DUE to the rapid increase in COVID numbers that is growing at a relentless rate, the AUL Committee have re-considered starting the second half of the season as planned for at least two weeks, in which case, another observation will be conducted to decide a possible start date for 2022.
Although the decision was made in the interest of safety, COVID once again has generated a huge level of frustration and disappointment across the league, with many players and followers demonstrating huge levels of disappointment.
From a personal point of view, I just hope that football action will return as soon as possible as sport is one of the most important outlets for people to take part in, especially at a time like this.
However, let’s keep on hoping that this trend of rising numbers will evaporate to allow everyone get back to some kind of normality.
Over the Christmas break and beforehand, I have covered all the divisions in the Cork AUL with regard to looking at the potential winners and promotion prospects of teams likely to emerge from each section at the end of the season.
Today, we take a look now across all those sections again, but this time focus on the battle against relegation.
As usual, we will start at the Premiership.
The system of relegation here is a little different to that of the other sections so, here’s how it works.
The team finishing up at the basement end here will get relegated to the Premier A.
The second last team will play off against the winners of the play-off between team three to six in Premier A League with the winner playing in Premier League next season and loser playing in Premier A League.
Currently, it looks like Dunbar Celtic have it all to do to avoid relegation as they have yet to win a game following three losses from three.
However, there are enough of decent players in this side to make an impact, once the action starts again.
The Premiership is very much in its infancy to figure out who will end up as the second last team to take part in this play-off, but everyone will have to up their game here once the season re-starts.
In Premier A, there’s just one that will go down and on the current evidence, it would look like Kilmichael Rovers have an awful lot to do to survive.
Winning just one and losing eight from nine with nine goals scored while conceding 39 goals are really and truly warning signs.
However, South Coast Athletic and Central Rovers are living on the edge a bit also and would really want to improve on their performances to gain points in an effort to pull themselves away from the danger zone.
In League 1, there will be two teams relegated which will make the fight for survival all the more difficult.
As we view the table now, we see that Rathcoole Rovers, Strand United A and Rylane Celtic are all in very vulnerable positions right now as it would look like the fight for survival is between the three of them with perhaps Rylane the team needing most improvement after losing eight and winning one from nine.
It’s also very unfortunate to see Hibernians failing to finish the season as they did have a reasonably good start.
In League 2, there will be one relegated and even at this point in time, it looks like the battle here to avoid the drop will be between Imogeela FC and Bweeng Celtic.
And what a battle royal this one will be.
Bweeng have five games left with two points to spare over Imogeela FC while the East Cork side have seven games left so, this one could go all the way to the wire.
For obvious reasons, there will be no relegation in the League 3, but no-one wants to finish last, so I guess at this point in time, it would certainly look like the battle to not finish up at the basement end will be between Watergrasshill United, Coachford B, Strand B and St. John Boscos B.