Westlawn captain Pat Vidler pads away in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Westlawn captain Pat Vidler pads away in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

CRICKET: Northy's 2015/16 CRCA Team of the Season

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

NSW first class wicket-keeper Jay Lenton will be the special guest of the evening with NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association chief executive officer Darren Goodger also attending.

Extraordinarily, Harwood (1st), Tucabia Copmanhurst (2nd), Brothers (3rd) and Coutts Crossing (4th) finished the GDSC Premier League in the exact same order as in 2015/16, and Harwood once again defeated Coutts Crossing in the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket season.

Harwood Premier League side claim third premiership in a row.
Harwood Premier League side claim third premiership in a row. Jo McMahon

However, as a premier league player for Coutts Crossing, I can proudly say not everything was a repeat with Coutts winning the club championship for the first time in its history.

While the individual award winners are yet to be revealed, I have once again compiled the 2015/16 CRCA Team of the Season. While the teams endured similar seasons, there are several changes to this year's list of standouts, with just five of last season's team named and a change in the captaincy.

NORTHY'S 2015/16 CRCA PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON

(See in depth analysis below)

1. Tom Kroehnert (Souths)

2. Billy Kerr (wk) (Brothers)

3. Brendan Cleaver (Souths)

4. Mark Ensbey (Harwood)

5. Ben McMahon (c) (Harwood)

6. Doug Harris (Harwood)

7. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers)

8. Nathan Essex (Harwood)

9. Brad Chard (Tucabia)

10. Andy Kinnane (Brothers)

11. Zac Page (Coutts Crossing

12th Man: Lachlan Johnson (Harwood)

Premiers Harwood once again had the biggest representation with five (*5), Brothers had three (1), South Services two (1) and one each for Coutts Crossing (0) and Tucabia Copmanhurst (4), while Westlawn (1) and GDSC Easts (0) had none.

Tucabia had four players gain honourable mentions, Coutts Crossing three, Harwood two and Westlawn, Brothers and South Services one each.

* last season in brackets

1. TOM KROEHNERT (South Services)

Welcome return to the top of the pecking order after a couple of lean seasons for the CRCA president. The unorthodox left-handed opener returned stats of 368 runs at 30.67.

Honourable mention: Harrison Nicholson (Harwood) 358 at 23.87.

Last season: Matthew Blanch (Tucabia)

Tom Kroehnert batting for Clarence River in the 2015/16 North Coast Cricket Council Inter-District round two match played between Clarence River and Nambucca Valley at Ellem Oval on Sunday, 10th of January, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Tom Kroehnert batting for Clarence River in the 2015/16 North Coast Cricket Council Inter-District round two match played between Clarence River and Nambucca Valley at Ellem Oval on Sunday, 10th of January, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

2. BILLY KERR (Brothers)

Very solid season at the top of the order for Brothers, scoring 444 at an average of 40.36. Also the team's wicket keeper, tallying 21 catches and two stumpings during the 2015/16 GDSC Premier League season.

Honourable mention: Matt Dougherty (Tucabia) 298 runs at 22.92 including 14 sixes, 18 wk catches.

Last season: Matt Dougherty (Tucabia)

Billy Kerr is batting. Cricket with Brothers [batting] vs Tucabi [fielding] at Ellem Oval in Grafton. Photo: Leigh Jensen / Daily Examiner 14 March 2015
Billy Kerr is batting. Cricket with Brothers [batting] vs Tucabi [fielding] at Ellem Oval in Grafton. Photo: Leigh Jensen / Daily Examiner 14 March 2015 Leigh Jensen

3. BRENDAN CLEAVER (SOUTH SERVICES)

With 356 runs at 50.86, it's the type of solid technique Cleaver possesses that any side would want batting at No.3. A very impressive season from the classy all-rounder, who added 19 wickets with the ball.

Honourable mention: Nick Wood (Coutts Crossing) 276 at 23, 14 wickets.

Last season: Jake Kroehnert (Brothers)

South Services captain Brendan Cleaver waits for his next batting partner post dismissal in the CRCA Cleavers Mechanical 30-over Night Cricket match between South Services and GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park on Wednesday, 20th of January, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
South Services captain Brendan Cleaver waits for his next batting partner post dismissal in the CRCA Cleavers Mechanical 30-over Night Cricket match between South Services and GDSC Easts at McKittrick Park on Wednesday, 20th of January, 2016.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

4. MARK 'DICKY' ENSBEY (Harwood)

A vintage season from the experienced campaigner, who can adjust his game depending on the situation. Scored 448 runs at 34.46 including 130 not out against Tucabia in the grand final. A total of 16 sixes.

Honourable mention: Brad Inmon (Westlawn) 324 at 24.92.

Last season: Matt Pigg (Tucabia)

Harwood batsman Nathan Ensbey at the crease during the CRCA premier league cricket match between Harwood and Coutts Crossing at Ellem Oval at Grafton on Saturday, 23rd January, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Harwood batsman Nathan Ensbey at the crease during the CRCA premier league cricket match between Harwood and Coutts Crossing at Ellem Oval at Grafton on Saturday, 23rd January, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

5. BEN MCMAHON (Harwood)

Captain. A standout season for McMahon, whose 502 runs at 38.62 (17 sixes) included two centuries, most notably a defining 145 against Tucabia in the semi-final. A more than useful bowler with 22 wickets at 14.86. While he is not captain of his premier league side, leading Harwood to consecutive Night Cricket premierships proves McMahon is leadership material.

Honourable mention: Luke Cox (Coutts Crossing) 304 at 25.33.

Last season: Ben McMahon (Harwood)

Harwoods Ben McMahon scored a 100 during the CRCA Premier league match between Harwood and Easts at Ellem Oval on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Harwoods Ben McMahon scored a 100 during the CRCA Premier league match between Harwood and Easts at Ellem Oval on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

6. DOUG HARRIS (Harwood)

A lack of opportunities in a deep batting order saw a slight dip in form for perennial high achiever Harris. But he came good at the back end of the season including 111 in the last round against Tucabia and 58 in the grand final to finish with 416 at 37.82. Took 22 wickets at 13.14 with his offspin and 15 catches to boot.

Honourable mention: Matt Pigg (Tucabia) 206 at 29.43, 22 wickets at 13.91 from nine matches.

Last season: Doug Harris (Harwood)

Russell Ellem awards Doug Harris of Harwood with the Russ Ellem trophy for CRCA Player of the Year Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner
Russell Ellem awards Doug Harris of Harwood with the Russ Ellem trophy for CRCA Player of the Year Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner Matthew Elkerton

7. JAKE KROEHNERT (Brothers)

A less consistent season with the bat sees Kroehnert lose his spot in the top order, but did enough with the ball to justify re-selection as an all-rounder - in a direct swap with Brendan Cleaver. Scored 263 at 21.92 and took 26 wickets at 12.69 and impressive economy rate of 2.51.

Honourable mention: Brayden Pardoe (Tucabia) 216 runs at 27, 13 wickets at 22.31.

Last season: Brendan Cleaver (South Services)

Jake Kroehnert bowling for Westlawn in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Jake Kroehnert bowling for Westlawn in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

8. NATHAN ESSEX (Harwood)

The move to Harwood this season saw the highly-rated Essex return to his best. Bowling with venom, he took 27 wickets at 11.07 (ER 2.45) and contributed 151 hard hit runs at 21.57.

Honourable mention: Chris Adamson (Tucabia) 28 wickets at 17.32 (ER 3.05), 237 runs at 19.75.

Last season: Hayden McMahon (Harwood)

Harwood's Nathan Essex takes a catch during the CRCA Premier league match between Harwood and Easts at Ellem Oval on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Harwood's Nathan Essex takes a catch during the CRCA Premier league match between Harwood and Easts at Ellem Oval on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

9. BRAD CHARD (Tucabia)

Bowled some of the most devastating spells of his career in an outstanding season for the former Australia Under-19 left arm quick. Took 47 wickets at 11.28 (ER 2.52). His 258 runs at 23.45, including some important knocks for Tucabia, sees him move one place up the batting order this season. Brad Chard 47 @ 11.28 ER 2.52, one five-wicket haul but several four-fas. . 258 @ 23.45.

Honourable mention: Jack Weatherstone (Brothers) 26 wickets at 9.23 (ER 2.79), 128 runs at 14.22

Last season: Matthew Young (Harwood)

Tucabia-Copmanhurst paceman Brad Chard. Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner
Tucabia-Copmanhurst paceman Brad Chard. Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner Matthew Elkerton

10. ANDY KINNANE (Brothers)

In his first season in GDSC Premier League, the off spinner bowled with control and composure to take 31 wickets at 14.81 (ER 3.07) for Brothers.

Honourable mention: Jacob McMahon (Harwood) 19 wickets at 11.74 (ER 3.86)

Last season: Brad Chard (Tucabia)

Andrew Kinnane bowling for Brothers in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Andrew Kinnane bowling for Brothers in the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Premier League match between Brothers and Westlawn at Ulmarra Showground on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

11. ZAC PAGE (Coutts Crossing)

An exceptional season with the ball with 46 wickets at 9.63 (ER 2.42), nobody in the league reads and adapts to conditions better than this 'bowlogist'.

Honourable mention: Adam Spies (South Services) 32 wickets.

Last season: Nathan Blanch (Westlawn)

Coutts bowler Zac Page during the CRCA premier league cricket match between Coutts Crossing and Brothers at McKittrick Park on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Coutts bowler Zac Page during the CRCA premier league cricket match between Coutts Crossing and Brothers at McKittrick Park on Saturday. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

12th man: LACHLAN JOHNSON (Harwood)

A youngster with enormous potential both as an opening batsman and left arm spinner. Under-utilised in his first full season with the experienced line up, he scored 148 at 37 in the lower middle order took advantage of his opportunities of the ball to take 19 wickets at 8.95 (ER 2.41).

Honourable mention: Eli Fahey (Coutts Crossing)

Last season: Daley Durrant (Harwood)

Lachlan Johnson bowling for Harwood in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade match between Harwood and Maclean United at Harwood Oval on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Lachlan Johnson bowling for Harwood in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association Maclean Bowling Club First Grade match between Harwood and Maclean United at Harwood Oval on Saturday, 24th of October, 2015. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

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 (for whom Jake Kroehnert and Ben McMahon played in the inaugural season).

1. Harrison Nicholson (Harwood): 96 runs at 24.

2. Nathan Ensbey (Harwood): 124 runs at 42.

3. Nick Wood (Coutts Crossing): 156 runs at 31.2.

4. Ben McMahon (c) (Harwood): 155 runs at 38.75, 4 wkts.

5. Luke Cox (wk) (Coutts Crossing) 119 runs at 19.83.

6. Brad Inmon (Westlawn) 97 runs at 24.25.

7. Brayden Pardoe (Tucabia) 104 runs at 52.

8. Corey Kempshall (Coutts Crossing) 33 runs at 16.5, 8 wkts at 9.63 (ER 5.92).

9. Zac Honeybrook (Harwood) 48 runs at 24, 8 wkts at 14.38 (ER 4.26), Player of the Final.

10. Jake Kroehnert (Brothers) 11 wkts at 5.73 (ER 2.63), 19 runs at 4.75.

11. Brendan Palmer (GDSC Easts) 10 wkts at 5.44 (ER 2.04).

12. Jacob McMahon (Harwood) 15 wkts at 6.40 (ER 3.43).

Related Items

Show More


WHAT A CHAMPION: Kalti defies the odds to win coveted title

WHAT A CHAMPION: Kalti defies the odds to win coveted title

Despite deafness and advancing years tracking dog retires a champion

Council respond to plight of Grafton Show

premium_icon Council respond to plight of Grafton Show

Were the competing events to blame? Council weighs in

Sisters put their best foot, and outfit forward

premium_icon Sisters put their best foot, and outfit forward

Yamba clothing stores keep it in the family

Local Partners