REVEALED: Gympie’s top nine cricket players
CRICKET: The Gympie Regional Cricket 2019/2020 A-grade season was a battle.
The top four sides were fighting for the minor premiership right until the last week of the regular rounds.
As the grand final is played next Saturday, the time is right to see who the elite cricketers in Gympie are.
As I ran the results in the paper weekly, I have seen some of the top performers within the association and compiled the list of who I believe were the standouts.
1. Steve Brady
Steve Brady has been one of the star performers for both Gympie Gold XI and Valleys for a few seasons now.
Despite his Gold duties, Brady made himself available where he could for Valleys.
Brady made his fourth ton of his career playing for Gold, a feat only a handful of players have achieved in Gympie.
It was not the Gold’s best season but Brady still managed to make 439 runs and take 15 catches in the field.
He is one of the senior heads within the Gold squad, his batting prowess and his passion for the sport has surely inspired the juniors in Gympie.
Certainly, a name that could not be left off Gympie’s elite cricketers.
2. Mackenzie Reen
When talking about the leaders in the side or the star players, Harlequins captain and president Shaun Ringuet has never missed Mackenzie Reen off the list.
Reen took a solid 24 wickets this season and despite the lack of depth within the Quins batting order, he backed up with the bat when needed.
Reen was one of the few bowlers who were able to tame the Kenilworth players for a small total and was a part of the batsmen who chased it down for a win.
He has been a handy bowler for the Quins this season and one who has shown plenty of promise.
3. Sam Lang
Sam Lang has been an important cog in the Colts playing group this season and given his playing history it is no fluke he has fired.
He has played last man standing cricket, which is T20 but a few variations, for Australia and also captained a side and the National Indoor Cricket League just to name a few.
The all-rounder played 10 games for the reigning premiers and he scored 252 runs with a highest score of 121 and took 18 wickets.
Colts captain Guy Preston has said he is one of the strong players in the line-up.
On the few occasions Colts found some form with the bat, Lang has also produced a strong batting performance.
It is through these figures that Lang finds himself on Gympie list of elite cricketers.
4. Josh Brady
The Brady name is synonymous with cricket and like his brother Steve, Josh is not short of talent.
In his first game for Valleys this season he was seven runs short of a ton and despite only playing two games for the team he finished with 115 runs and two wickets.
Josh’s Gold duties prevented him from donning the purple jersey more than twice but he had another standout season for Gympie.
With 18 games played this season, Josh took 25 wickets and his best was 5/20. He was handy with the bat, scoring a total of 351 runs.
Josh’s highest score for the Gold was 90 not out and he and Steve fired against Caloundra to secure a Gympie victory. Steve made 153 and Josh as the supporting partner at the crease made 55.
It is no surprise when Josh is firing that Gold and Valleys record victories.
5. Andre Cave
In a struggling Wests side, Andre Cave single-handedly secured his team’s round six win against Valleys.
Cave’s all-rounding efforts could not be faulted, he scored 57 runs with the bat and took three wickets.
He played three games for Wests because of his Gympie Gold XI duties, for which he played 18 games this season.
Cave took 19 wickets for the Gold and had 65 runs on the board, which is pretty decent.
His height certainly is an advantage and gives him an edge. We are expecting big things from him next season.
Cave is always consistent in his games and I am sure Wests might have recorded a few wins more had he played more than three games.
6. Andrew ‘Chappy’ Mallett
In cricketing circles, he is known as “Chappy” but another fitting nickname for Andrew Mallett is Gympie’s Warnie.
The Colts spinner was the leader on the Gympie cricket top performing bowler list taking 35 wickets this season for an average of 14.29.
He is not just a weapon with the ball, he is the opener for Colts and made 192 runs this season.
Chappy played 19 games and there were only three where he failed to fire and record a wicket.
His first game of the season he took 5/11, and his next three games he took eight wickets.
Chappy is fifth on Gympie cricket’s champion player list with 77.20 points.
It is no surprise Colts were strong again this season, they are known for their strong bowling attack and Chappy has been an instrumental part of that this year.
7. Shane Walker
The Valleys captain and wicketkeeper has been a strong leader for the club.
Valleys are the other struggling club and to find top form and drive to win is commendable.
His team finished second last on the ladder but Walker was fourth in the Gympie Regional Cricket Association top performing batsmen list.
Walker totalled 374 runs and his highest score was 55 not out. He was key in the field for Valleys as well, taking 11 catches from his 14 games.
His consistent runs on the board meant Valleys always had a strong platform to build on for a decent run total but on the rare occasion he got out cheaply, the side struggled to achieve a strong score.
It is through these efforts that Walker finds himself a place on the list.
8. Anthony Brogden
The bowling all-rounder Anthony Brogden was a key player for Wests this season, taking 19 wickets, 12 catches and scoring 101 runs from his 14 games.
He was second in the Gympie Regional Cricket Association’s top performing fielder second to Kenilworth captain Steve Ledger.
To fire in a side that is struggling is not an easy task, the morale around a club makes it difficult but Brogden continued on.
Towards the end of the regular rounds, he took five wickets.
With his bowling figures and cricketing knowledge it is no surprise he was brought in to captain a few games.
It is through this that Brogden has earnt himself a spot on the elite cricketers list.
9. Dan Shepperson
One of the senior heads at Harlequins, Dan Shepperson has proven he has still got it.
Shepperson was a handy all-rounder for Quins this season, he was fourth on the Gympie cricket’s champion player list on 90.90 points and third on the top performing bowlers list with 31 wickets.
Despite finishing fourth, Quins lacked depth with their batting. One a few occasions this season, they could be bowled for a total just over 50 and their strong bowling attack enabled them to defend the total.
With the bat Shepperson made 249 runs this season from his 17 games. He was an important player within the squad to ensure the side finished within the top four.
It is through this that Shepperson earns himself a spot on the list as a top performer.