A strong end to the season saw Merrion extricate themselves from the jaws of relegation to achieve runners up spot in the Premier League. In a pleasant evening at Sydney Parade the discussions among the hurlers on the ditch centred on the ‘what ifs’. If only we had been able to defend a total of 297 against Balbriggan earlier in the league we could have retained the title. If only we hadn’t left Phoenix off the hook at 71/7 in the Park YMCA and Balbriggan might have been more keen to play their game yesterday in Claremount Avenue and who knowns what might have happened.
But in the end we should take a good measure of satisfaction from the performance on the field this year. A semi-final place in the less than loved League Cup, undefeated in the T20 competition [still did not qualify for knockout stages, surely the OCC will have to look to reconstituting the rules of this competition for next season], a second round defeat in the Irish Senior Cup and now second place in the Senior League. All in all a good a satisfactory outcome, achieved it must be added without the benefit of an overseas professional.
What this means for next season, assuming roughly the same competition format, is that Pembroke and Phoenix will play in the Championship and Leinster and Railway Union are promoted to the Premier League. The final league tables are set out below. With six points separating five teams seeking to avoid the second relegation spot the importance of fighting for every bonus points could not be better illustrated.
The details of the match between Pembroke and Merrion can be found on the Cricket Leinster website. The usual round up of results and team of the week will follow later in the week.
This is not the time or the forum for a proper analysis of the season or a discussion on plans for next year. At this point all that is required is a simple congratulations to Tom Stanton and his team for delivering a successful season.