Provincial Club Hurling Championships – The Past 10 Years

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:

munster-club-champions

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

leinster-club-champions

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

ulster-club-champions

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.

Wexford SHC 2016: Top Scorers – Kirwan is King

Oulart-The Ballagh once again prevailed as the Pettits Senior Hurling Champions with their 10th title in 13 seasons – an unbelievable achievement. With Oulart now moving onto face the Offaly champions I thought I’d have a look back over the scoring charts for 2016.

top-combined-scorer

The table above shows the top scorers (from play and frees) for 2016.

Nicky Kirwan hung onto the top spot despite exiting the county final at half time with second place scorer, Harry Kehoe, having 30 extra minutes to try to take the top spot.

Six of the 21 players listed above were part of the Wexford Senior hurling panel in 2016.

Scoring From Play

The table for the top scorers from play also sees Nicky Kirwan topping the county. Garrett Sinnott had held the top spot heading into the semi-final but two goal assists from Sinnott to Kirwan in that match saw Nicky pass out his clubmate and take the top spot.

top-20-from-play

It is encouraging to see two of this year’s county minor hurlers make the top 20 with Rory O Connor (tied 7th) and Connal Flood (tied 14th) making the list.

Seven of the 24 hurlers listed above were part of the Wexford Senior panel in 2016.

Also notable is Ciaran O Connor of Rathnure who finished tied 5th in scoring from play and 6th in overall scoring having played only 5 games. O’Connor played 3 games less than Kirwan (1st) and 2 games less than Sinnott (2nd) & Moore (3rd). O’Connor’s club Rathnure exited the championship at the group stage. Not bad for a 19 year old.

Note: All scores are taken from local newspaper reports.

 

Final Tipperary Senior Hurling Rankings 2016

Following the dominant Thurles Sarsfields three-in-a-row win in yesterdays county final I have updated my rankings for the final time in 2016.

screenshot-2016-10-17-06-47-00

The rankings show clear gaps between Thurles and the rest. On the other end of the rankings 2 of the bottom 3 ranked teams, Moyne-Templetuohy and Moneygall, have dropped to Intermediate.

In the divisional rankings we can see that following those relegations the Mid and North championships have both lost their lowest ranked teams. It may be a temporary reduction in number for the North as Newport (North) are now in the Intermediate County Final, looking to gain promotion.

screenshot-2016-10-17-06-40-40

The final list of biggest movers has seen Thurles Sarsfields jump into the top 5. Their impressive clear win of the county final against the second rank team placed them onto the list of most improved teams.

screenshot-2016-10-17-06-40-53

Silvermines secured their safety in Senior hurling despite the largest drop in ranking points of any club this year. All five of the biggest fallers in 2016 came from the North division.

The Top Gaelic Football Clubs – Home of the All Stars

In the same vein as my look into the clubs that produce All-Stars in hurling I thought it would be interesting to have a look at Gaelic Football.

Which clubs in Gaelic Football have produced the most All-Star footballers? Are there any dual All-Star clubs?

With 675 All-Stars handed out to 400 different footballers since 1971 it’s interesting to see which clubs produce the most All-Star footballers. The table below shows all clubs who have produced 4 All Star footballers or more:

football-all-stars

The initial expectation I had was that Kerry, with 138 All-Stars (next best Dublin with 103) would have the top club, but having omitted divisional sides – focusing on the footballers club of origin, St Vincents and Nemo Rangers stand clear with each having 9 All-Stars footballers.

Templenoe (Kerry) have 13 All-Stars from 3 Spillanes so fail to make the list. Dr Crokes, also in Kerry, have 9 All-Stars, 8 from Gooch Cooper.

In the chart below you can see which decade each club has collected All-Stars.

all-star-football-by-decade

Austin Stacks (Kerry) and St Vincents (Dublin) were very dominant in the 1970’s whereas An Ghaeltacht (Kerry) and Moy Tir Na Nog (Tyrone) collected the vast majority of their All Stars in the 2000’s.

Despite St Vincent’s top ranking they have won one All Star in the past 24 seasons through Diarmuid Connolly. Second place Nemo Rangers have not won an All Star since 1995. The past 15 seasons has seen the rise of Kilmacud Crokes, including three different winners in the past 5 seasons.

Dual Clubs

Twelve clubs have won All-Stars in both hurling and football, an incredible achievement. Six clubs from Cork, 3 Dublin clubs, 2 Offaly clubs and 1 from Laois have won All-Stars in both codes.

dual-clubs

Ray Cummins of Cork won All-Stars with Blackrock hurling club and St Michaels football club in Cork City.

 

Note: Every effort has been made to be accurate in researching the clubs of the All-Star winners (the 70’s was full of transfers during careers). If you feel like your club has been “shafted” please let me know!

The Top Hurling Clubs – Where All-Stars are born

With the All Stars approaching I thought I’d have a look at the history of the All-Star awards. Which clubs have produced the most All-Star hurlers? Which clubs have produced all star hurlers over various eras?

(Edit: you can now check out the Gaelic Football version)

The All Star awards began in 1971, so the records I’m looking at cover 46 seasons leading up to this years awards. The awards therefore don’t include the one or two Cloyne might have picked up for that Ring chap who was decent enough or the awards that Rathnure might have won with 3 Rackard brothers.

The table below shows the clubs that have produced 4 hurlers or more to win All-Stars.

all-stars-by-club

James Stephens of Kilkenny have incredibly produced 10 different hurlers to win an All-Star. This along with giving the hurling world a certain Brian Cody.

(Note: Previously had 11 for James Stephens – double count on Joe Hennessy , h/t Enda McEvoy)

Club Eras

Blackrock in Cork are in second place with 9 different hurlers winning 21 awards. Huge numbers despite not having won an award since Wayne Sherlock’s 2004 All-Star, 12 seasons ago.

Ballyhale on the other hand have won 22 of their 27 All Stars over the course of the past 15 years. 6 of their 8 award winners have played for Kilkenny since 2000.

Below I have charted the clubs who have won 10 or more All Stars. The chart shows them by year.

all-stars-by-club-by-year

This chart (unfortunately a little small) shows us how Ballyhale have collected their vast majority of awards since 2000. Also we can see the dominance Finbarrs & Blackrock held in Cork in the 70’s and 80’s.

My analysis has shown me that groups that grow up together can raise their own standards – awards for clubs are picked up by multiple players in certain eras. Club players push each other to further greatness.

  • Ballyhale Shamrocks  – 6 winners of 16 awards (2009-15)
  • Blackrock – 6 winners of 13 awards (1974-84)
  • Mullinahone – 3 winners of 10 awards (2000-11)
  • James Stephens – 3 winners of 5 awards (1999-02), 2 winners of 6 awards (2007-10), 5 winners of 12 awards (1973-79)
  • St Finbarrs – 4 winners of 11 awards (1971-78)
  • Seir Keiran – 4 winners of 9 awards (1994-00)
  • South Liberties 3 winners of 13 awards (1971-81)

Take Young Irelands as an example- 3 winners of 13 awards (1997-02) – DJ Carey, Pat O Neill and Charlie Carter won multiple awards but since that group Young Ireland’s have won none and prior to their success Young Irelands had no all-stars. Club players seem to drive each other to the highest level of success.

Location

What links many of the top clubs is their location in their respective counties.

  • James Stephens – Kilkenny City
  • St Finbarrs, Blackrock, Glen Rovers – Cork City

This makes the achievements of Ballyhale Shamrocks (8 winners, 27 All Stars) and Fenians (7 winners, 20 All Stars) all the more remarkable. Producing multiple All Star winners is exceptional for a non-city club.

 

Tipperary Senior Hurling Rankings- Post Semi Finals & Feedback Adjustments

I have received feedback from last weeks post of ELO ratings of team. The input from Tipperary fans has helped me adjust the weighting of the matches in my ranking formula. Below are my adjusted rankings which include the 2 semi-finals and the 2 relegation play offs.

tipp-shc-rankings-161010

The new weightings has seen some movements up and down the table. I have added greater initial weight ot the Roinn 1 teams as they entered 2014. I have also reduced the weight of Roinn 1 wins over Roinn 2 wins and increased the Divisional results weighting. The current ranking system was correct in predicting 63% this years results.

The rankings expect a tight county final.

On the bottom of the list we can see already-relegated Moneygall are propping up the 30. The current rankings expect Moyne-Templetuohy to join them with Silvermines and Knockavilla surviving.

All feedback is 100% welcome.

Tipperary Senior Hurling Rankings

I have been looking to use ELO methods to rank teams in club hurling in various counties. ELO rating of teams can be seen online in various sports (Football, GAArankings.net, Gaelic Football) and ELO is most popular as the ranking method of Chess players.

The formula to calculate team ranking is based on various factors

  1. Team rankings before the match,
  2. The result and
  3. The importance of the match.

I have been tinkering around with my formula and have a ranking system in place for the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship.

Why Tipperary you may ask?

Well a senior championship that has 30 teams, uses 2 group divisions mixed with 4 geographical divisions before leading to a knockout tournament is surely the craziest club competition to rank in hurling.

Using results for the past 3 seasons and 300 matches, the rankings currently show:

tipp-30-rank

Thurles Sarsfields lead the way as they look to “three-peat” by winning a third consecutive county title. The rankings show semi-finalists Kildangan as their closest opposition with Clonoulty-Rossmore and Killenaule further behind.

2016 Biggest Movers

Looking at the changes in ranking points in 2016 we can see which clubs have moved the most in 2016. Thurles have remained on top but who has gained the most points this year:

top-5-rising

Clonoulty Rossmore have jumped up the rankings this year. Their success in overthrowing Eire Og Annacarty in the West and then a super Quarter-Final win against Mullinahone saw them jump into 3rd place in the rankings.

Kildangan have also moved up with a huge win over Drom & Inch last week, a team they had lost by 10 points to last year.

Borris-Ileigh also improved, they exited the 2015 Championship in May of 2015 but this year saw them reach the quarters.

On the other side of the rankings we can see the biggest fallers:

top-5-falling

Nenagh Eire Og went on a huge run in 2015 from the Preliminary Quarters to lose last years final by a point to Thurles. This year saw them exit the championship early.

JK Brackens suffered 3 defeats of 16, 14 and 13 points but have ended the year safe at Senior level for 2016, dropping to Roinn 2. Moneygall and Silvermines will battle against relegation next week.

Divisional Ranks

As Tipperary likes to stick to divisional rankings which are part of the Championship you might be interested to see the rankings by Division:

div-rank

The North Division of Senior hurling in Tipperary is larger than Senior hurling in Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, Westmeath, Laois, Limerick  & Offaly!

 

Note:

To create these rankings you have to weigh various stages of the championship. This article may stir some interest from club fans who disagree with some ranks. Please let me know where the rankings may be out as the weighting system is constantly evolving.