets it's only player on the Team of the Year where Sean Rooney's 121 at home to Clontarf in May was the centrepiece of a Division 3 season in which he only played six matches, totalling 241 runs at 40.17.
Leinster 2 - 7th - (Pos in league - 21 (2018 - 21)) - Batting Rating 84 - Bowling Rating 95 - RpO for 4.03 - RpO against 4.70 - Youth %age (by appearances) 25.9% - Average age of team 26.4
Leinster 2 finished at 21st in the league for the fourth time in the last five years, and so will have their fingers crossed as to whether they end up in Division 4 for 2020. There was never really any impetus to the season - wins over Merrion and Clontarf in May may have raised hope, and a couple more over Pembroke and Merrion (again), but in the one league table that counts, the table at the end of the season, they were 11 points short of moving past North County. The main reason behind the problems look to be directly to our old friend - unavailability and lack of stability in the squad. Forty players played in the thirteen games, and remarkably, only Craig Mallon (nine), Abdul Ghaffar (eight) and Tanvir Hassan (eight), played more than half. It is therefore no surprise that no one put together convincing seasonal stats. Leading run scorer was JP O'Dwyer with 195 runs at 27.86, and the one hundred was from 16 year old Craig Mackay, who scored 106* at home to Merrion, one of only six games he played all season. The bowling was a good bit stronger with one of their number being the eleventh player to be named on the Division 3 Team of the Year. Craig Mallon made the Premier League team in 2017, so has a very recent pedigree at the highest level. That was for his batting abilities, whereas his 2019 season saw his leg spin bowling very much to the fore with 16 wickets at 14.94. Abdul Ghaffar took 10 wickets at 23.90 and Tanvir Hasan took 11 at 29.91 in his debut season in the province, which just leaves one more player. Finn Conaty ended up being a fixture for Leinster 1 as the season progressed, but that was due to his explosive start to the season. Against Pembroke in April, he took 7-27 as Pembroke were dismissed for 85. Unfortunately for Leinster, Conaty's performance still saw them to a 85 run defeat. Those figures broke a myriad of records though. Since the start of the 2011 season, they were the best figures recorded by any bowler from Leinster CC in Open Competitions, the best recorded in Observatory Lane, and the second best recorded in Division 3.
Railway Union 2 - 8th - (Pos in league - 22 (2018 - 25)) - Batting Rating 73 - Bowling Rating 89 - RpO for 4.05 - RpO against 4.53 - Youth %age (by appearances) 13.0% - Average age of team 27.1
A tough season for Railway Union 2 who finished in the top 20 in Leinster for the first time since 2009, but who may have felt beaten up after a year that saw them beat YMCA and do the double over Leinster. The batting really struggled, being bowled out for under 140 on six occasions, and between 150 and 160 a further three times. Not surprisingly, that comes through the individual figures, with only two of the forty players used getting past 200 runs. And when you take into account that these same tow players were the only two to get ten or more wickets, it is easy to see why the team struggled. Hamza Maan returned to Railway Union after a year back in Adamstown, and had a really good season, without quite imposing himself when he made the step uo to the 1st team. 248 runs at 27.56 and 15 wickets at 17.60 is not to be sniffed out, especially in a struggling team. He was beaten on both counts by Fakhar Zaman who scored 271 runs at 19.36 and took 21 wickets at 15.90. He scored the teams first home league century since Kenny Carroll scored 155* in 2012, and it was only the second time someone had taken at least 20 wickets in a Railway Union 2 league season - the other time being when Fakhar also did it in 2017.