With the provincial club hurling championships already underway in Ulster and nearing it’s start in Leinster & Munster I thought I’d take a look at the past decade of provincial championships to see how each county’s champions had performed.
Munster Club Championship
The past decade of results within the Munster Club Championship is shown below:
The table shows that Limerick’s champions have been the best performers in Munster. Recently they have started to dominate Munster winning the past 3 titles. Limerick City side, Na Piarsaigh have won 3 of the past 5 Munster Club titles.
On the other side of the table you see Clare and Cork with the poorest records. The champions of Cork have now gone SIX seasons without a single win, the last Cork club to win a Munster Club Championship match was Newtownshandrum in 2009.
Clare on the other hand have now gone 16 years without a Munster club title. Crusheen came closest to banishing this famine when they lost a Munster Final replay in 2012 to Na Piarsaigh. Interestingly, the Clare county championship has been the most open of all Munster Club Championships over the past decade with 7 different winners in 10 years, whereas the Limerick county championship has seen Na Piarsaigh, Killmallock and Adare all win 3 county titles in the past 9 years. Does this lack of dominance in the Clare Championship lead to a lack of strength in the Munster Championship?
Leinster Club Championship
Unlike the inter-county scene, Leinster has seen a decade of competitive provincial battles. Kilkenny and Offaly have won the most titles and Wexford’s Oulart the Ballagh have won through to five provincial finals in the past six years, losing four before finally succeeding in last years final.
Mount Leinster Rangers’ win in 2013 was a phenomenal achievement for Carlow hurling. Their win in 2013 is surprisingly the only time a Carlow club has won a provincial club match in the past decade.
Dublin has failed to produce a club to win a Leinster title in the past 36 years. Crumlin’s win in 1979 remains their sole success. Only Ballyboden (2007) and Cuala (2015) have reached the provincial final in the past 10 years.
Offaly’s inter-county demise has not been reflected in the club scene. Birr, Kilcormac/Killoughey and Coolderry have all taken the provincial title in the past 10 years. In the past 10 seasons Offaly Champions have won matches away to Dublin Champions three times, turned over the Wexford Champions in Wexford Park in 2014 and even beaten Ballyhale in Nowlan Park. Club hurling in Offaly is alive and well.
The Laois champions’ dismal performance is quite surprising as they have been competitive in inter-county hurling in recent years. It is quite shocking to see that Rathdowney-Errill’s win in 2013 over Westmeath’s Clonkill was their only win in Leinster in the past 10 years. Rathdowney-Errill came close to a major win against Kilmacud Crokes in 2015 losing by a single point. Camross also nearly upset the then Dublin Champions, Ballyboden St Endas, in 2007, losing by a single point.
Ulster Club Championship
Unsurprisingly the Antrim champions have been the team to beat in the Ulster Club Championship. Portaferry (Down) secured a huge victory in 2014 when they beat Cushendall by 8 points to win their first Ulster title. Slaughtneil of Derry had also taken Cushendall to a replay that season.
Kevin Lynch’s of Dungiven, Derry had also taken Cushendall to a Ulster Club replay in 2006, the only other occasion in the past 10 seasons where the Antrim Champions failed to win out.