GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst all-rounder Rohan Hackett had a 2018/19 GDSC Premier League grand final to remember, removing Brothers Clocktower Hotel captain Jake Kroehnert for a golden duck in his spell of 2 for 29 off 9 and hit the winning runs with a six in his innings of 22 not out off 13 balls at Ellem Oval in Grafton on Sunday, 31st March, 2019.
GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst all-rounder Rohan Hackett had a 2018/19 GDSC Premier League grand final to remember, removing Brothers Clocktower Hotel captain Jake Kroehnert for a golden duck in his spell of 2 for 29 off 9 and hit the winning runs with a six in his innings of 22 not out off 13 balls at Ellem Oval in Grafton on Sunday, 31st March, 2019. Bill North

2018/19 Premier League Team of Season

CRCA CRICKET: As the sun sets on the summer of 2018/19 it's time to reveal the CRCA Premier League Team of the Season.

This year the introduction of the North Coast Premier League diminished the player pool somewhat, with Harwood and the cream of the crop at Coutts Crossing lured away to the higher tier competition.

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However, I won't delve into the positives and negatives of that situation - the last two paragraphs I published on that topic led to a severe reaction from CRCA president Tim Kinnane, so I'll let that one go through to the keeper in the knowledge that at least it has sparked a much-needed conversation.

 

In the meantime it gave new players the opportunity to shine and, after an incredible 11 centuries and 22 five-wicket hauls in GDSC Premier League this season, the 2018/19 CRCA Team of the Season includes nine debutants.

With the omission of Harwood's Ben McMahon and Doug Harris, only Jake Kroehnert and Brad Chard remain as players who have featured in all five editions of Northy's CRCA Team of the Year. Meanwhile Matt Dougherty, who featured in the inaugural CRCA Premier League Team of the Season in 2014/15, is the only other player to previously appear in this list.

In a side that includes nine debutants, premiers GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst dominate with five players selected, just three feature from Brothers Clocktower Hotel despite being undefeated minor premiers, there is one each from South Services, GDSC Easts, Phil Lloyd Earthmoving Tucabia-Copmanhurst and Jacaranda Hotel Westlawn while Grafton Hotel Coutts Crossing failed to rate a mention.

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NORTHY'S 2018/19 CRCA PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON

(See in depth analysis below)

1. Dylan Cleaver (South Services)

2. Kallen Lawrence (wk) (Brothers)

3. Matt Dougherty (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

4. Jake Kroehnert (c) (Brothers)

5. Andrew Buchanan (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

6. Rohan Hackett (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

7. Tyson Blackadder (Phil Lloyd Earthmoving Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

8. Shannon Connor (GDSC Easts)

9. Brayden Pardoe (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

10. Brad Chard (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

11. Billy Weatherstone (Brothers)

12. Ben Shipman (Westlawn)

1. DYLAN CLEAVER (South Services)

IN A TRUE coming of age, scored 610 runs at 55.45. Started with 145 in round one and repeated dose with 145 against PLE Tucabia-Copmanhurst in round 12.

In the field for his maiden ton, I head Dylan admit to hitting his first six at senior level. By season's end he had cleared the rope on 15 occasions.

Honourable mention: Beau Sevil (Brothers) 331 runs at 30.09, HS 67.

Last season: Nathan Ensbey (Harwood).

 

South Services opener Dylan Cleaver during a GDSC Premier League cricket match from two years ago.
South Services opener Dylan Cleaver during a GDSC Premier League cricket match from two years ago. Debrah Novak

2. KALLEN LAWRENCE (wk) (Brothers)

IT ALL clicked for the 23-year-old at the start of the season including a maiden Premier League ton in round two. Form subsided after Christmas and failed to convert starts, but already had enough runs on the board to secure an opening spot in this side. Finished with 435 runs at 36.25.

The beneficiary of a disciplined bowling attack took 25 catches to earn the gloves.

Honourable mention: John Martin (GDSC Easts) 292 runs at 18.25, 27 catches.

Last season: Derek Woods (Tucabia).

 

Kallen Lawrence drives a ball down the ground for four playing for Brothers against Easts.
Kallen Lawrence drives a ball down the ground for four playing for Brothers against Easts. Adam Hourigan

3. MATT DOUGHERTY (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

RETURNED from a long break due to injury refreshed and more measured in his approach. Known as a cavalier opener, experimented in the middle order and scored both centuries from No.3.

Finished with returns of 398 runs at 33.17 and (only) 12 sixes.

Honourable mention: Tom Kroehnert (South Services) 277 runs at 25.18, HS 45.

Last season: Mark Ensbey (Harwood).

 

Matt Dougherty scored 100 for GI Hotel Tucabia in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League round four match between GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst and Phil Lloyd Earthmoving Tucabia-Copmanhurst on Saturday, 2nd December, 2018.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Matt Dougherty scored 100 for GI Hotel Tucabia in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League round four match between GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst and Phil Lloyd Earthmoving Tucabia-Copmanhurst on Saturday, 2nd December, 2018.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

4. JAKE KROEHNERT (c) (Brothers)

UNDEFEATED minor premiership in no small part due to skipper's 513 runs at 46.64, including two 100s and four 50s. Chimed in with 12 wickets at 18.83.

His golden duck in the grand final was the death knell for Brothers.

Honourable mention: Matt Pigg (GIH Tuc-Cop) 277 runs at 46.17, HS 163, 11 wkts at 14.27, 7 catches.

Last season: Jake Kroehnert (Brothers).

 

Brothers' captain Jake Kroehnert looks for a quick single during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between McKimm's R/E Brothers and Happy Smiles Easts.
Brothers' captain Jake Kroehnert looks for a quick single during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between McKimm's R/E Brothers and Happy Smiles Easts. Matthew Elkerton

5. ANDREW BUCHANAN (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

QUIET achiever revelled in consistency with 354 runs at 39.33, three half-centuries including top score of 66.

Newfound success with legspin yielded 18 wkts at 14.22 to land the spinner's spot.

Honourable mention: Brad Scott (South Services) 22 wkts at 19.18.

Last season: Doug Harris (Harwood).

 

Andrew Buchanan in a game between Tucabia-Comanhurst and Brothers.
Andrew Buchanan in a game between Tucabia-Comanhurst and Brothers. Caitlan Charles

6. ROHAN HACKETT (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

PLAYER of the season for mine, with the best batting and bowling averages in the league. Aggregate numbers held back only by limited opportunities due to wealth of talented teammates.

For the record, scored 475 runs at 67.86 with a highest score of 143 in the preliminary final against GDSC Easts, and 28 wickets at 7.89, strike rate 18.21, economy rate 2.60, best figures 5 for 8.

Beat Jake Kroehnert for pace in the grand final and hit the winning the runs with a six.

Honourable mention: Mitchell Kroehnert (Brothers) 106 runs at 21.20, HS 49, 15 wkts at 8.93, SR 21.20, ER 2.53, BB 5/19.

Last season: Ben McMahon (Harwood).

 

GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst all-rounder Rohan Hackett had a 2018/19 GDSC Premier League grand final to remember, removing Brothers Clocktower Hotel captain Jake Kroehnert for a golden duck in his spell of 2 for 29 off 9 and hit the winning runs with a six in his innings of 22 not out off 13 balls at Ellem Oval in Grafton on Sunday, 31st March, 2019.
GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst all-rounder Rohan Hackett had a 2018/19 GDSC Premier League grand final to remember, removing Brothers Clocktower Hotel captain Jake Kroehnert for a golden duck in his spell of 2 for 29 off 9 and hit the winning runs with a six in his innings of 22 not out off 13 balls at Ellem Oval in Grafton on Sunday, 31st March, 2019. Bill North

7. TYSON BLACKADDER (Phil Lloyd Earthmoving Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

SEES the ball as well as any and bowls a dangerous off-cutter, a real player of the future who dominated the numbers for the second Tucabia team.

Scored 402 runs at 28.71 including a match-winning 93 against South Services which set his team for an unlikely run to the semi-finals. A genunine all-rounder, returned 23 wickets at 23.78.

Honourable mention: Pat Vidler (Westlawn) 299 runs at 18.69, HS 69. 16 wkts at 19.25.

Last season: Brandon Honeybrook (Harwood).

 

Tucabia bowler Tyson Blackadder gets ready to deliver a ball.
Tucabia bowler Tyson Blackadder gets ready to deliver a ball. Adam Hourigan

8. SHANNON CONNOR (GDSC Easts)

CAREER best season for the crafty seamer highlighted by spells of 7 for 25, 6 for 25, 6 for 108 and 5 for 69. Bowled a total of 227.2 overs for a return of 49 wickets at 15.14 to carry GDSC Easts into first semi-final appearance since 2012/13.

Also led the team with the bat, with 376 runs at 31.33 including a whopping 23 sixes, and the most catches (9).

Honourable mention: Nathan Blanch (Westlawn) 197 runs at 16.42, HS 35, 27 wkts at 18.37, BB 7/39.

Last season: Jacob Ellis (Westlawn).

 

Shannon Connor during the GDSC Premier League minor semi-final between GDSC Easts and Tucabia-Copmanhurst Phil Lloyd Earthmoving.
Shannon Connor during the GDSC Premier League minor semi-final between GDSC Easts and Tucabia-Copmanhurst Phil Lloyd Earthmoving. Matthew Elkerton

9. BRAYDEN PARDOE (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

TOOK consistent wickets as part of an all star pace quartet with 23 at average 10.13 and economy rate 24.52. Last time he won a grand final he took five wickets for the Clarence River representative side in the 2014/15 NSW Country Shield Knockout. Rose to the occasion again with 5 for 11 in the big dance.

Honourable mention: Dylan Lucas (Brothers) 14 wkts at 15.36, ER 2.72.

Last season: Chris Adamson (Tucabia).

 

Brayden Pardoe approaches the crease during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Tucabia Copmanhurst and Westlawn at McKittrick Park.
Brayden Pardoe approaches the crease during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Tucabia Copmanhurst and Westlawn at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

10. BRAD CHARD (GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

ONCE again led the charge with 40 wickets at 10.48 and economy 2.45 and 7/33 against Westlawn.

Led Tucabia-Copmanhurst to its first Premier League title since 2012/13.

Honourable mention: Jack Weatherstone (Brothers) 24 wkts at 13.92, ER 3.15, BB 5/15.

Last season: Brad Chard (Tucabia).

 

GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst captain Brad Chard steams in during the GDSC Premier League grand final against Brothers Clocktower Hotel at Ellem Oval on Sunday, 31st March, 2019.
GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst captain Brad Chard steams in during the GDSC Premier League grand final against Brothers Clocktower Hotel at Ellem Oval on Sunday, 31st March, 2019. Bill North

11. BILLY WEATHERSTONE (Brothers)

FOUND something extra this season with 42 wickets at 9.55 and economy 2.69, and has to count himself desperately unlucky not to earn a cap in the Clarence River representative side.

Took 10 wickets for the match in the major semi-final against Tucabia-Copmanhurst to book a spot in the grand final.

Honourable mention: Chris Adamson (GIH Tuc-Cop) 20 wkts at 12.55, SR 30.00, ER 2.51. BB 5/10.

Last season: Jack Weatherstone (Brothers).

 

Brothers seamer Billy Weatherstone finished with 10 wickets for the match during the GDSC Premier League major semi-final between Brothers and Tucabia-Copmanhurst GI Hotel at Lower Fisher Park.
Brothers seamer Billy Weatherstone finished with 10 wickets for the match during the GDSC Premier League major semi-final between Brothers and Tucabia-Copmanhurst GI Hotel at Lower Fisher Park. Matthew Elkerton

12th: BEN SHIPMAN (Westlawn)

GIVEN an opportunity to establish himself at Premier League level with the bat, and repaid faith with 274 runs at 21.08.

Honourable mention: Layton Pigg (PLE Tuc-Cop) 20 wkts at 19.50; Hugh Cameron (GDSC Easts) 216 runs at 14.40, 9 wkts at 23.33.

Last season: Blake Ryan (Tucabia).

 

Westlawn opener Ben Shipman drives into the on side during the Cleavers Mechanical Night cricket clash between Westlawn and GDSC Easts.
Westlawn opener Ben Shipman drives into the on side during the Cleavers Mechanical Night cricket clash between Westlawn and GDSC Easts. Matthew Elkerton

TWENTY20 DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

THANKS to the North Coast Premier League and a shake up on the selection panel, it was encouraging to see a greater number of Clarence Valley-based players given an opportunity to play for the Coffs Coast Chargers in the Plan B Regional Big Bash.

The side had its best performance in the competition to date reaching the semi-finals, with former GDSC Premier League products Luke Cox and Doug Harris among those who starred at the SCG.

It is a genuine opportunity for specialists of the format to gain valuable exposure, and while the likes of Brandon Honeybrook and Eli Fahey had limited opportunities to shine on the SCG spotlight, there's always next year.

 

Services off-spinner Brad Scott loops the ball through the air during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between South Services and GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park.
ON THE UP: South Services off-spinner Brad Scott impressed with the ball in both the long and short formats of the game during his second full season of first grade. Matthew Elkerton

Meanwhile, Clarence River Cricket Association made the long overdue switch to Twenty20 cricket this season, giving local cricketers a genuine platform to state their case in the shorter format.

Here are the best performers from the 2018/19 Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket season:

1. Michael Summers (Brothers): 173 runs at 43.25, HS 53*.

2. Beau Sevil (Brothers): 128 runs at 21.33, HS 54.

 

Beau Sevil flicks into the leg side during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Brothers and Tucabia Copmanhurst at McKittrick Park.
Beau Sevil flicks into the leg side during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Brothers and Tucabia Copmanhurst at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

3. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers): 137 runs at 34.25, HS 60*. 5 wkts at 11.20, ER 4.00.

4. Rowan Green (South Services): 112 runs at 28.00, HS 42no.

5. Eli Fahey (c) (Coutts Crossing): 70 runs at 35.00, HS 40, 4 wkts at 8.75, ER 6.00, BB 4/12.

 

Eli Fahey on his way to four wickets in Coutts Crossing win over Easts in Cleavers Night Cricket Competition.
Eli Fahey on his way to four wickets in Coutts Crossing win over Easts in Cleavers Night Cricket Competition. Adam Hourigan

6. Jamie Firth (Brothers): 95 runs at 23.75, HS 26. 4 wkts at 17.50, ER 5.38, BB 17.50. 5 catches.

7. Tyson Blackadder (Tucabia): 55 runs at 18.33, HS 31*, 9 wkts at 10.00, ER 4.29, BB 2/6.

 

Tyson Blackadder gets his arm high in the delivery during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Brothers and Tucabia Copmanhurst at McKittrick Park.
Tyson Blackadder gets his arm high in the delivery during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket clash between Brothers and Tucabia Copmanhurst at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

8. Kallen Lawrence (wk) (Brothers): 43 runs at 10.75, HS 28. 7catches, 2stumpings, 3ro run outs.

9. Troy McLaren (Brothers): 9 wkts at 7.89, ER 4.44, BB 4/18.

10. Dylan Lucas (Brothers): 10 wkts at 2.10, ER 2.07, BB 7/10.

 

Brothers' seamer Dylan Lucas slings his arm through during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket semi-final between Westlawn and Brothers at McKittrick Park.
Brothers' seamer Dylan Lucas slings his arm through during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket semi-final between Westlawn and Brothers at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

11. Linden Harris (South Services): 6 wkts at 11.00, ER 3.50, BB 2/6. 4 catches.

12. Brad Scott (South Services): 10 wkts at 11.70, ER 5.53, BB 5/9.

Also: Layton Pigg (Tucabia), Ben Shipman (Westlawn) to accompany the squad as development players.