KFC PLAYER OF THE WEEK #4: Billy Blanch leads the way
WITH 201 runs at an average of 105.5 and nine wickets at 5.22, Billy Blanch is leading by example as captain of Sunline Fencing Tucabia Copmanhurst in the GDSC 2nd Grade competition.
While Blanch is no stranger to the next level of first grade, he is without question enjoying unprecedented form with the bat in particular, no doubt relishing the added responsibility of captaincy for the first time.
"I've enjoyed it. I like it," the 27-year-old said.
"It's probably the youngest 2nd Grade team I've been a part of, which is good to see. Everyone is pretty easy going so it's nice and fun."
So how does Blanch explain his current rich vein of form?
"Confidence probably," he said. "I always have been (confident), even when I get no runs, but I'm playing with a bit more freedom and not worrying too much if I do get out."
Blanch was voted this week's KFC Player of the Week and wins a $15 KFC voucher for scoring 45 runs before taking 5 for 23 off 6 overs with a mixture of seam up and legspin bowling. While he admitted poor batting contributed to his wicket tally, the accolade is just rewards for an exceptional season so far.
Name: Billy Blanch
Team: Tucabia-Copmahurst - 2nd Grade
Occupation: Clarence Valley Septics
Achievement: 45 runs, 5/23 (6) v South Services
• 1st Billy Blanch - Tucabia (2nd Grade): 45 runs, 5/23 (6)
• =2nd Eli Fahey - Brothers (Premier League): 73no
• =2nd Andy Kinnane - Brothers (Premier League): 5/28 (8)
• 3rd Brayden Pardoe - Tucabia (Premier League): 5/22 (5)
Describe last week's performance in one word: Average
How's 2020/21 shaping up for your team? Pretty good if we can keep going the way we're going. A few people are getting runs and the bowlers haven't been going too bad.
Funniest teammate: Jesse Powell. Some of the random s*** he says.
Most annoying teammate: Jake Chevalley. He asks to open the batting every week.
Who with and when did you first play cricket: When I was 7 or 8 for Tucabia Copmanhurst.
Greatest achievement on the cricket field: Winning a couple of 2nd Grade grand finals, playing some first grade.
Best cricketer you've played with or against: Brad Chard would have to be up there as one of the best bowlers I've played against and with.
Any pregame rituals: A can of red bull.
Favourite BBL team and player: Brisbane and Chris Lynn. He's exciting to watch.
Favourite current Test cricketer: Pat Cummins. Consistent.
Favourite Cricketer of all-time: Mike Hussey. He's Mr Cricket, everyone liked him.
CRCA Cricketer of the Year prediction: Taine Riley - always bowls good.
OH WHAT A CHAMPION
ONE of the features on the MyCricket website is the Champion Player ratings, with points allocated for runs, wickets, catches, stumpings and run outs, serve as a guide to the top performers across the competition.
After four rounds Billy Blanch already has a commanding lead, 20 points clear of his nearest rival.
Champion Player (2nd Grade):
54.1 Billy Blanch (Tucabia)
34.1 Andrew McLachlan (Coutts)
28.1 James Watters (Easts)
20.6 Jordan Gallagher (Souths)
19.9 Justin Blanch (Tucabia)
19.4 Matt McKee (Coutts)
19.2 Ethan Munro (Westlawn)
Meanwhile, Brothers Clocktower Hotel captain Jake Kroehnert leads the way in GDSC Premier League, boosted by his century in the opening round, with Ulmarra Hotel Tucabia Copmanhurst's Matt Pigg in second spot.
After two rounds Tucabia and Brothers have already put breathing space between them and South Services and GDSC Easts/Westlawn Crown Hotel on the ladder. With two wins apiece, the two will battle out for top spot at Ulmarra Showground over the next two Saturdays, while Easts/Westlawn and Souths will be fighting for their first win at McKittrick Park.
Champion Player (Premier League):
28.3 Jake Kroehnert (Brothers)
18.2 Matt Pigg (Tucabia)
17.5 Eli Fahey (Brothers)
17.5 Brad Chard (Tucabia)
15.0 Brayden Pardoe (Tucabia)
13.5 Andy Kinnane (Brothers)
10.0 Kallen Lawrence (Brothers)
In GDSC 3rd Grade, Westlawn skipper Shaun Simpson holds a slender lead over Easts' Torin Leek at the top of the Champion Player leaderboard.
Champion Player (3nd Grade):
19.1 Shaun Simpson (Westlawn)
19.0 Torin Leek (Easts)
17.4 Lance Chevalley (Coutts)
16.2 Daniel Moar (Brothers)
14.2 Troy McLaren (Brothers)
13.5 Matthew Sutherland (Easts)
13.2 Scott Chard (Coutts)