North Coast shines in Country Cricket Awards
THERE was plenty of reason for North Coast celebrations when two young players, two lifelong coaches and an experienced umpire were recognised at the NSW Country Cricket awards dinner.
Lewin Maladay, a wicketkeeper-batsman from Bangalow, was joint winner of the Kookaburra Under-21 Player of the Year award with Central North bats-man James Psarakis.
Carly Leeson, a fast bowler from Maclean, was named Female Country Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
David Went of Lismore was named NSW Country Umpire of the Year and, to top it off, John McMahon and Stan Gilchrist, both also from Lismore, received Cricket NSW Lifetime Coaching Awards.
Maladay represented NSW Country/ACT Under-17s in the national carnival in Tasmania last season.
He scored a century, kept wickets well and was selected in the Australian Under-17 merit team, prompting his nomination for the Player of the Year award from Far North Coast Regional Academy coach Michael Wood.
"Lewin ranks pretty highly among talented young crick-eters I've seen and other coaches have the same opinion," Wood said.
"He has certain qualities of determination and a training ethos that are required to make it at the next level."
Maladay will finish school this year and go to Sydney, where he will play grade cricket for University of NSW.
Leeson spent plenty of time in representative teams last season, including selection in the Shooting Stars squad that toured Sri Lanka in February.
The young fast bowler then returned to Sri Lanka in July with the Cricket NSW Development Squad.
The 2014-15 season awards dinner was held at the Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour, last Saturday.
Dubbo fast bowler Tim Cox (Western) was named Male Country Player of the Year.
The Western Zone stalwart represented NSW Country at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in January.
He played five games, taking 11 wickets at 12.2 with best figures of 4-16 against WA Country.
His performances during the tournament earned him selection in the Australian Country merit team.
Cox also captained Dubbo to the SCG Country Cup semi-finals and performed strongly in Dubbo club cricket.
AND THE WINNERS ARE ...
2014-15 NSW Country Cricket award winners:
- NSW Male Country Player of the Year:Tim Cox (Western)
- NSW Female Country Player of the Year: Carly Leeson (North Coastal)
- NSW Country Umpire of the Year: David Went (North Coastal)
- NSW Country Coach of the Year: Scott Moran (Southern)
- NSW Country Groundsman of the Year: Stephen Stapleton (Robertson Oval,Wagga Wagga)
- Kookaburra Under-21 Player of the Year (shared): Lewin Maladay (North Coastal) and James Psarakis (Central North)
- Cricket NSW Lifetime Coaching Awards:John McMahon and Stan Gilchrist
- NSW Country Media Award: Josh Leeson (Newcastle Herald)