In anticipation for the 2016 season, Softball Leinster takes a look at each division. It makes for a mouth-watering summer of softball!
On Tuesday the 19th of April, eight teams will take to the plate and attempt to hit this year’s Premier Division out of the park! Softball Leinster takes a look at the division and how each team may fare out.
2015: Premier Division Champions
Coming together for the 2015 season, TNT were a collection of experienced players who took the Premier Division by storm in their first season. How will they fare in their second season, as they combine defending their title with competing for continental honours at the European Championships?
2015: 3rd place, Premier Division
The Dodder Softball Club’s top-flight side looked to be in control of the 2015 Premier Division early on in the season, but some blips in form caught up with them as they were pipped by TNT and Oddsox Green. They can call upon a strong roster of baseball players and well-travelled softball veterans; will they reclaim the Premier crown in 2016?
2015: 4th place, Premier Division
In 2015, Batpak recovered from a slow start to pick up some big wins mid-season, finally settling in mid-table. They did, however, provide the bulk of the IOST 2015-winning 2pak team. Another side boasting a roster packed with current and ex-Ireland international players, Batpak can never be ruled out when considering Premier Division contention.
2015: 5th place, Premier Division
2015 was a year to forget for the Kegs, as the regular title contenders began the season with a loss and struggled to find their form throughout the season. They can count on some big, big hitters and with some rumoured new arrivals, the Kegs should come roaring back in 2016.
2015: 6th place, Premier Division
It’s all change over in Marlay Park, as a raft of stalwart players have left Marlay for non-softball reasons. A new captain is in place and the usual big recruitment drive has been carried out, the question that will be asked is will that be enough to make the Martyrs Premier Division contenders?
Temple Bar Hippetys
2015: 1st place, Division One
2015 was a year to remember for the Hippetys as they claimed the Division One title at a canter, being able to ease up with games left to play in the season. They now turn their attention to taking on the best that the Leinster League has to offer. Blending a combination of youth and experience, how will they fare in their maiden season in the top tier?
2015: 1st place, Division Two
Restructuring in the Renegades club in early 2015 led to the formation of the Reapers, and they duly took on and conquered a daunting 13-team Division Two. They’ve brought in some new recruits and are ready to take on the two-tier jump to the Premier Division. Will they have enough to cause some ripples in the ‘Prem’?
Softball Leinster All Star Team
In a bid to reduce bye-weeks, this year the Softball Leinster Committee has formed an ‘All Star’ team, drawn of players from outside of the Premier Division. They will be led by a series of team captains from across the league and should provide a ‘wildcard’ element to the league, with the added surprise of variable line-ups drawn from a large roster each game-week.
Division One 2016 will be a cracker, with ten teams battling it out. Each team will face off with each other once, with the remainder of the season being split into the top conference of six teams (each plays the other once) and a bottom conference of four teams (each team plays the other twice). Enough of the technical talk, let’s get down to brass tax!
2015: 7th place, Premier Division
Perennially at the top of Division One or fighting Premier Division relegation, the Beachers spent 2015 doing the latter, and this year will take on the nine fellow teams of Division One. Having lost and gained players in the off-season, will they be able to bounce straight back to the Premier Division?
2015: 2nd place, Division One
Having narrowly escaped relegation from Division One in 2014, the Bearcats sprang back to life in 2015, missing out on the Division One title thanks to the Temple Bar Hippetys. They rarely finish outside of the upper echelons of Division One, will they be able to go one further this season and claim the Division One title?
2015: 3rd place, Division One
2015 was a success for the Kiely’s Chuggers as they performed consistently to come in a very respectable third place in Division One. However, a key factor in this consistency was their strength in depth, and with a number of players moving away from Dublin in the off-season, the question is will Chuggers be able to maintain that consistency?
Dublin Bay Packers
2015: 4th place, Division One
2015 was a season of transition for the Packers as following relegation from the Premier Division in 2014, they were forced to concede more walkovers than any other team in Division One and finished mid-table. This season, they will be hoping their roster struggles are over. Can they return to their once-regular perch at the top of Division One?
2015: 5th place, Division One
2014 Division Two champions, Thunderbolts, made light work of their maiden season in the middle tier of Leinster softball, notching up wins when needed to ensure safety comfortably. With strong batters and National Fastpitch Squad members in the roster, they have the talent to match their enthusiasm. 2016 awaits.
2015: 6th place, Division One
Since their promotion as Division Two champions in 2013, the Usual Suspects have continued in their vein of good-humoured, entertaining softball, picking up the wins along the way to solidify their place in the division. They will prove to be tricky opponents for all that want to pick up a win from Marlay Park.
2015: 8th place, Division One
Division One regulars, the Base Devils had a difficult 2015 in Division One, however in the process they developed a raft of new talents. They will be hoping that last season’s experience will stand to them in 2016 as they look to once again solidify their position in Division One.
2015: 2nd place, Division Two
A team composed primarily of UCD Softball graduates, the Sauce Monsters enjoyed a successful maiden season, eventually getting pipped to the post by the Renegade Reapers. While losing and gaining some talented players in the off-season, it will be intriguing to see how they fare with the higher standard of play in Division One.
2015: 3rd place, Division Two
The Castleknock Wildcats proved to have a backbone of steel in 2015, as they won a series of games in a row towards the end of the season to give them a shot at promotion in Division Two. The question that will be asked this year, however, will be how will two Castleknock sides fare when in the same division, playing on the same night? It’s a conundrum that will stretch the resources of even the most organised clubs.
2015: 5th place, Division Two
Taking part in their third full season in the Leinster League, the county Offaly side have moved up a tier to Division One. The spine of the team is strong and comes from a proud baseball and softball family, and they’ll be sure to spring some surprises along the way in 2016. One thing’s for sure, no team will emerge from the jungle unscathed!
Division Two has always provided some of the most gripping drama in the region, and with nine teams taking part; a sixteen-fixture season is on the cards. Let’s take a look at the teams who will compete!
2015: 4th place, Division Two
2015 could be counted as a great start for the Dodder Softball Club’s second team, as they steamed their way to the upper echelons of the Division Two table. A combination of extensive experience and inexperienced youth, they will be looking to improve on last year’s fourth place and cement their status as Division Two experts.
2015: 6th place, Division Two
One of the best ran clubs in Leinster, 2015 could be considered a success for the Homers. They finished strongly, eventually rounding out the top half of Division Two, and will be looking to build on that finish this season. Can they rise even higher?
2015: 7th place, Division Two
2015 was a mixed bag for the Gormanstown-based SWAT, as they combined hard-earned victories with tough defeats. After 2014’s chase for promotion, they will be looking to get back to those heights in 2016.
2015: 10th place, Division Two
The second half of the fun-loving hard hitters club based in Marlay Park, the Deadlies, will be looking to make Monday nights in 2016 a lot of fun, and with rafts of experience on board, you can expect that ball hit over your head as well!
2015: 11th place, Division Two
The Titans return to Mount Titan in 2016 looking to bounce back from some sucker-punch losses in 2015. They’ll be bringing bags of energy and a competitive spirit, as well as a packed roster, so any team intending on taking a win here will need to think twice.
2015: 12th place, Division Two
Having lost the Meteors from the Marlay structure, the Marlay Mustangs are in line for an influx of experience and talent thanks to some Meteor players switching teams, and Marlay’s strong recruitment drive. The question is, how far will that push them up that table?
Temple Bar Hippies
2015: 13th place, Division Two
While 2015 was a success for the Hippety’s, the Hippies didn’t fare so well. A new year is a blank slate however, and with a large attendance at their open day, the Temple Bar Hippies will be looking to sport some new talent and climb the rankings in Division Two in 2016.
One of the new sides to brave the Leinster League, this outfit will be based out of Lucan, and with an experienced head at the helm, and some more experienced heads hopping on board from broken up teams, there is plenty of scope for Lucan Softball to mount a challenge in Division Two.
Our final team in the league is another new team and hails from Greystones, county Wicklow. The Wolves will be looking to bring a ‘fun for all the family’ atmosphere to Division Two with Saturday games putting sunshine and good times on the menu. Let’s not forget about the well-travelled players in charge of the team who will bring up the new talent to compete in Division Two!