Ballina leg-spinner Johnny Phelps was the top wicket taker and named in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket Team of the Year.
Ballina leg-spinner Johnny Phelps was the top wicket taker and named in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket Team of the Year. Marc Stapelberg

Bears trio make FNC cricket’s Team of the Year

DESPITE struggling this season Ballina Bears had the most players named in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket Team of the Year at the annual presentation night at Byron Bay Bowling Club.

All-rounder Sam Adams and English recruits Sam Burdock and Johnny Phelps were named in the 12-man team.

Phelps, a leg spinner, was a shining light at the Bears this season taking 40 wickets and finishing the competition as the top wicket taker.

Burdock proved a handy addition at wicket keeper with 14 stumpings and scored 391 runs.

Adams has always been a talented batsman but had more impact with the ball this season taking 32 wickets.

Bears captain Justin Moore was not named but did represent NSW Country for a second straight year.

Elsewhere, Tintenbar-East Ballina all-rounder Abe Crawford was named Player of the Year and scored the most runs in the competition with 745.

He formed a lethal combination in the top-order with captain Nathan Hoey this season as they made it as far as the semi-finals.

Hoey had his best season in the top grade and was also named in the Team of the Year.

Lennox Head all-rounder Andrew Lindsay was the only player recognised from the Pirates.

They made it as far as the two-day final before they were beaten by Cudgen at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.

Despite winning back-to-back finals in both formats only two Cudgen players were named in the Team of the Year.

All-rounder Caleb Ziebell and top-order batsman Tait Burns made it while captain Terry Wilson and Jamie Wilson missed out after making it last year.

Alstonville fast bowlers Jason Caught and Terry Murphy were recognised along with Casino captain Sam Irvine and Pottsville wicket keeper-batsman Adam Rogers.

Irvine scored four centuries from five innings this season while Murphy finished with 35 wickets.

In other awards, Mark Templeman won the Umpire of the Year award.

The award is voted on by the captains with over 98 per cent of ratings coming through as satisfactory or better this season.

Graeme Rose, David Went, and David Hutchinson also ranked highly with 15 umpires officiating in the competition this season.

Casino might have finished with the wooden spoon but they won the Spirit of Cricket award voted on by the umpires.

TEAM OF THE YEAR (in batting order)

Caleb Ziebell

Abe Crawford

Tait Burns

Sam Irvine

Andrew Lindsay

Nathan Hoey

Adam Rogers

Sam Adams

Jonny Phelps

Jason Caught

Terry Murphy



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