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:
Three Rock Rovers
Rovers have added quite a bit of grit to their side this year and have dealt well with Peter Blakeney’s departure well so far, with Maarten Sier among the goals. Beating Monkstown was a sign of the change in the side’s make-up, coming from two goals down against the side who cost them an All-Ireland berth last year. Keeping Andy McConnell and Mitch Darling is another boost. The title may be beyond the capabilities but a top three finish should be assured.
Current: 3rd Pre-season prediction: 3rd
The students are in pretty much the same boat as Bray, with two win or bust encounters to decide their fate. UCD have shown more ability to score and to threaten picking up points and will fancy their chances against Kilkenny at home. At this point, they seem the likely side to be in the promotion/relegation playoff.
Current: 9th Pre-season prediction: 9th
Such is the gap between the top six and the bottom four, while there is only one place separating my prediction and their actual position, the prediction for YM was quite ambitious. Again, they have a young side bedding in the likes of Josh Purcell, Rob Whelan and Richard Pedreschi but YM have not got a single home point so far. Beating Kilkenny away before Christmas was a big step. They will miss Stephen Barry’s mentoring skills, though, as he departs for the guts of three months on Irish duty.
Current: 7th Pre-season prediction: 6th
How do you think these sides will get on? Have your say...