Ashleigh Gardner added a new honour to her long list of accomplishments during her young career so far when named the 2020-21 NSW Women’s Premier Cricket First Grade Player of the Year on Friday night.
The Australian star allrounder was one of several award winners announced at the NSW Premier Cricket Premiers’ Dinner at Dockside Function Centre, Sydney, with St George allrounder Nic Stapleton and UTS North Sydney top order batsman Thomas Jagot winning the prestigious O’Reilly Medal for Men’s First Grade Player of the Year.
Each player won their first Bill O’Reilly Medal named in honour of the late, great NSW and Australian leg-spinner, and prominent journalist.
The O’Reilly Medal and Women’s First Grade Player of the Year award are decided by umpire votes from each match during the season on a 3-2-1 basis.
The uncertainty and related impacts of COVID-19 in January and February presented many NSW Breakers, including Gardner, with the opportunity to return to Grade cricket.
In five matches for Bankstown Sports, Gardner scored 280 runs at an average of 56 and claimed nine wickets at the very tidy average of 9.9.
Her contribution helped Bankstown qualify for its first Finals since 2017/18.
It was the second successive year that the O’Reilly Medal had been shared after a four-way tie last year.
Stapleton was the leading allrounder in the competition. Across all formats – T20, one-day and two-day – he scored 777 runs at an average of 35.3 and claimed 33 wickets at 24.
Both Stapleton and Jagot are the respective captains of their clubs.
The winners of the major Men’s and Women’s individual awards were named honorary captains of the respective Teams of the Year, also recognised on Friday night.
Northern District head coach Brendan Lyon, brother of Australian Test spinner Nathan, received the Bob Simpson Award as Men’s Coach of the Year, helping Northern District to their sixth Club Championship this season. Adding to the club's success, Northern District also claimed its first Women's First Grade title.
Northern District received the Men's and Women's Premier Cricket Spirit of Cricket awards demonstrating that success can be earned by playing fair.
Sydney head coach Russel Grimson received the Women’s Premier Cricket Coach of the Year award.
Pratten Park was named Ground of the Year for the first time after running second to Drummoyne Oval last season.
Premier Cricket Awards 2020/21
O’Reilly Medal for Men’s First Grade Player of the Year - Joint Winners:
Nic Stapleton (St George) – 14 votes
Tom Jagot (UTS North Sydney) – 14 votes.
Women’s First Grade Player of the Year:
Ashleigh Gardner (Bankstown Sports) – 12 votes
2020/21 Men’s Premier Cricket Awards:
Club Championship: Northern District CC
First Grade (Belvidere Cup): Sydney CC
Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup: Bankstown CC
First Grade Limited-Overs: Randwick-Petersham CC
Second Grade (Albert Cup): Manly-Warringah CC
Third Grade (Mitchell Cup): Northern District CC
Fourth Grade (Reid Cup): Sutherland CC
Fifth Grade (David Sherwood Cup): Northern District CC
Under 21 Poidevin-Gray Shield: Gordon CC & Parramatta CC (Joint Premiers)
Under 16 AW Green Shield: Northern District CC
Men’s Individual Awards:
Bob Simpson Award – Men’s Coach of the Year: Brendan Lyon (Northern District)
Ground of the Year 1st Place: Pratten Park (Western Suburbs)
Ground of the Year Runner-Up: Rosedale Oval (Fairfield-Liverpool)
Ground of the Year 3rd Place: Drummoyne Oval (Sydney)
Lower Grades Ground of the Year: Tunks Park (UTS North Sydney)
Spirit of Cricket Award: Northern District CC
1st Grade Captain of the Year: Ben Davis (Northern District)
2nd Grade Captain of the Year: Andrew Jamieson (Manly-Warringah)
3rd Grade Captain of the Year: Clayton Waters (Northern District)
4th Grade Captain of the Year: Stephen Wark (St George)
5th Grade Captain of the Year: Pat Murton (Northern District)
KINGSGROVE SPORTS MEN’S FIRST GRADE TEAM OF THE YEAR:
(statistics include runs scored, wickets taken and wicketkeeping dismissals in all T20, one-day and two-day preliminary matches excluding Finals)
AJ Mosca (Sydney); 1,027 runs;
Tom Jagot (UTS North Sydney); 1,000 runs (Co-Captain);
Tym Crawford (Gordon); 808 runs;
Jay Lenton (Manly-Warringah); 764 runs;
Josh Clarke (Western Suburbs); 763 runs;
Nic Stapleton (St George); 688 runs & 33 wickets (Co-Captain);
Tim Cummins (Sydney University); 38 dismissals and 535 runs;
Nic Bills (Sydney); 46 wickets;
Luke Shelton (Mosman); 41 wickets;
Ben Joy (Sydney University); 38 wickets;
Jackson Saggers (Gordon); 38 wickets;
Ben Taylor (Bankstown); 38 wickets.
2020/21 Women’s Premier Cricket Awards:
Club Championship: Sydney CC
First Grade: Northern District CC
Second Grade: Manly-Warringah CC
Third Grade Limited Overs: Gordon Women’s CC
Third Grade T20: Campbelltown-Camden CC
Under 18 Brewer Shield: Parramatta Women’s CC
Women’s Individual Awards:
Second Grade Player of the Year: Mikaela Turik (Manly-Warringah)
Third Grade Player of the Year: Anushka Dongre (UTS North Sydney)
Under 18 Brewer Shield Player of the Year: Olivia Callaghan (Gordon)
Bob Simpson Award – Women’s Coach of the Year: Russel Grimson (Sydney)
Spirit of Cricket Award: Northern District CC
1st Grade Captain of the Year: Maddy Darke (Universities)
2nd Grade Captain of the Year: Mikaela Turik (Manly-Warringah)
3rd Grade Captain of the Year: Kim Bevan (Campbelltown-Camden)
Under 18 Brewer Shield Captain of the Year: Daisy Webster (Sydney)
KINGSGROVE SPORTS WOMEN’S FIRST GRADE TEAM OF THE YEAR:
(statistics include runs scored, wickets taken and wicketkeeping dismissals in preliminary One-Day & T20 matches excluding Finals)
Ashleigh Gardner (Bankstown Sports) 280 runs at 56.00 & nine wickets at 9.9
Claire Moore (Parramatta) 454 runs
Maddy Darke (Universities) 424 runs
Cailyn Fountain (St George-Sutherland) 418 runs
Joanne Kelly (St George Sutherland) 417 runs
Saskia Horley (Gordon) 403 runs
Kinjal Kumari (Gordon) 13 dismissals; 149 runs
Sophie Vaughan (Parramatta) 28 wickets
Abby Burrows (St George-Sutherland) 24 wickets
Jannatul Sumona (Bankstown) 20 wickets
Zoya Thakur (Parramatta) 19 wickets
Jaclyn Vickery (St George-Sutherland) 19 wickets