With the mid-season break ending this week, The Hook is revisiting its preseason predictions to see what's changed for the Men's sides and what we can expect for the New Year. The top sides will be missing their players for five games but will this affect their title charge? Here's my assessment of how its all going to go down:
Bray have really struggled this season, suffering massively from the loss of Phil Marshall. Reaching eighth may already be beyond them but the two encounters against UCD will decide who is relegated and who gets the playoff spot. Lose those and they're down.
Current: 10th Pre-season prediction: 8th
The most wildly wrong of my predictions, Corinthian currently lie fifth but could break the top 4 if they snatch a win in hand against Pembroke or Rovers. Lukas Piccioli is the catalyst along with their brigade of youngsters – Brian Doherty, Davy Carson, Jack Kirwan and Karl Smith – have come on leaps and bounds. An effective side who showed in their cup match against Rovers they are definitely a force this season.
Current: 5th Pre-season prediction: 7th
Another steady season from Fingal, the side has been together a long time, they look set to be in a dog-fight for the fourth All-Ireland league spot with Corinthian and Monkstown. On their day, they can beat anyone at home – their match with Corinthian at ALSAA on January 12 will be key.
Current: 4th Pre-season prediction: 4th
The Tallaght side are lucky they have easier matches while Shaw and Butler are away, facing UCD, Bray, YMCA and Kilkenny between now and February 23. The one tough game will be in Fingal in early February which could kill off their title challenge altogether if they don’t take the points. Rovers may leap-frog them if they win their game in hand and these two will have quite a tussle back at Grange Road.
Current: 2nd Pre-season prediction: 2nd