It may not come as the biggest surprise to followers of Irish cricket, but it is official now - Clontarf are no longer ranked as the top team on the island.
Their end of season league collapse handed the league title to Leinster, and to make matters worse their reign as number one had already ended - on August 5 after losing to the eventual champions. They spent 134 summer days at number one (we don't give credit to cold winter days spent at the top - as unlike the ICC, there is no winter cricket in our rankings), which is the fourth longest stay at number one since our rankings began, and the longest by a Leinster team.
The three teams with longer stays were the Limavady team of 2001/2002 (259 days), Donemana of 2004/2005 (298 days) and the North Down team of 2007/2008 (319 days). The previous longest stay at number one by a Leinster team was YMCA's 90 day stay in 2014/2015.
Clontarf were of course replaced by the 2017 Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup Champions Waringstown, who are this weekend in the process of completing a brillant quartet of trophies for the season. The 2017 Waringstown team is ranked by us as the second best team on the island since 2001, with the 2016 Waringstown team the best.
The news became even worse for Clontarf, as they lost their number one in Leinster status to The Hills on August 26. The last time they hadn't been number one in the province was 31st July 2015, when YMCA were top dogs.
On Monday, Waringstown will overtake North Down as the team that has been at number one for the most days since our rankings started. And a final stat on the position at the top of the table - whoever wins between Clontarf and The Hills today will be crowned as the top side in Leinster for 2017.
Since our last look at the rankings, six clubs have risen or fallen by five places or more, and we'll have a quick look at those six!
Leinster - From no hopers and probable relegation candidates to Leinster Division 1 champions - all in a short space of time. When the last rankings were published towards the end of July, Leinster were 3-3 in the league, and looking over their shoulders . They then won six of the last seven to lift the title, and rise to 15th in the rankings. Their ranking of 103.4 is still some way behind their last league winning team, which reached 112 in September 2012
Malahide - Another team that had an excellent run in August. A National Cup semi final win over Derriaghy (setting up today's final against Terenure) along with three league wins (and a loss to Merrion) set up last weekend's ulitmately disappointing show down against Balbriggan. Malahide have now moved up five places to 27th - which is where they started 2017.
Fox Lodge - Wins over Drummond and Bready in the North West Premiership gave hope that the Foxies could escape the drop to the Championship, and lifted them up from 34th to 29th in our rankings. Like Malahide, they are back to where they started 2017.
Armagh - A well documented romp to the NCU Section 1 title, saw Armagh win their last six matches, and climb to 31st in our rankings - up 8 since mid July and up 11 on the year. Their ranking of 72 points sees them still some way behind the best Armagh team of the last 17 years - the 2002 team who at their best had a rating of 88.84.
Terenure - A mixed time for the National Cup semi finalists since our last rankings in July, Wins over North Kildare and Strabane were off set by losses to Rush, Balbriggan, Merrion and Railway Union. That has seen them slip eight places since July and four places on the year. A win today over Malahide, and that would all be forgotten about.
Donaghadee - There has been an attempt to get more clubs into the rankings this season. There are now more NCU Section 2 clubs, and it is hoped that some Leinster Division 4 clubs should qualify for the rankings this week. Donaghadee have been one of those, although they experienced a bad couple of months, losing five of the their last six league matches to drop to 56th overall. As a new club in the rankings, it can take a while for things to settle down. Currently we make it that the best ever Donaghadee side we have on record was on July 29th this year - with the worst being a few weeks later on September 2nd!
|Period (Pos)||Period (Pts)||Year (Pos)||Year (Pts)||Team||Played||Points||Rating|
|17||-1||-3.60||-8||-11.80||Civil Service North||40||3915||97.88|