CRICKET: 2016/17 CRCA Team of the Season

CONSISTENCY: Harwood's Doug Harris is one of four players to be named in all four editions of Northy's CRCA Team of the Year since it was introduced in 2014/15.
CONSISTENCY: Harwood's Doug Harris is one of four players to be named in all four editions of Northy's CRCA Team of the Year since it was introduced in 2014/15. Debrah Novak

AFTER another gruelling summer of cricket, the Clarence Valley's brightest stars will be recognised tonight at Clarence River Cricket Association's annual presentation dinner at the Grafton District Services Club.

Despite comfortably winning another minor premiership, this season saw Harwood's three-year reign come to an end at the hands of Brothers in the GDSC Premier League grand final.

The win at Ellem Oval came on the back of opener Billy Kerr's 108. But despite his heroics, an otherwise lean season with the bat saw the 2015/16 CRCA Cricketer of the Year narrowly miss out on selection in Northy's 2016/17 CRCA Premier League Team of the Season.

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CHAMPION: Brothers' wicket-keeper Billy Kerr is chaired off the field after the side clinched the CRCA Premier League trophy at Ellem Oval. Kerr scored 108 in the decider.
CHAMPION: Brothers' wicket-keeper Billy Kerr is chaired off the field after the side clinched the CRCA Premier League trophy at Ellem Oval. Kerr scored 108 in the decider. Matthew Elkerton

Despite finishing fourth after losing a third minor semi-final in a row to Tucabia-Copmanhurst, Coutts Crossing boasts the most players in the side with four (*1). It was a much improved overall effort statistically from Coutts, who finished the regular season equal second with Brothers on 55 competition points and missed out on a major semi-final berth by a mere 0.0448 quotient points.

Coutts also turned the tables on Harwood to win their first Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket title after surrendering the trophy to Harwood the previous two years.

>> RELATED STORY: Coutts lift curse to win firstNight Cricket trophy

DROUGHT BREAKER: Coutts Crossing broke its top grade major premiership drought defeating Harwood in the 2016/17 Cleaver's Mechanical Night Competition grand final at McKittrick Park.
DROUGHT BREAKER: Coutts Crossing broke its top grade major premiership drought defeating Harwood in the 2016/17 Cleaver's Mechanical Night Competition grand final at McKittrick Park. Judy Disson

Harwood (5) have three players, two each from Brothers (3) and Tucabia-Copmanhurst (1), one from GDSC Easts (0) and none from Westlawn (0). South Services (2) did not field a Premier League side in 2016/17.

* Last season in brackets

NORTHY'S 2016/17 CRCA PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON

(See in depth analysis below)

1. Nathan Ensbey (Harwood)

2. Luke Cox (wk) (Coutts Crossing)

3. Michael Summers (Brothers)

4. Ben Hill (GDSC Easts)

5. Jake Kroehnert (c) (Brothers)

6. Ben McMahon (Harwood)

7. Doug Harris (Harwood)

8. Brad Chard (Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

9. Chris Adamson (Tucabia-Copmanhurst)

10. Adam Elliott (Coutts Crossing)

11. Zac Page (Coutts Crossing)

12th Man: Eli Fahey (Coutts Crossing)

The quartet of Jake Kroehnert (Brothers), Ben McMahon (Harwood), Doug Harris (Harwood) and Brad Chard (Tucabia) have now been named in all three editions of Northy's Team of the Year.

1. NATHAN ENSBEY (Harwood)

WE SCRAMBLED for the record books when Ensbey notched up 434 runs before Christmas. Despite a leaner latter half he was still the leading run scorer with 644 at 49.54. His high score of 158 came when Harwood piled on 1(dec) for 289 against GDSC Easts. Also scored 97 against Brothers. A handy slipper, took 11 catches.

Honourable mention: Lachlan Johnson (Harwood) 272 runs at 30.22, HS 101.

Last season: Tom Kroehnert (Souths).

 

AT THE TOP: Harwood captain Nathan Ensbey was the CRCA Premier League leading run scorer in 2016/17 with 644 runs at 49.54.
AT THE TOP: Harwood captain Nathan Ensbey was the CRCA Premier League leading run scorer in 2016/17 with 644 runs at 49.54. Adam Hourigan

2. LUKE COX (wk), (Coutts Crossing)

THE 23-year-old realised his potential with a personal best season of 502 runs at 38.62 including first career century, 123 against Harwood. Finished season with three 50s in a row and 48 in semi-final. A solid gloveman, took 18 catches. Also took 10 wickets at 15.60 with part-time offspin.

Honourable mention: Billy Kerr (Brothers). 345 runs at 34.50, HS 108, 14 catches.

Last season: Billy Kerr (Brothers).

 

KEEPER: Pictured hitting a square drive for the Clarence River representative side, Luke Cox hit 502 Premier League runs for Coutts Crossing at an average of 38.62.
COMING OF AGE: 23-year-old Luke Cox produced his best season. Matthew Elkerton

3. MICHAEL SUMMERS, (Brothers)

RETURNED to the game with a bang, smashing 144 in round one. Finished with 506 runs at 46.00, including 56 in the grand final. Took 10 wickets at 18.30 with the ball.

Honourable mention: Jason Rainbow (Westlawn) 331 runs at 30.09, HS 122, five stumpings.

Last season: Brendan Cleaver (Souths).

 

SOLID: Brothers batsman Mick Summers scored 506 runs at 46.00.
SOLID: Brothers batsman Mick Summers scored 506 runs at 46.00. Debrah Nova

4. BEN HILL, (GDSC Easts)

LED a courageous, vastly improved GDSC Easts side, producing a reliable return of 433 runs at 39.36 with four 50s including top score of 87.

Honourable mention: Andrew Buchanan (Tucabia) 311 runs at 28.27, HS 61.

Last season: Mark Ensbey (Harwood).

 

RELIABLE: GDSC Easts skipper Ben Hill finished with 433 runs at 39.36.
RELIABLE: GDSC Easts skipper Ben Hill finished with 433 runs at 39.36. Debrah Novak

5. JAKE KROEHNERT, (c) (Brothers)

WITH Kroehnert at the helm, Brothers hung on for second on the ladder and saved their best for the grand final. The skipper scored 480 at 40.00 with two hundreds, and toiled away for 15 wickets at 24.87.

Honourable mention: Bill North (Coutts Crossing) 273 runs at 30.33, HS 85*.

Last season: Jake Kroehnert (Brothers).

 

SKIPPER: Captain of premiership winning side Brothers, Jake Kroehnert scored  480 runs at 40.00 and took 15 wickets at 24.87.
SKIPPER: Captain of premiership winning side Brothers, Jake Kroehnert scored 480 runs at 40.00 and took 15 wickets at 24.87. Debrah Novak

6. BEN McMAHON, (Harwood)

SLOTS into side for a third year in a row thanks to solid back half of season. Selected as the all-rounder, McMahon finished with 389 at 38.9 including highest score of 115no with the bat, and 21 wickets at 15.52 (ER 2.74) with the ball.

Honourable mention: Rohan Hackett (Westlawn) 209 runs at 26.13, HS 79, 11 wkts at 16.09.

Last season: Ben McMahon (Harwood).

 

ALL-ROUNDER: Harwood's Ben McMahon scored 389 runs at 38.9 and took 21 wickets at 15.52 (ER 2.74) with the ball.
Harwood's Ben McMahon is one of four players to have been named in all three editions of Northy's Team of the Year, along with Jake Kroehnert (Brothers), Doug Harris (Harwood) and Brad Chard. Debrah Novak

7. DOUG HARRIS, (Harwood)

ALSO relied on second half of the season with 372 at 37.2 with the bat (HS 125*). The side's spinner with 19 wickets at 13.37 (ER 2.96). Top slipper, took 13 catches.

Honourable mention: Jackson Grieve (GDSC Easts) 249 runs at 20.75, HS 66, 22 wkts at 30.55, ER 4.97.

Last season: Doug Harris (Harwood).

 

SPIN OPTION: Off spinner Doug Harris took 19 wickets at 13.37. He also scored 372 runs at 37.2 and took 13 catches.
SPIN OPTION: Off spinner Doug Harris took 19 wickets at 13.37. He also scored 372 runs at 37.2 and took 13 catches. Debrah

8. BRAD CHARD, (Tucabia-Copmahurst)

CONTINUES to be the most potent bowler in the competition with 39 wickets at 11.44 (ER 2.78). Saved his best figures of 7 for 39 for the semi-final win over former club Coutts Crossing. Also a picture of consistency with the bat, the Tucabia captain batted himself too far down the order, scoring 274 runs at 30.44 despite a highest score of just 52.

Honourable mention: Luke Many (Harwood) 197 runs at 24.63, HS 50*, 17 wkts at 17.88, ER 2.52.

Last season: Brad Chard (Tucabia).

 

SPEARHEAD: The Clarence Valley's quickest bowler, Tucabia-Copmanhurst's Brad Chard 39 wickets at 11.44. He also scored 274 runs at 30.44 with the bat.
SPEARHEAD: The Clarence Valley's quickest bowler, Tucabia-Copmanhurst's Brad Chard 39 wickets at 11.44. He also scored 274 runs at 30.44 with the bat. Debrah Novak

9. CHRIS ADAMSON, (Tucabia-Copmahurst)

TURNED back clock with some of his most lethal spells in years. The Adamson-Chard combination came to the fore in the semi-final when the pair single-handedly routed Coutts Crossing including seven ducks. Along with 29 wickets at 16.28 (ER 2.67, BB 5/73), Adamson was more than handy with the bat scoring 240 at 24.00 (HS 79*).

Honourable mention: Mitch Kroehnert (Brothers) 133 runs at 13.30, HS 46, 26 wkts at 15.88, ER 2.78.

Last season: Nathan Essex (Harwood).

 

AGELESS: Tucabia-Copmahurst veteran Chris Adamson returned 29 wickets at 16.28 and scored 240 runs at 24.00.
STILL GOT IT: Tucabia veteran Chris Adamson turned back the clock in 2016-17. Debrah Novak

10. ADAM ELLIOTT, (Coutts Crossing)

BLOSSOMED into a genuine Premier League wrecking ball with deadly accuracy and control. A mid-season hamstring injury prevented him from taking more than his 28 wickets at 12.57 (ER 2.37).

Honourable mention: Daley Durrant (Harwood) 22 wkts at 16.64, ER 2.72.

Last season: Andy Kinnane (Brothers).

 

RELENTLESS: Coutts Crossing's Adam Elliott found his groove in his third season since taking up cricket to pocket 28 wickets at 12.57.
RELENTLESS: Coutts Crossing's Adam Elliott found his groove in his third season since taking up cricket to pocket 28 wickets at 12.57. Debrah Novak

11. ZAC PAGE, (Coutts Crossing)

A MASTERFUL, selfless display from the bowling talisman with 41 wickets at 15.02 (ER 2.55). Sent down total of 241.5 overs including 62 maidens despite a chronic elbow complaint.

Honourable mention: Jack Weatherstone (Brothers) 24 wkts at 16.04, ER 3.07.

Last season: Zac Page (Coutts Crossing).

 

BOWLOLOGIST: Coutts Crossing's Zac Page bowlsed a total of 241.5 overs including 62 maidens to take 41 wickets at 15.02.
BOWLOLOGIST: Coutts Crossing's Zac Page bowlsed a total of 241.5 overs including 62 maidens to take 41 wickets at 15.02. Debrah Novak

12th man: ELI FAHEY, (Coutts Crossing)

BREAKOUT season in Premier League for the 15-year-old, with 294 runs at 22.62 including a maiden Premier League half-century of 72 against Westlawn. Took 12 wickets at 19.83 including 4 for 44 off 14 overs bowling legspin in an upset win over Harwood. Took 11 catches, staking his claim as arguably the best cover fielder in the competition.

Honourable mentions: Ben Jurd (Brothers) 271 runs at 24.64, HS 60; Jacob Ellis (GDSC Easts) 231 runs at 25.67, HS 64.

Last season: Lachlan Johnson (Harwood).

 

YOUNG GUN: Coutts Crossing 15-year-old Eli Fahey scored 294 runs at 22.62, took 12 wickets at 19.83 and took 11 catches.
YOUNG GUN: Coutts Crossing 15-year-old Eli Fahey scored 294 runs at 22.62, took 12 wickets at 19.83 and took 11 catches. Debrah Nova

Twenty20 DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

PICKED primarily on form throughout the 2014/15 Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket season, with a focus on batting and bowling styles suited to the shorter form of the game, on the premise that in reality it could be viewed as a pathway to playing at a higher level in the fast growing, popular form of the Twenty20 version of the game. For example, hypothetically playing in a Plan B Regional Big Bash trial for Coffs Coast Chargers.

1. Tim Tilse (Coutts) (wk): 178 at 59.33, HS 91.

The Coutts Crossing stalwart was the competition's leading run scorer and fittingly scored 42 in the grand final to help the club to its first ever top grade major premiership.

MASTER BLASTER: Couttts Crossing opener Tim Tilse was the Cleaver Mechanical Cricket competition's leading run scorer with 178.
MASTER BLASTER: Couttts Crossing opener Tim Tilse was the Cleaver Mechanical Cricket competition's leading run scorer with 178. Matthew Elkerton

2. Ben Jurd (Brothers): 125 runs at 20.83, HS 49.

Revelled in the opportunity to open the batting throughout the season and one of the most improved cricketers in the competition.

3. Mark Ensbey (Harwood): 145 runs at 29.00, HS 79.

A very dangerous batsman who showed how devastating he can be in the shorter format with five 6s in his 79 in the final round against South Services.

4. Ben McMahon (c) (Harwood) 170 runs at 85.00, HS 49*.

Led Harwood to a third straight grand final, this time going down to Coutts. Has the cricket brain to lead in the shorter format.

5. Bob McKenzie (Tucabia) 137 runs at 27.40, HS 45.

Capable of going big, Bobby was Tucabia's most consistent with the bat in Night Cricket this season, despite a lean showing in Premier League.

6. Eli Fahey (Coutts) 129 at 32.25, HS 41, 7 wkts at 16.71, ER 5.57, BB 5/30.

Keeps the score ticking over with the bat, can restrict with the ball and an exceptional fielder.

RISING STAR: Coutts Crossing's Eli Fahey had an exceptional Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket season scoring 129 runs at 32.25 and snaring seven wickets at 16.71.
RISING STAR: Coutts Crossing's Eli Fahey had an exceptional Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket season scoring 129 runs at 32.25 and snaring seven wickets at 16.71. Adam Hourigan

7. Jarrod Lynch (Brothers) 117 runs at 58.50, HS 68*.

Another who saved his best for Night Cricket, including a match-winning 68* in premiers Coutts Crossing's only loss. Fielding also an asset.

8. Brandon Honeybrook (Harwood) 113 runs at 56.50, HS 55*, 10 wkts at 9.40, ER 4.48, BB 5/20.

Most dangerous hitter in the competition and leading wicket taker with left arm pace.

 

DANGER MAN: Pictured bowling for the Lower Clarence representative outfit, Brandon Honeybrook was the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket leading wicket taker with 10 wickets at 9.40 for Harwood. He also belted 113 runs at 56.50.
DANGER MAN: Pictured bowling for the Lower Clarence representative outfit, Brandon Honeybrook was the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket leading wicket taker with 10 wickets at 9.40 for Harwood. He also belted 113 runs at 56.50. Matthew Elkerton

9. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers) 105 runs at 21.00, HS 58, 6 wkts at 14.67, BB 3/16, ER 4.89.

Picked on his consistent numbers, despite a below par Night Cricket season by his standards.

10. Nick Wood (Coutts) 82 runs at 41.00, HS 54, 5 wkts at 13.60, ER 4.53, BB 4/28.

Stole the show in the grand final with a man of the match performance of 54 runs and 4 for 28 bowling at the death in an otherwise quiet Night Cricket season.

11. Zac Page (Coutts) 8 wkts at 9.38, ER 3.75, BB 3/20

Miserly as always, a perfect option to put top order under pressure early.

12. Hayden Ensbey (Harwood) 9 wkts at 14.33, ER 5.86, BB 3/31

The side's spinner, what he lacks in height he makes up with guile and determination. Disrespect this youngster at your own peril.

Also: Dylan Lucas (Brothers), Matthew Dalton (Souths), Jasper Peady (Souths) and Jacob Ellis (GDSC Easts) accompany the squad as development players with John Green (GDSC Easts) to carry the drinks after impressive Night Cricket seasons.

 

TWEAKER: Harwood left arm orthodox bowler took nine wickets at 14.33.
TWEAKER: Harwood left arm orthodox bowler took nine wickets at 14.33. Matthew Elkerton

The following players' performances were also worthy of selection and narrowly missed out:

Andrew McLachlan (Coutts) 7 wkts at 12.71, ER 3.56, BB 3/13 - adds variation with his legspin, definitely room for an extra spinner in the side.

Adam Elliott (Coutts) 47 runs at 15.67, HS 28, 6 wkts at 11.50, ER 3.45, BB 3/18 - could easily interchange an all-rounder for another genuine pace option.

Daniel Cootes (Tucabia) 94 runs at 18.80, HS 37, 6 wkts at 16.67, ER 5.83, BB 2/31 - handy with bat and ball, his most consistent season in years.

Josh Amos (South Services) 8 wkts at 17.38, ER 6.22, BB 4/25 - has the stats to match, but slightly too expensive.

Meet Adam Elliott: builder by day, batman by night.: Builder and cricketer Adam Elliott has combined his passions as a cricket tragic and a handy man with the tools to become Grafton's very own batman.