Numbers Racket No.9

And so, the first season of the new, enhanced Championship draws to a close with an all-too-predictable champion.

There is no doubt Lightning were the strongest side in the competition – the drawbacks of playing three-day rather than four-day disguised the distance between them and the other two sides.

Something needs to happen for next season or the competition could become futile, which would be a terrible shame. As it is, only James Shannon and Craig Young would get into a Leinster side, but there are half a dozen players in Dublin outside the squad who would get a game if they had been born in Northern Ireland.

The conclusion of the event allows us to publish the first-ever Irish first-class seasonal averages. While the English version will be filling a page of your favourite sports section shortly, ours is a little smaller. Just 48 men played in the Championship, 15 each for Knights and Lightning, 18 for Warriors.

Here are the batting averages, with a qualification of over 150 runs.

Ed Joyce and James Shannon were the dominant forces in the Interpros. Shannon has truly put it up to the selectors – four T20 fifties, and four fifties and a century here must mean he will be back in the reckoning for a green shirt.

Top Run Aggregates
All Matches, First Class, 01-May-2017 to 10-Sep-2017

# Name Club Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s Runs
1 JNK Shannon NCU 4 7 1 446 140* 74.33 701 63.62 1 4 - 47 10 446
2 EC Joyce Lein 4 5 1 363 167* 90.75 541 67.10 2 - - 53 4 363
3 JA McCollum NCU 4 7 1 232 119* 38.67 474 48.95 1 - - 29 1 232
4 NR Allen NW 4 7 1 193 81 32.17 507 38.07 - 1 - 26 - 193
5 J Tector Lein 4 5 1 182 75 45.50 397 45.84 - 1 - 25 - 182
6 SR Thompson NW 4 6 - 179 46 29.83 328 54.57 - - - 22 4 179

Ten wickets is the qualification for the bowling averages, and George Dockrell finished streets clear, despite missing the first Lightning fixture and being inexplicably dropped by Ireland.

Top Wicket Takers
All Matches, First Class, 01-May-2017 to 10-Sep-2017

# Name Club Mat Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 5WI 10WM wds nbs Wkts
1 GH Dockrell Lein 3 130 46 288 22 6-29 13.09 2.22 35.45 2 - - - 22
2 CA Young NW 3 66.3 10 206 13 5-37 15.85 3.10 30.69 1 - 4 5 13
3 D Scanlon NW 4 70.1 10 288 12 5-29 24.00 4.10 35.08 1 - - 1 12
4 PKD Chase Lein 3 79.4 17 271 11 3-30 24.64 3.40 43.45 - - 9 4 11
5 EJ Richardson Lein 4 78 24 208 10 4-33 20.80 2.67 46.80 - - 1 1 10

Best Bowling in an Innings
All Matches, First Class, 30-May-2017 to 05-Sep-2017
# Name Club Date Opposition Ground Grade Figures
1 GH Dockrell Lein 05-Sep-2017 Northern Knights Castle Avenue, Dublin FirstCl 6-29
2 GH Dockrell Lein 20-Jun-2017 North West Warriors Oak Hill FirstCl 6-67
3 D Scanlon NW 30-May-2017 Northern Knights Eglinton FirstCl 5-29
4 CA Young NW 30-May-2017 Northern Knights Eglinton FirstCl 5-37
5 A Balbirnie Lein 30-Aug-2017 North West Warriors Magheramason, Bready FirstCl 4-23
Top Partnerships
All Matches, First Class, 30-May-2017 to 05-Sep-2017

# Name Score Name Score Wk Club Date Opposition Ground Grade Runs
1 JNK Shannon 140 GJ McCarter 62 7 NCU 05-Jun-2017 Leinster Lightning Stormont, Belfast FirstCl 162*
2 S Terry 73 EC Joyce 167 3 Lein 05-Sep-2017 Northern Knights Castle Avenue, Dublin FirstCl 144
3 T Kane 75 EC Joyce 167 8 Lein 05-Sep-2017 Northern Knights Castle Avenue, Dublin FirstCl 138
4 S Lazars 62 N O'Brien 87 4 NW 20-Jun-2017 Leinster Lightning Oak Hill FirstCl 132
5 SR Thompson 46 NR Allen 81 3 NW 01-Aug-2017 Northern Knights The Green Comber FirstCl 93

 

 ***

There was a query about whether the opening partnership of 297 between Jeremy Bray and Givan Christian of Terenure was some kind of record.

Although not the biggest stand for any wicket, it is the highest for the 1st wicket in Leinster competition. They take over from Ben Larkin and Rory Flanagan of Phoenix who put up 295 in 2010.

The only stands over 300 both came in the 2013 season when Josh Tasman-Jones and Hugh Pike of Trinity racked up 342 for the second wicket against Leinster 2nds. Tom Fisher and Richie Lawrence put on 322* for the same wicket against the same side for Terenure.

Bray has also joined Brad Spanner on top of the list of most double-century partnerships, with that one against North Kildare being his fifth. ‘Jezzer’ also notched up his 25th Leinster Senior ton, equalling the record of Andre Botha and one ahead of Alf Masood.