Division 8 stats
Leading all time run scorer (2011-2018) - Nicky Fusco (Wicklow County) - 1816 runs @ 30.78
Most runs in a Division 8 season - Nadun Srimal Jasinghe (Bagenalstown) - 582 runs (2014)
Highest score - Ryan Tobin (The Hills) - 169* - The Hills 3 vs Laois 2 - The Vineyard - 23 June 2018
Leading all time wicket taker (2011-2018) - Sohail Qaisar (Knockharley) - 63 wkts @ 14.11
Most wickets in a Division 8 season - Ali Qasim (Balbriggan) - 29 wkts (2011)
Best bowling - Chris Siddell (Malahide) - 7-11 - Malahide 4 vs Dundalk 1 - Malahide 1 - 27 Apr 2014
Highest team score - 354-8 - Knockharley 2 vs The Hills 3 - Margaretstown - 15 Sep 2018
Lowest team score - 32 all out - Dublin Univ 2 v Knockharley 2 - Kentstown - 30 May 2015
Most Matches in Division 8 (2011-2018) - Nicky Fusco (Wicklow County) - 64 (2011-2018)
Cricket Leinster's new website will be launching in the spring, but until then all player stats for the last eight seasons can be found at https://www2.cricketstatz.com/ss/web.aspx?mode=104&club=4530&team=.
Team of the Year (listed in the order, five batsmen/one wicketkeeper/five bowlers)
Batsmen: Jobin Thomas (Ashbourne) (Div 11, 2017; Div 13, 2016), Ryan Tobin (The Hills) (Div 9, 2016), Nicky Fusco (Wicklow County) (Div 8, 2013), Sk Ahmed Zibran Shovon (Pembroke) (Div 7 2015; Div 8, 2017), Ebin Paiva (Swords)
Wicketkeeper: Benlee Muttathottil (Swords) (Div 8, 2017; Div 9, 2016)
Bowlers: Ashane Wijesinghe (Pembroke), Rohan Raikar (Wicklow County) (Div 9, 2017), Rajesh Adi (Knockharley) (Div 14, 2016; Div 15, 2017), Muralidhar Ng (Swords), Kiran Patil (North County)
Runs per wicket for all teams - 20.87 Runs per over for all teams - 4.62
Swords 1 - Champions - (Pos in league - 58 (2017 - 60)) - Batting Rating 107 - Bowling Rating 120 - RpO for 4.13 - RpO against 4.19 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%
In an achievement that may have gone under the radar in much of Leinster, Swords 1 won the club's first ever league title and the team's ever first trophy, when they pipped Laois 2 by 14 points after finishing with the same win/loss record - 10 wins and 4 losses. Laois won both matches between the two sides, Swords lost the home matches against Knockharley and Ashbourne as well. So it would be easy to describe Swords' title as not convincing, but that would be unfair. In one of the hardest fought divisions, they came out on top, breaking into the top 60 in Leinster for the first time, but staying at the 30th best first team. Three pillars of Swords made our Team of the Year - one batsman, one bowler and a keeper. Keeper Benlee Muttathottil equalled his 2016 record of most dismissals by a Swords 1 keeper, but it was with the bat that he made most impact. His 453 runs at 37.75 was the highest ever scored in a league season for Swords 1. It was also the third season in a row that Muttathottil made our Team of the Year. Ebin Paiva scord 359 runs at 39.89, and is now the second highest run scorer for Swords in all cricket (with 1656 at 33.12), behind only Manoj Jacob's 2098 at 22.08. Muralidhar Ng was the final member of the triumvirate with 19 wickets at 12. Sreekanth Gopalakrishnan had an awesome all round season with 296 runs at 26.91 and 19 wickets at 14.37 and Jinu George took 18 wickets at 18.67.
Laois 2 - Runners up - (Pos in league - 59 (2017 - 56)) - Batting Rating 111 - Bowling Rating 105 - RpO for 4.89 - RpO against 4.48 - Youth %age (by appearances) 13.0%
There's an argument to say that the one player who was instrumental in Laois' second place in Division 8 was Yasir Mir. The ex Mullingar, and current North County has taken a bit of a liking to Laois 2 over the last couple of seasons. In four previous matches over the last 12 months, Mir had scored 49 runs at 16 and taken nine wickets at just over 14. So when he walked to the wicket with the eventual bottom of the table North County 3 already at 62-5, Laois may have been wary, but not necessarily scared. Mir then hit his highest ever score of 84 as North County got to 224-9. Still shell shocked, Mir took the first wicket to fall, adding a second a while later, as Laois went down by over 100 runs. One more win was all Laois needed all season. All that is slightly unfair to the undoubted Laois start, Usama Raees, who dazzled with 382 runs at 29.38 and 24 wickets at 17. Neither facet was enough to get into our Team of the Year, but it was the second highest number if runs in a Laois 2 league season, and the second highest number of wickets as well. Umer Akram took 20 wickets at 20.85, Mohammed Sheraz took 16 at 17.56, Faisal Khalid 13 at 24.15 and Chinmay Venu Madhav Avula 12 at 26.17. With the bat, both Muhammd Kashif and Hassan Munawar scored 236 runs at 23.6.
Knockharley 2 - 3rd - (Pos in league - 60 (2017 - 63)) - Batting Rating 107 - Bowling Rating 105 - RpO for 5.17 - RpO against 4.25 - Youth %age (by appearances) 12.6%
The highlight of the Knockharley 2 season has to be on the season's penultimate weekend, when they travelled to Margaretstown to take on The Hills 3. It was the second Open Comps match to be held on the ground, with The Hills 3 scoring 171-6 in 45 overs batting first in the previous match. The ground is an excellent batting venue, but the runs still need to be scored, and a succession of Knockharley batsmen filled their boots - none more so than Tahir Rasheed, who scored a 71 ball 143 as Knockharley reached 354-8. This was the third season in the last four that the team have finished 60th in the league and hence there has to be a feeling of a job well done. Nothing spectacular, but a good representation of where the team are at the moment. Club stalwart Rajesh Adi was the one Knockharley player to make Team of the Year - his 3rd in successive years (although the previous two were at much lower levels). Adi played in all thirteen matches, taking 20 wickets at 11.70. Tayyab Rashid was the leading run scorer with 354 runs at 39.33, with Tahir Rasheed not surprisingly not too far behind with 269 at 29.89. Usman Ishaq was the other player to pass 200 runs, scoring 281 at 27.25 in his second season in Leinster cricket. Sohail Qasar took 13 wickets at 14.85, Wajih Iqbal 13 at 23.08 and Kamran Mirza 11 at 22.27.
Wicklow County 1 - 4th - (Pos in league - 61 (2017 - 66)) - Batting Rating 111 - Bowling Rating 102 - RpO for 4.82 - RpO against 4.91 - Youth %age (by appearances) 11.3%
A really impressive season for Wicklow County 1, who quietly ended up with their best league finish since also coming 61st in 2013. In a fairly classic run of results for a mid table side, they lost both matches to Swords, Laois and Knockharley, but beat the teams below them - three of those matches coming in a run of three home wins in September. Two players made the Team of the Year - the first whom who features extensively in the Division 8 records listed above. The club's leading run scorer since 2011; the leading run scorer in Division 11, and on his second Team of the Year, Nicky Fusco had another excellent season. He scored 485 runs at 48.5, the highest total in a Wicklow County 1 league season, and the third highest for all clubs in Division 8. Another stalwart of the club, Damian Joyce was not too far behind with 383 runs at 38.3, as well as 13 wickets at 18.77. Joyce is one of only four players to have clocked up the 1000 run/50 wicket double for the club, with David Rice, Khalid Chaudhary and Trevor Koen being the other three. Koen was the third player to pass 200 runs with 229 runs at 25.44. The other Team of the Year player was Rohan Raikar with 18 wickets at a very useful 11.39 - his first ever selection on TotY. There was very much a core on the team, with the four already named along with 17 year old Shawaiz Chaudhary (15 wickets at 22.93), and Richard Bridge (10 wickets at 15.6). The other five spots were generally shared amongst 23 others.
Ashbourne 1 - 5th - (Pos in league - 62 (2017 - 80)) - Batting Rating 94 - Bowling Rating 97 - RpO for 4.36 - RpO against 5.48 - Youth %age (by appearances) 0%
Many would have doubted whether Ashbourne 1 would able to survive in Division 8 this season. After having a successful 2017 they were promoted three divisions, and merely to survive relegation, they had to finish 17 places better than their 80th place in 2017. But that they did, thanks to three wins in their last five matches, and the performance of an undoubted star in their ranks. Jobin Thomas entered his third season in Leinster cricket with a decent seasons at lower levels, picking up Team of the Year awards in Division 13 and 11. His performances improved with the standard of cricket - with bat and ball. His 443 runs at 55.38 were the most runs scored for Ashbourne 1 in a league season, and his 23 wickets at 14.78 were the most wickets taken in for Ashbourne 1 in a league season. A player can't carry a team on his own though, and three others made significant contributions. Vipin Baby became only the second bowler (after Thomas) to take more than 20 wickets for the team in a league season - he took 21 at 19.62. Obaidullah Shahzad chipped in with 12 wickets at 27.08 and Kanaka Hewasinghege scored 219 runs 24.33.
Pembroke 4 4 - 6th (Pos in league - 63 (2017 - 61)) - Batting Rating 88 - Bowling Rating 89 - RpO for 4.71 - RpO against 4.40 - Youth %age (by appearances) 31.5%
So may factors can determine the success (or otherwise) of a team in any sport. Without in depth knowledge it is impossible to know exactly what happens, so we just have to make something up. And such were the inconsistencies behind the season of Pembroke 4, we can only assume that whist cricketers across the province went on holiday in July and August, all of those in Sydney Parade stayed at home; although they were still desperate for travel, and hated being at home. Between July 8 and August 18, the team won five matches on the trot - the only five matches they won all season. Before and after that spell, it was a barren spell, losing five matches before and three afterwards. And their home record was pretty dire - losing six of their seven home games, although on the road they managed to win four. That all meant that Pembroke 4 finished with their worst league position in the last eight seasons - the previous worst was 61st in 2017. Youth players led the bowling with 17 year old Rahmanullah Orikhel topping the wicket taking charts with 17 at 14.94, followed by Justin Doherty with 12 at 16.67. Pick of the bowlers was possibly 18 year old Ashane Wijesinghe, who despite playing only six games, made the Team of the Year after taking 10 wickets at 10.2, including 5-20 against North County 3. Brendan Ferres scored 205 at 25.63, but the leading batsman was Sk Ahmed Zibran Shovon who scored at 263 runs at 43.83, making his third Team of the Year, and the Division 8 team for the second successive year.
The Hills 3 - 7th (Pos in league - 64 (2017 - 62)) - Batting Rating 95 - Bowling Rating 78 - RpO for 4.64 - RpO against 5.20 - Youth %age (by appearances) 29.6%
On the evening of July 21st, all was pretty good in the Hills 3 camp. The team had just beaten Ashbourne away in a tight game, to stand at 4-4 for the season. Not great, but not too bad either. As it turned out, an unbeaten end to the season would have taken them to their best finishing position in the past five years. 18 year old Ryan Tobin had just chalked up his maiden career century (169*) against Laois, and all was good with the world. However, as with Pembroke, something happened, The Hills lost their last six matches to finish in the relegation places and their worst league finish since 2014. That is how easy it is for a team's season to change from success to failure. Tobin's opus against Laois meant he was a shoe in for the Team of the Year, his second after making the Division 9 team in 2016 - his record for the season being 328 runs at 54.56. Aijaz Farroqi was solid with 324 runs at 27, and Matthew Richards hit 231 at 21.1. But whilst the batting was acceptable, the bowling was below par. No one took more than the 9 wickets that Tobin and Lorcan Woodhouse took, and four teams hit the Hills for more than 250.
North County 3 - 8th (Pos in league - 65 (2017 - 57)) - Batting Rating 78 - Bowling Rating 111 - RpO for 4.31 - RpO against 4.13 - Youth %age (by appearances) 20.3%
Whilst all third teams have suffered over the past few seasons, none more so than North County 3. The fourth best around in 2012, they were down to 7th by 2014 and since then have slipped below Clontarf, Phoenix and The Hills to be 10th best. In 2014 they were still in the equivalent of Division 5, and have slipped 25 league places in the seasons since then. And their cause was not helped by three matches (against Pembroke, Wicklow County and Knockharley) just not being played. So with only 11 matches being played, it was always going to be difficult for players to qualify for our round up. However, a Cricket Leinster debutant, Kiran Patil made his mark with 12 wickets at 13.25, making our Team of the Year. Surprisingly for a team playing on one of the most batsman friendly grounds on the island it was the bowlers who did best, with Ali Zawwar being leading wicket taker with 16 at 13.44, followed by Yasir Mir (13 at 18.08 including his tour de force against Laois) and Pritish Onmalwar (13 at 19.23). The batting really struggled though, with only Mir passing 200 runs (221 at 31.57). Four times they were bowled out for less than 120, including two games in their home in Inch.