The cricket season has come to a close but that does not mean debate around the sport has to end.
The Daily Liberal has selected an RSL-Whitney Cup team of the season and we’ve thrown the voting over to you. Let us know if you agree or disagree with the side and we’ll let you know the results soon.
1. Brock Larance (CYMS, 608 runs at 43.43 and 15 wickets at 28.67 in 15 games)
An incredible RSL-Whitney Cup debut season, a regular season best of 608 runs and an aggressive style of player which tore apart some of the most feared attacks in the competition.
And all that as a 15-year-old. Brock Larance tailed off after the Christmas break but his season was still one to remember. A breakthrough century against Rugby after a number of starts early in the season was an undoubted highlight from one of the region’s most exciting talents.
2. Wes Giddings (RSL-Colts, 475 runs at 36.54 and 25 wickets at 9.44 in 14 games)
There was whispers the RSL-Colts club toyed with the idea of playing Giddings in second grade before the season began but if there was any doubt about the veteran all-rounder’s talents he made an emphatic statement this summer.
He more often than not got the eventual premiers off to a flying start and his best knock of the season was a century against Rugby. He was also one of the competition’s best bowlers and his wicket every 9.4 runs is a truly stunning average.
3. Mitch Bower (South Dubbo, 513 runs at 42.75 and 16 wickets at 19.94 in 13 games)
The first half of Bower’s season may have been very quiet but his efforts late in the season has him very deserving of a spot in the team of the season. He scored two centuries in the RSL-Whitney Cup season with his 115 in the semi-final win over Macquarie one of the most important knocks of the summer in terms of the situation of the game.
He also chimed in with his handy left arm orthodox and his five wickets in the grand final was a fitting way for the South Dubbo captain to end his season.
4. Jason Green (Macquarie, 650 runs at 46.43 in 16 games)
The Macquarie veteran and long-time run machine just keeps getting it done.
Including finals, no other players scored as many runs as Green this season and his consistency is exemplified by the fact he didn’t score a century this season.
Still the talisman of his side, Green’s performances were a big reason why the Blues finished in the top three.
5. Brad Cox (RSL-Colts, 428 runs at 35.67 and five wickets at 15 in 14 games)
How was this man playing second grade just a few seasons ago? Cox has made a fine return to the RSL-Whitney Cup in recent years and he anchored and guided his side countless times this summer.
Another man who didn’t make a century but scored more than 400 runs, Cox was the cornerstone for a side which was stacked with an incredible amount of batting talent.
6. Will Lindsay (South Dubbo 343 runs at 28.58 and 24 wickets at 14.04 in 14 games)
How would the grand final have turned out if the NSW Country all-rounder was available for the Hornets on day one against Colts? The more the season went on the better and more influential Lindsay became.
He rarely went for more than two or three an over while he always seemed to take important wickets just when needed. Souths’ go-to man with the ball, he also chipped in with valuable runs a number of times, in particular his supportive 69 in the final round win over CYMS.
7. Jason Ryan (RSL-Colts, 311 at 51.83, 16 catches and four stumpings in 14 games)
Not one of his best seasons with RSL-Colts but another solid effort with the bat, another class showing with the gloves all summer and yet another premiership.
Ryan took somewhat of a backseat role this season, with Greg Buckley taking over the captaincy and the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman moving down the order. But he still got the job done when called upon, his competition best average testament to that while his keeping was again exemplary.
8. Scott Tucker (South Dubbo, 255 runs at 31.88 and 18 wickets at 19.67 in 15 games)
Maybe a bit of a surprise selection but Tucker deserves to be here. Tucker, sometimes in his owns words around teammates, was forced to take on more work after the loss of inspirational Tim Berry.
Tucker’s bowling was solid without being spectacular this season but his batting came on in leaps and bounds and his two half centuries, especially his 70 against CYMS, were crucial.
9. Ben Semmler (RSL-Colts, 25 wickets at 9.80 in 14 games)
In a side laden with big personalities and big talents, Semmler quietly went about his work but he was a key cog in the premiership winning machine.
An average of 9.8 for a leading seamer is a remarkable feat and the way he moved the ball both in the air and off the pitch was one of the most technically impressive aspects of the season.
10. James Hughes (Macquarie, 21 wickets at 16.24 in 11 games)
Another youngster to make the team, Hughes was another who got better as the season went. In a side which lost a number of quicks during the off-season, Hughes went on to become his side’s spearhead.
His 6/35 against RSL-Colts was one of the performances of the season.
11. Bailey Edmunds (Newtown, 26 wickets at 18.77 in 12 games)
If someone told you before the season began Edmunds would finish as the competition’s leading wicket-taker, no one would believe it. That’s nothing against the Newtown youngster who gives 100% every single time he bowls but there are a number of others who would have been much more fancied.
But he fully deserved the accolade, steaming in time and time again, hitting the bat hard and taking a number of hugely important scalps.
12. Mat Skinner (Newtown, 448 runs at 44.8 and 19 wickets at 25.21 in 13 games)
His statistics are impressive, as always, but this season didn’t have quite as much impact as others. More responsibility was thrust on Skinner with his batting and bowling units struggling at times so he had to play the anchor batsman or steady bowler role regularly. But, all in all, another strong showing from the Tigers captain and enough to see him carrying the drinks for this side.
RSL-Colts captain Greg Buckley is the most unlucky not to make this side after yet another hugely successful season while Rugby duo Chris Russo and Nathan Munro and Macquarie’s Ricky Medway were other batsmen who went close.
Cameron Herd had a fantastic season with the gloves for Souths while Jeremy Dickson and Ben Knaggs took wickets regularly for Macquarie and CYMS respectively.