Railway top going into final hurdle
THE weather app has been overused this summer, but what it delivered in June, July and August doesn’t seem to be any different now September is here.
The forecast for the weekend is dire, as usual, which could mean a symbolic end to this soggy summer.
That would be a great pity, but don’t expect them to be mourning down Park Avenue way. A win will guarantee them the league, but a rained-off fixture also would be sufficient to keep them top.
It was 1962 – a side captained by Derek Scott – when Railway Union were last astride the league table at season’s end, and that was one fifty Tom Fisher and his men didn’t want to see. After winning the senior cup last season (for the first time in 43 years), these are golden times in Sandymount.
The permutations are truly mind boggling.
If Railway were to lose to The Hills, they would still stay ahead with three bonus points. However in that case North County (v Clontarf) would need to gain just 16 points more than Railway (and stay within 4 points of The Hills take v Railway) to retain the title – their sixth this century.
The Hills can also win the title (if they beat Railway and take 3 bonus points, and that is 5 points more than County take on Saturday).
Merrion have an outside chance of sharing the league with Railway: the current leaders would have to lose with just 2 bonus points (ie lose by between 40 and 59 runs, or 3 or 4 wickets), County would have to fail to win, and Merrion would need to take maximum points v Pembroke.
At the bottom Pembroke have already taken the drop, and Phoenix face YMCA at Claremont Road with the loser set to join them. Phoenix are marginally ahead so a rain-off is to their advantage. Expect Alan Lewis to move his sun-bed to under the covers on Friday night.
Division 2 is all over, although Leinster play Terenure to decide the title in Rathmines. The home side lost its first match – to Malahide – back in April, and have never lost since. Terenure, too, have only one entry in the defeats column – to Leinster, by two wickets, in a low-scoring classic on the June bank holiday. The sides are a whopping 25 percentage points clear of the 3rd place side but will need to recruit to compete in Division 1 next summer.
The disciplinary problems of North County’s first XI put paid to their second XI’s hopes of staying in Division 2, and they are joined in the drop by Old Belvedere. The Cabra club has had its obituary written more than once in recent years and it is too early to do so now, but there are difficult, maybe insurmountable, challenges for the club that went senior in 1958.
They will be replaced by Leinster 2nds and either Balbriggan or Dublin University. The students’ campaign ended months ago, but Pembroke’s great start turned into a slump and they have now slipped below Trinity. Balbriggan had to win their last four games to slip into 2nd and have won the first two. Leinster 2nds lie between the Fingal side and promotion and it will depend on how much Dave Lucas’s side value their unbeaten record.