Open Premier League stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2019) - John Anderson (Merrion) - 3524 runs @ 53.39
Most runs in a Premier League season - Daniel Solway (Pembroke) - 851 runs (2016)
Highest score - Eddie Richardson - 194* - North County 1 vs YMCA 1- Inch - 22 Apr 2017
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2019) - Eddie Richardson (North County) - 194 wkts @ 16.40
Most wickets in a Premier League season - Eddie Richardson (North County) - 37 wkts (2015)
Best bowling - Jack Tector - 8-40 - YMCA 1 vs Clontarf 1 - Castle Avenue - 18 Aug 2012
Most matches - Paul Lawson (Pembroke) (2011-19) - 109
Team of the YearBatsmen: Stephen Doheny (Rush) (Champ (2016, 2018), Div 6 (2013)), John Anderson (Merrion) (Prem (2011, 2013, 2014, 2018), Champ (2017)), Harry Tector (YMCA) (Div 4 (2014)), Robert Gamble (YMCA), Jack Tector (YMCA) (Div 3 (2014)) Wicketkeeper: John Cassidy (YMCA) Bowlers: Oliver Newton (Merrion), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Naseer Shoukat (The Hills), Poonish Mehta (Phoenix) (Prem (2018)), James Groom (Merrion)
Review In the Open Competitions Premier League and play offs, 27 games were played, and 3 matches were rained off Runs per wicket for all teams - 22.83 Runs per over for all teams - 4.76 - Division Competitiveness 78%
Pembroke 1 - Champions - (Pos in league - 1 (2018 - 4)) - Batting Rating 124 - Bowling Rating 139 - RpO for 4.81 - RpO against 4.26 - Youth %age (by appearances) 5.1% - Average age of team 24.9
It all came down to a pulsating play off win over Merrion, as Pembroke lifted the 2019 Premier League title on a sunny end of summer evening in Anglesea Road. On top of Pembroke's Irish Senior Cup win, it marked Pembroke as the team to beat for 2020. But it didn't quite look like a dominant season only a couple of months before, when they lost two of their first four games (to Malahide and Merrion) to be in a precarious position. However, the last five matches were won (twice to Merrion) to lead Pembroke to a triumphant finale. By and large, they had to get through the league campaign without their Irish internationals, with Andrew Balbirnie Lorcan Tucker and Josh Little only playing in three of the nine matches. So it was up to the others to press for glory, and many did. Oddly. Ryan Hopkins, whose brilliant 54* in the final grabbed the headlines, wasn't one of them. It is quite difficult to pick out individuals and that is reflected in the Team of the Year. Whilst other clubs had more individuals who shone, Pembroke's was a team effort. At least seven players played a major part, but it is best to start with the one who did make the Team of the Year. Barry McCarthy's exploits over the last few years have been pretty well documented, with our favourite being that in ODIs he has the 6th lowest strike rate of all time (minimum of 50 wickets) behind Corey Anderson, Mitchell Starc, Mustafizur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Shaun Tait. In his first full season for Pembroke since 2014, he took 16 wickets at 10.56, and not surprisingly was only behind Merrion's Oliver Newton in terms of a Premier League strike rate. Pembroke's overseas player Shaheen Khan was the leading wicket taker with 18 wickets at 14.61 in his first season for the club. The strongest bowling attack in the division also had Jack Balbirnie (with 16 wickets at 14.63 alongside 243 runs at 34.71), and JJ Garth who took 10 wickets at 19.10. Five batsman passed 180 runs, but the only player we haven't mentioned yet to get to 200 runs was Theo Lawson who scored 222 at 31.71. But so much of what makes Pembroke tick is about the players who didn't get to 200 runs or 10 wickets - Andrew Balbirnie, Dane Heverin, Ryan Hopkins, Paul Lawson, Josh Little, Fiachra Tucker, Lorcan Tucker plus a host of others on the margins of the team. The future is promising down Sydney Parade way.
Merrion 1 - 2nd - (Pos in league - 2 (2018 - 1)) - Batting Rating 103 - Bowling Rating 135 - RpO for 4.93 - RpO against 4.43 - Youth %age (by appearances) 6.4% - Average age of team 29.7
With seven top three places in the decade Merrion were clearly the league team of the 2010s (Clontarf are next with five). It is difficult to be too harsh on Merrion's 2019 season. It is too easy to say that they walked away without any silverware, when they got to the semi finals of two cup competitions and the league final, with only the Irish Senior Cup disappointing. But that won't be much consolation to a squad that is used to winning. Once again the season was built around John Anderson, with quite brilliant 546 runs at 68.25. In the decade, he scored more senior runs than anyone else, with 5902 at 58.44, 600 more than Simi Singh's 5294 at 48.57 in second place. Not surprisingly, he is named on his fifth Premier League Team of the Year, a figure only matched by Simi Singh. But if you had to come up for a reason for Merrion's lack of trophies, it would have been the batting. Anderson was awesome ,but didn't receive too much support - Dominick Joyce scored 246 at 30.75 and Max Sorensen scored 276 at 30.67 .The bowling was beyond criticism though, led by overseas player Oliver Newton who took a brilliant 29 wickets at 9.79. In the entire decade, 30 senior wickets in the season was achieved 35 times, and only Stephanus Grobler's 31 at 11.23 for Cork County in 2016 was at a lower average (with Cork County with all of those wickets being in the second tier). His best was 7-35 against YMCA, a fiery spell that I was fortunate enough to see. Max Sorensen completed a great first season for Merrion with 13 wickets at 22.46, and James Groom also made our Team of the Year with 12 wickets at only 13.08
The Hills 1 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 3 (2018 - 6)) - Batting Rating 96 - Bowling Rating 120 - RpO for 4.40 - RpO against 4.37 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0% - Average age of team 29.6
In their 50th anniversary season, it wasn't quite a leageu and cup double, but a 3rd place finish for only the second time in the last six seasons, along with that Senior Cup win, wasn't the worst of years. The match that finally extinguished their double hopes summed up their season well. The Hills bowled out for Merrion for 198 and would have fancied their chances, before Merrion's Oliver Newton took 5-21 to bundle The Hills out for 73. On top of that, their other visit to Anglesea Road saw them dismissed for 110, a combination of results that meant we rate The Hills' bowling as much stronger than their batting in 2019. And that is down to their leading wicket taker and sole member of the Team of the Year, the legendary Naseer Shoukat. Shoukat was written off by many, before exploding with seven wickets in the Senior League Cup final. His form continued into the league, with 13 wickets at 13, to incredibly given him his first Team of the Year appearance. Even though the first 15 years of Naz's Cricket Leinster career were before we started Team of the Year, it still surprises that he hasn't figured in the last nine seasons. But there is no arguing with his selection this year. Joey Carroll took 11 wickets at 26.55 in his first season with the club, overseas player Daya Singh took 11 at 18 and Tomas Rooney Murphy took 10 at 18.10. But as has been highlighted, the batting was under-powered, and only Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin, returning after a year out, scored over 200 runs with 263 at 32.88.
Malahide 1 - 4th - (Pos in league - 4 (2018 - 9)) - Batting Rating 116 - Bowling Rating 93 - RpO for 5.19 - RpO against 4.74 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0% - Average age of team 27.4
Malahide 1's 4th place was their highest league finish in the last eleven seasons on record, but it could have been much better. They cruelly went out on "lower league position" after their play-off against The Hills was rained off. But if any of their three league losses had been reversed, it would have been Malahide who advanced to a play off with Merrion instead of The Hills. It is difficult to find too much fault with the Malahide stats - possibly one more quality bowler, and one more quality batsman and they would have challenged. Fintan McAllister and Damien Mortimer both scored tons to get past 200 runs, but didn't really excel past those two innings. McAllister had 212 at 42.40 and Mortimer 262 at 43.67. The bowling was similar. Kelvin Donnelly took 12 at 22.92, but no one else took as many wickets, and Only Damien Mortimer's 7 wickets at 16.29 really matches him for average. No one will write off Malahide in 2020.
Phoenix 1 - 5th - (Pos in league - 4 (2018 - 8)) - Batting Rating 91 - Bowling Rating 126 - RpO for 4.89 - RpO against 4.36 - Youth %age (by appearances) 28.4% - Average age of team 25.4
Everything that was penned above in connection with Malahide can probably be repeated for Phoenix. The simple fact of the matter is that this was Phoenix's highest league finish post 2008. Couple that with runners-up spot in the cup, and there can't be too many complaints. One player stands out a mile, and makes his second Premier League Team of the Year, for his second club, in his second season. Poonish Mehta was exceptional with bat and ball, scoring 340 runs at 85 and taking 15 wickets at 11.47. Benjamin Beecroft scored 235 runs at 33.57, but to be honest, the batting was always brittle, and none of the eight attempts were particularly dominant - perhaps chasing down Rush's 127 for the loss of four wickets being the "best". The rest of the squad played around Mehta, with Theo Dempsey, Matt Lunson and Ben White all taking 9 wickets, but the only other player to challenge Mehta with the ball was newcomer Amish Sidhu, who took 14 at 14.57 (and 30 senior wickets at 14.40 overall).
YMCA 1 - 6th - (Pos in league - 6 (2018 - 5)) - Batting Rating 119 - Bowling Rating 87 - RpO for 4.83 - RpO against 4.52 - Youth %age (by appearances) 31.8% - Average age of team 21.0
There are plenty of angles on YMCA's season, some positive and some negative. Three batsmen made Team of the Year, which shoudl point towards a dominant team. Jack Tactor (252 at 50.40) and Harry Tector (282 at 56.40) need no real introduction, but it may be surprising to know that this was a first appearance on a Team of the Year at this level for either. Robert Gamble joins them in the team, but as a rapidly improving batsman rather than his more recognised bowling. 262 runs at 52.40 was not some fluke though, and the team's 2020 captain looks like being a major player in Leinster next season. And wicketkeeper JJ Cassidy was the keeper with most dismissals in the league with 14, normally a sign of a potent bowling attack. But yet with all that individual brilliance, 6th place is the worst league finishing position since 2010. The stats would suggest that the bowling stuggled, with only James Parkinson getting in to double figures with 11 at 19.64. But that doesn't match the actual results, where each of the four losses looks to have been down to the batting not chalking up enough on the board. 184 against The Hills saw a 2 wicket loss; 185 against Pembroke was a 7 wicket loss. In pursuit of Merrion's 246, YM made only 172, and then in the 5th/6th place play off, Phoenix chased YMCA's 196 for seven. Who knows? A special mention for Rory Anders who just missed out on our qualifying criteria with 198 runs at 28.29 and 9 wickets at 27.44
Leinster 1 - 7th - (Pos in league - 7 (2018 - 7)) - Batting Rating 65 - Bowling Rating 72 - RpO for 4.07 - RpO against 5.81 - Youth %age (by appearances) 12.1% - Average age of team 28.1
For the fourth time in the last ten seasons, Leinster have come 7th in the league. Over the last eight seasons (which includes two Premier Leage titles) ,their average position is 7th. They are in that kind of position - capable of winning the league, but more often than not, flirting with promotion and relegation. They just about secured their remier league spot for 2020, but will need to dig deep to stay in the top flight. The worst batting team in the division (by a distance) struggled for runs nearly everywhere, and the only time they passed 150 was away to Malahide. George Dockrell scored the only 50 (64 in that Malahide match), and Monil Patel was the only player to get to 200 runs with exactly 200 at 33.33. Of the 14 players to score over 500 senior runs for Leinster in the decade, only George Dockrell and Carlos Brathwaite scored their runs at a higher average than Patel's 912 at 33.78. ANd although the bowling was a bit more successful than Rush's, it still wasn't much to write home about. Ony the ever brilliant Bilal Azhar got to ten wickets with 12 at 18.58. Reinhardt Strydom was the province's leading left arm bowler across the decade (167 wickets at 24.11), with Bilal next with 144 at 21.31.
Rush 1 - 8th - (Pos in league - 8 (2018 - 10)) - Batting Rating 85 - Bowling Rating 41 - RpO for 4.63 - RpO against 6.04 - Youth %age (by appearances) 29.6% - Average age of team 25.4
Although it tends to be the go to excuse when explaining why Rush bowlers some times struggle, the brilliant batting pitches and small boundaries in Kenure, really don't cut it this year. The Rush 1 bowling attack just couldn't buy a wicket - where ever they played. The Hills scored 243-2, Leinster 104-3, Phoenix 133-4, Malahide 270-3, Pembroke 168-1, Merrion 230-8 and YMCA 334-6. And those 27 wickets don't really go far when you share them around. Allan Eastwood took 8 at 30.63 and Jarred Barnes 8 at 39.63. But like Phoenix and Malahide, this was the highest that RUsh have finished in the league for a long time, and the club are very much going tin the right direction. Much of that is down to the massive talents of Stephen Doheny, who scored 376 runs at 75.2, to make his fourth Team of the Year, but first at the highest level.