2017/18 Premier League Team of the Season
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.
Harwood's dominance shone through with a first class batting performance to post 8 for 325 off 98 overs in the GDSC Premier League grand final, against a Tucabia-Copmanhurst bowling attack that featured the competition's two runaway leading wicket takers.
- CHAMPIONS: Harwood undefeated through the season
- PLUSH VELVET: Harwood seamer winds back the clock in decider
A typically all-round effort with bat and ball saw Harwood (3) go through the 2017/18 season undefeated in both Premier League and Cleavers Night Cricket, and deservedly have five names in Northy's CRCA Team of the Year.
For what it was worth, outright victories saw Tucabia (2) steal the minor premiership despite three losses during the season, and four players named in this team, including a couple of surprises.
There was a clear top four this season. As such Brothers (2) with two and Westlawn (0) one claimed the remaining spots in the side. In fact, out of Coutts Crossing (4), South Services (0) and GDSC Easts (1), who won just four games between them, only two players earned honourable mentions.
* Last season in brackets
Six players from last year's side feature again, including the quartet of Jake Kroehnert, Ben McMahon, Doug Harris and Brad Chard who have now been named in all four editions of Northy's Team of the Year. Meanwhile, there are five debutants in the side.
NORTHY'S 2017/18 CRCA PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON
(See in depth analysis below)
1. Nathan Ensbey (Harwood)
2. Mark Ensbey (Harwood)
3. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers)
4. Jacob Ellis (Westlawn)
5. Ben McMahon (Harwood)
6. Doug Harris (Harwood)
7. Brandon Honeybrook (Harwood)
8. Derek Woods (wk) (Tucabia)
9. Chris Adamson (Tucabia)
10. Jack Weatherstone (Brothers)
11. Brad Chard (c) (Tucabia)
- Check out Northy's 2016/17 CRCA Team of the Season
- Check out Northy's 2015/6 CRCA Team of the Season
1. NATHAN ENSBEY (Harwood)
FOR the second year in a row piled on more runs than any other batsman in GDSC Premier League, scoring 505 at 38.85. His resistance at the top of the order went a long way towards Harwood only being bowled out once in an undefeated season.
Scored four 50s including a high score of 81 against Brothers in round five and 75 in the grand final. A handy slipper, snavelled the most catches of any outfielder with 11.
Honourable mention: Dan Cootes (Tucabia) 317 runs at 24.38, HS 57.
Last season: Nathan Ensbey (Harwood)
2. MARK ENSBEY (Harwood)
A VERY consistent season amassing 345 runs at 26.54 despite only a top score of 52.
The bullish left-right combination of the Ensbeys at the top for Harwood is often enough to reduce opposition teams to tears before a wicket's been taken, passing 50 without loss on seven occasions at the crease together.
Honourable mention: Tom Kroehnert (South Services) 300 runs at 27.27, HS 82.
Last season: Michael Summers (Brothers)
3. JAKE KROEHNERT (Brothers)
A MAGNIFICENT start to 2017/18 which tailed off slightly before perhaps the innings of the season - a chanceless 87 to set up victory in the minor semi-final. A return of 339 runs at 49.88 and four 50s.
A mixture of mediums and legpspin yielded 15 wkts at 17.60, and safe hands with 8 catches.
- Captain courageous Kroehnert grinds out win in heat
- Kroehnert stands tall as Brothers come home strong to win
Honourable mention: Harrison Nicholson (Harwood) 188 runs at 94.00, HS 60no.
Last season: Jake Kroehnert (Brothers)
4. JACOB ELLIS (Westlawn)
A BREAKOUT year for Ellis who, despite being a notable state bowler as a junior, starred with the bat scoring 316 runs at 39.50 including one of just two Premier League centuries this season - 119 against his old club GDSC Easts.
Injuries meant bowling took a backseat and his elegant strokeplay came to the fore instead, cementing his place in the Clarence River representative side in the process.
Scored an important 62no to stave outright against Tucabia in round 13.
Honourable mention: Mitchell Kroehnert (Brothers) 197 runs at 28.14, HS 91, 12 wkts at 15.25, ER 2.70.
Last season: Ben Hill (GDSC Easts)
5. BEN McMAHON (Harwood)
EXCEPTIONAL season as first change with the ball, and came good with the bat when it mattered most - scoring 66 in the major semi-final and 67 in the grand final.
Numbers read 335 runs at 30.45, 6 catches, 17 wkts at 8.94, ER 2.00, SR 26.88, BB 4/5.
Honourable mention: Jamie Firth (Brothers) 196 runs at 24.50, HS 40no, 5 catches, 15 wkts at 7.20, ER 1.83, BB 5/14.
Last season: Ben McMahon (Harwood)
6. DOUG HARRIS (Harwood)
SELECTED as the spinner, taking 22 wkts at 8.00, ER 2.79, SR 17.23, BB 5/32.
But batting alone would've sufficed for the No.6 position with 314 runs at 31.40, including three 50s, HS 63.
Stat attack: 'Caught' was mode of dismissal in nine innings until 'lbw' in grand final.
7 catches to go with Ensbey's 11 - the slip cordon was busy at Harwood.
Honourable mention: Jacob McMahon (Harwood) 21 wkts at 9.52, ER 2.99, SR 19.14, BB 5/8.
Last season: Doug Harris (Harwood)
7. BRANDON HONEYBROOK (Harwood)
A BACK injury kept a trimmed down Honeybrook out of action for much of the middle part of the season.
The destructive left armer still managed to compile 248 runs at 35.43 and 10 wkts at 14.10, ER 2.55 in his return to Premier League from Lower Clarence, edging out Rohan Hackett for the allrounder slot.
- HONEYBROKEN: Injury cruels return to Premier League
- 'Bear' has the X-Factor in Valley's Interdistrict clash
Honourable mention: Rohan Hackett (Westlawn) 246 runs at 30.75, 14 wkts at 17.36, ER 2.98.
Last season: Adam Elliott (Coutts)
8. DEREK WOODS (wk) (Tucabia-Copmanhurst)
GETS the gloves through sheer weight of numbers. His 21 catches unrivalled, most off the bowling of Brad Chard and Chris Adamson, who are sure to have left a few bruised fingers throughout the season.
Tucabia's president is the consummate clubman on and off the field, exemplified by his dour yet decisive 35 to dig his side out of trouble in the preliminary final.
Honourable mention: Brad Knight (GDSC Easts) 198 runs at 19.80, HS 77no, 8 catches, 1 stumping.
Last season: Luke Cox (Coutts)
9. CHRIS ADAMSON (Tucabia-Copmanhurst)
VETERAN who just keeps on producing the goods for Tucabia. Forms a lethal opening bowling combination with Brad Chard.
Bowled 194 overs including 53 maidens to take 39 wkts at 15.03, ER 3.02, SR 29.85, BB 6/22. Apart from his teammate, took 14 more wickets than any other bowler.
Don't forget he can bat too - 186 runs at 23.25, HS 90.
- Adamson lethal with leather in outright win
- Adamson stands up with the willow
- HIGH FIVE: Chard, Adamson share spoils as top spot looms
Honourable mention: Luke Many (Harwood) 15 wkts at 16.20, ER 2.86, 156 runs at 39.00, 6 catches.
Last season: Chris Adamson (Tucabia)
10: JACK WEATHERSTONE (Brothers)
SOLID season sees the left armer finally break into Northy's Team of the Year for the first time, 22 wkts at 12.45, ER 2.74, BB 5/46.
Scored 105 runs at 21 including a brave 36no in the preliminary final.
Honourable mention: Nathan Blanch (Westlawn) 25 wkts at 18.40, ER 3.18, BB 5/27.
Last season: Zac Page (Coutts)
11. BRAD CHARD (c) (Tucabia-Copmanhurst)
AT THE start of the season no one predicted Tucabia-Copmanhurst to claim the minor premiership, and they did it ahead of undefeated Harwood despite three losses.
The key was three outright victories which Chard played a lead role not only with the ball, but in his decision making as captain - where his most costly error all season came at the coin toss of the grand final.
Bowled a mammoth 221.5 overs, including 50 maidens, to take 45 wkts at 13.38, ER 2.71, SR 29.58. Snared four five-wicket hauls, the best being 7 for 18 v Westlawn in round 13.
- Lethal seamers skittle Souths for 21
- FINE WINE: Chard spearheads Tucabia onslaught
- Tucabia wins outright thriller against Westlawn
Honourable mention: Mark Vallette (Harwood) 16 wkts at 12.13, ER 2.95, BB 4/37 v Tucabia in grand final.
Last season: Brad Chard (Tucabia)
12th: BLAKE RYAN (Tucabia)
A FANTASTIC rookie season at the top of the order nd one to watch in the future. Perseverance paid off with 48 and 50no in last round outright win against Coutts to secure Premier League minor premiership for first time since 2012/13. Finished with 234 runs at 16.71.
Honourable mentions: Dylan Lucas (Brothers) 11 wkts at 10.27, ER 2.28; Hayden Ensbey (Harwood) 12 wkts at 12.17.
Last season: Eli Fahey (Coutts)
Twenty20 DEVELOPMENT SQUAD
PICKED primarily on form throughout the 2017/18 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 Twenty20 version of the game. For example, hypothetically playing in a Plan B Regional Big Bash trial for Coffs Coast Chargers.
1. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers): 166 at 41.50, HS 65.
2. Matthew Farrell (wk) (Harwood): 111 runs at 55.50, HS 74.
3. Jamie Firth (Brothers): 218 at 43.60, HS 69no, 7 wkts at 10.71, BB 5/10, ER 5.77.
4. Ben McMahon (c) (Harwood): 135 at 67.50, HS 67no. 9 wkts at 5.78, ER 3.71, BB 4/15 in grand final.
5. Jacob Ellis (Westlawn): 172 runs at 43.00.
6. Brandon Honeybrook (Harwood): 141 at 47, HS 65 in gf, 2 50s, 8 6s. 3 wkts at 19.00, ER 3.80.
7. Jimmy Watters (Easts): 178 runs at 29.67, HS 61, 4 catches, 9 wkts at 13.33, ER 4.14, BB 3/14.
8. Nick Wood (Coutts): 114 runs at 28.50, HS 42, 7 wkts at 15.86, ER 4.76, BB 3/28.
9. Shannon Connor (Easts): 95 runs at 19.00, HS 47, 6 wkts at 20.83, ER 5.00, BB 3/17.
10. Rohan Hackett (Westlawn): 6 wkts at 5.83, ER 2.33, BB 4/10.
11. Brayden Pardoe (Tucabia): 8 wkts at 5.39, ER 3.31, SR 9.75, BB 5/10.
12. Tyson Blackadder (Tucabia): 8 wkts at 10.25, ER 4.82, BB 4/18.
Also: Dylan Lucas (Brothers), Jacob McMahon (Harwood) to accompany the squad as development players.