In all the confusion over recent months we didn’t officially close out our men’s AIL coverage.
We’re not adding much more than what we published in our Week 14 Status Update, just a little bit more information about the individual clubs.
AIL 1A: Final Standings
Despite winning the league at Week 14, I’d guess that Cork Constitution will be a little disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to progress through the remaining four league games and the playoffs to complete an undefeated season.
I’d also guess that Young Munster, who were on fire with a run of four wins on the bounce before the season came to an abrupt end, will also be disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to get into the playoffs. It was some turnaround from the Limerick side who went five games without a win at the start of the season.
Personally, I was looking forward to UCC’s dogfight at the bottom with Dublin University and Ballynahinch who they were due to meet in the closing fixtures.
AIL 1A Leading Scorers.
There was a total of 2,728 points scored over the fourteen weekends of the competition giving an average of 195 points per round.
The points came from a total of 394 tries, 226 conversions (65% conversion rate), 174 penalties and 3 drop goals.
Week 8 was the highest scoring week with 285 points scored, including a colossal 41 tries, giving an average of just over 8 tries per game that weekend.
The highest individual amount of points scored was recorded in Week 12 with Lansdowne’s Craig Ronaldson clocking up 19 points from 2 conversions and 5 penalties.
The final standings for the leading points scorers are shown below.
It seemed to be between Ballynahinch’s Sean O’Hagan and Young Munster’s Evan Cusack for much of the season with O’Hagan at the top of the table after Week 11.
However, Sean Kearns was in the middle of making his move and a 32 point haul over Week 11 and Week 12 saw the Clontarf man move clear to claim the 2020 AIL 1A Leading Points Scorer title.
The leading try scorer table also promised an exciting end to the sason with all the canditates below in the running with four games to go.
We don’t know who, if any would have made a late move but the 2020 AIL 1A Leading Try Scorer ended up being shared between Ballynahinch’s Aaron Cairns and Cork Constitutions Bryan Hayes who both bagged 8 tries each over the 14 games played.
AIL 1A Team of the Season
We’ve referenced the teams by points difference, tries scored and try conversion rate in the graphics below.
Of note are Clontarf’s and Dublin University scoring rates as they joined Cork Con with over 300 points for the season and Young Munster’s Evan Cusack certainly deserves a mention as the man behind their 85% try conversion rate.
However, one team dominated the league and it would impossible to look beyond them for the Team of the Season.
It’s no surprise that runaway league leaders Cork Constitution are our AIL 1A Team of the Season. We managed to catch them when they were up playing Ballynahinch on a cold and extremely wet Saturday in February. At the time I said;
… looking down the lens at their play, they worked some nice moves with plenty of options behind the ball carrier. In fact their movement was very good and it’s a pity I didn’t get to see this game in prime conditions.
Cork Constitution took command of the league from day one and didn’t give any of the other teams a chance with their unbeaten run of 14 games.
They were the league’s leading points scorers and this, combined with the tightest defence in the league, gave them the the biggest points difference by some margin.
The Cork side also topped the try scoring table with 41 tries, the only minor blemish on their near perfect record being their “average” conversion rate of 68%.
You can view all their scorers below.
You can view the rest of the teams stats in the dropdowns below.