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Sun 7th Oct 2018

By Edde Lewis

Open Competitions: End of Season Reports 2018 [1]

The dust is [nearly] settled on the 2018 season and it is time to have a look at how things went during the year. Over the next couple of weeks we will publish a series of articles that looks in detail at the season past and the outcomes from the main club competitions.

We start by reviewing the competitions themselves and the main results.

Matches Played

In 2018 41 Leinster clubs [plus two teams from Munster] competed in Open Competitions. Including four cup only sides there were 134 teams [132 from Leinster]. This is a sizeable jump from 128 [129 including Cork] in 2017. Against this one team withdrew during the season*.

The weather was generally kind to cricket this year. But not even the blue skies can fully account for the massive improvement in the number of league and cup games played to a result. While the overall number of games increased [as one would expect with more teams] the big change was in the number of No Results, which halved from 147 to 72 between 2017 and 2018. Of course it wasn’t just about the weather - shifting the leagues to points rather than percentages may have encouraged games to be played that otherwise might not have been. We may know more after next season [assuming that more traditional Irish summer weather returns] but for the moment we should count the decision of the Open Competition Committee to change to league rankings determined by points a success.

If the reduction in the number of NRs during 2018 was a positive, the same cannot be said of the number of walk-overs conceded. These more than doubled from 15 in 2017 to 32 this year. Something perhaps for the OCC to look at over the winter.

The bottom line - in 2018 the total number of league/cup games in Open Competitions played to a finish [excluding Irish Competitions and T20s] - was 912 [792 in 2017]. This represents a year on year increase of 15%.

In addition to the above there were 145 T20 matches played during 2018 [excluding 19 NRs]. In 2017 the corresponding figures were 134 games played plus 12 NRs. Special circumstances in 2018 involving the withdrawal of a team from the Alan Murray competition contributed to the number of NRs.

The Results

Once again there has been a wide distribution of league winners with 15 clubs finding a place on the leader board [this compares to 14 in 2017]. 

There is also not much cross over between teams that have won leagues and also had success in Cups / T20s. The only teams that recorded double success in 2018 were Pembroke 2 [OCD3 and Tillains Cup T20] and Phoenix 5 [OCD13 and Minor Cup]. But mention also of Clontarf who won the Leinster Senior Cup and the Alan Murray Cup. In the end no fewer than 24 clubs won trophies this season.

Finally, what can we say about relegation and promotion. Well first off that everyone will have to wait to see if there are changes in league structures [sizes of individual leagues], how the OCC deals with requests from clubs to enter new teams or to ask for existing teams to be dropped down the leagues and decisions on ground facilities.

What we can say from the results of 2018 is that [excluding the first two leagues] the 1st XI of ten clubs put themselves in line for promotion based on their performances. At the same time the 1st XIs of six clubs [again excluding the top two leagues] are due for relegation.

*The figures for teams do not include those entered into the Development League. There were 12 teams in the DL in 2018. 

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