Well that was 2016 – another season of success and failure, joy and despair & rain and sun.
The rain had the last say and caused at least one vital game to be played over two nights but all in all the season did not have as many disruptions as in recent years.
When all leagues were completed some top and bottom slots were almost too close to call. In Divisions 4 & 5 top spot was decided on shots after the top two teams tied on points with Dunbarton B and Mossley B pipping Old Bleach B and Transport B to the titles.
The final game in Division 1 saw NICS narrowly fail to gain the points needed to overhaul Mossley A for third from bottom. At the top Belmont retained their title with a final game victory while Ballymena won the 2nd v 3rd battle against Dunbarton for runner – up. A familiar position this year as they also came up one game short in PGL and IBA cup competitions.
Fall A (96.5) claimed Division 2 over Ballywalter (88.5) while Downpatrick (88) took the honours in Division 3 ahead of Belmont B (85).
Another close finish at the wrong end of Division 3 saw N Belfast pip PSNI by 1/2 a point for safety.
In the Midweek honours went to Ards (76.5) over Mossley (62.5) in Division 1 and Salisbury (78.5) over Larne (69.5) in Division 2.
All in all a fantastic season and now to look ahead to 2017 and our Centenary year. A sub committee have been working hard in preparation for our big year and while I can not divulge the details of the year I can guarantee a busy, interesting and hopefully fitting programme of events to honour all those involved in our league over the last 100 years.
Enjoy the winter and let’s look forward to next year.