New South Wales Blues batsman Nick Bertus and Breakers opening batter Tahlia Wilson have won the major individual awards at the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Premiers Dinner on Friday night at Dockside Function Centre, Sydney. 

For the first time the Premiers Dinner integrated the Men’s and Women’s Premier Cricket competitions to celebrate the season that was 2018/19.

Bertus, 25, won his first O’Reilly Medal as the best and fairest player in Men’s Premier Cricket, during the same season the Parramatta captain made his First Class debut for the NSW Blues.

The medal is named in honour of the late, great NSW and Australian leg-spinner, and prominent journalist, Bill O’Reilly.

Wilson, 19, also won her first Player of the Year award, as the best and fairest cricketer in Women’s Premier Cricket, the same season the St George-Sutherland player made her debut appearance for the NSW Breakers in November.

Each Player of the Year award was determined based on a 3-2-1 points system awarded by the umpires after each match.

The individual honours meant Bertus and Wilson were also named captains of the respective Kingsgrove Sports Teams of the Year also announced on the night among other awards.

Both Teams of the Year were judged based on statistics during the season excluding finals.

Bertus became the second Parramatta player to win the O’Reilly medal and first since 2000/01. Robert Aitken was the last.

The Parramatta skipper won the Medal with 17 votes, one clear of three players tied for second. Those players were UTS North Sydney batsmen Adam Crosthwaite, Tom Jagot, as well as Blues rookie, and Blacktown captain, Jordan Gauci.

Bertus passed 1,000 runs for the second consecutive season in 2018/19.

The gritty left-hander finished the regular season with 1,052 at an average of 75.14 across all three formats; T20, Limited-Overs and two-day cricket.

He made four centuries and reached fifty on 11 occasions.

For Wilson, who hails from Wollongong, it was her second major individual award within the last month.

The right-handed opener received the Alex Blackwell Medal, as the best female cricketer in Country NSW, at the Cricket NSW Awards in early April.

Wilson received 12 votes and finished one clear of ACT Meteors and Campbelltown-Camden allrounder Claire Koski.

From just six matches in the Women’s Premier Cricket Limited-Overs competition, she made 471 runs at the amazing average of 235.5, including three centuries. Wilson played as a wicketkeeper-batter for St George-Sutherland.

Her two matches in the First and Second Grade Combined T20 competition took the season tally past 500 to 525 at 131.3.  

Bertus was one of two debutants for the NSW Blues during the final round of the JLT Sheffield Shield at Blundstone Arena, Hobart, against Tasmania alongside 19-year-old wicketkeeper Baxter Holt, who claimed a record nine catches.

The O’Reilly Medallist finished as the second leading run-scorer in Premier Cricket behind Crosthwaite. The North Sydney batsman made 1,144 runs during the regular season.

Bertus also went past 5,000 Premier Cricket career runs during the season. He now has 5,512 at 38.54.

Wilson debuted for the Breakers during round three of the Women’s National Cricket League against Western Australia at Blacktown International Sports Park No. 1.

Together with seven other NSW players, Wilson also toured New Zealand with the Australian Under 19 Women’s team during early March, that was cut short due to security reasons.

The 11-player Women’s Team of the Year included five WNCL players, five Breakers and four current Australian Under 19 representatives.

One of the five Breakers, seamer Rene Farrell, collected 21 wickets at an average less than nine. She claimed career best figures of 8-18 in the final round against Universities to vault St George-Sutherland into the semi-finals.

Two members of the Campbelltown-Camden squad that ultimately claimed the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket title - the Ruth Preddy trophy - for the first time since 1987/88, also earned a place in the Merit XI.

Koski and captain Hannah Trethewy both made the team. The Campbelltown-Camden skipper, and Breakers reserve wicketkeeper-batter, finished the regular season with five catches behind the stumps and four stumpings.

A break out season for Australian Under 19 and Universities wicketkeeper-batter, Maddy Darke, also ensured her selection in the Merit XI as a batter.

Darke made her maiden three centuries at Premier Cricket level, in consecutive weeks, and finished the season with 414 limited-overs runs at 82.8. She was outright third in the votes for Player of the Year.

The 12-man Men’s Team of the Year included former Australian One-Day International batsman Peter Forrest. The former Blues top-order batsman made 931 runs at 58 as captain of Hawkesbury.

Sutherland and Blues leg-spinner Daniel Fallins, as well as Crosthwaite, completed the quartet with First Class experience that were selected in the Merit XII.

Crosthwaite formerly represented Victoria and South Australia in the First Class arena.

Fallins finished fourth on the list of leading wicket takers in the Men’s Premier Cricket competition with 47 scalps.

Fellow leg-spinner Devlin Malone from Sydney University, Penrith seamer and captain Ryan Smith, and Bankstown left-arm orthodox spinner Ben Taylor, all finished ahead of Fallins in that order.

Given their respective season hauls, all four were selected in the Team of the Year.

As the leading wicket taker, Malone claimed 57 wickets during the regular season, and 65 scalps including finals.

Smith claimed 52 wickets and led Penrith to its first Belvidere Cup in 36 years with a first innings win over Sydney University in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Grand Final at Bankstown Oval.

The students made all three Men’s Premier Cricket finals but were unable to secure any silverware.

However, the consistent performances of the club across all five grades and age competitions meant Sydney University comfortably claimed the Sydney Smith Cup as Club Champions.

Sydney University won the Club Championship by 255 points. Gordon were the club champions in Women’s Premier Cricket, and received the Ann Mitchell trophy, named in honour of the former New South Wales Women's player.

Among the other award winners included former South Australian Sheffield Shield batsman, Cameron Borgas, who received the Bob Simpson Award as Men’s Coach of the Year in his first season with Sydney University.

The Bob Simpson Award, named in honour of the former Australian and NSW coach and captain, was also awarded to the leading coach in Women’s Premier Cricket for the first time.

Mechelle Hare from the Gordon Cricket Club won that award.

The Randwick Petersham club received the inaugural Community Spirit Award for an initiative that involved its very own international super star batsman David Warner, who played 14 First Grade matches for the club this season and scored more than 900 runs.

Budding nine-year-old allrounder Sam Williams, from Country Victoria, wrote a letter to Warner after the unfortunate events in Cape Town, last March, to let him know that he and other members of the public had not given up on him.

As a sign of true community spirit, Randwick Petersham provided Sam and his family with the opportunity of a lifetime, and that was to spend the day with Warner as a guest of the club for the match against Sutherland, led by Steven Smith, at Coogee Oval.

2018/19 Award Winners

Bill O’Reilly Medallist – Men’s First Grade Player of the Year

1. Nicholas Bertus (Parramatta)

2. Adam Crosthwaite (UTS North Sydney)

2. Tom Jagot (UTS North Sydney)

2. Jordan Gauci (Blacktown)

Women’s First Grade Player of the Year

1. Tahlia Wilson (St George-Sutherland)

2. Claire Koski (Campbelltown-Camden)

3. Maddy Darke (Universities)

4. Clara Iemma (Campbelltown-Camden)

Kingsgrove Sports Men’s First Grade Team of the Year

Batters
Nick Bertus ( c ) Parramatta
Adam Crosthwaite UTS North Sydney
Peter Forrest Hawkesbury
Tom Jagot UTS North Sydney
Nick Stapleton St George
Dale McKay Hawkesbury
Wicketkeeper
Beau McClintock Sydney
Bowlers
Ryan Smith (seamer) Penrith
Devlin Malone (leg-spin) Sydney University
Daniel Fallins (leg-spin) Sutherland
Ben Taylor (left-arm orthodox) Bankstown
Harmon Sandhu (seamer) Fairfield-Liverpool


Kingsgrove Sports Women’s First Grade Team of the Year

Batters
Tahlia Wilson ( c ) St George-Sutherland
Maddy Darke Universities
Claire Koski Campbelltown-Camden
Saskia Horley Gordon
Mikayla Hinkley Penrith
Phoebe Litchfield Parramatta
Wicketkeeper
Hannah Trethewy Campbelltown-Camden
Bowlers
Rene Farrell (seamer) St George-Sutherland
Julie Muir (off-spin) St George-Sutherland
Isabelle Afaras (off-spin) Northern District
Kate Peterson (seamer) Parramatta


Sydney Smith Cup Club Championship – Men’s Premier Cricket

Sydney University Cricket Club

Ann Mitchell Trophy Club Championship – Women’s Premier Cricket

Gordon Cricket Club

Men’s Premier Cricket

McDonald’s First Grade Premiers – Belvidere Cup

Penrith Cricket Club

Benaud Medallist – Player of the Belvidere Cup Final

Tyran Liddiard (97 runs and four catches) – Penrith

McDonald’s First Grade Limited-Overs Cup Champions

Sydney Cricket Club

Michael Bevan Medallist - First Grade Limited-Overs Cup Final

Anthony Mosca (134) – Sydney

Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup Champions

Sutherland

Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup – Player of the Final

Jamie Brown (35 not out from 35 balls) – Sutherland

McDonald’s Second Grade Premiers

Sydney University Cricket Club

McDonald’s Third Grade Premiers

Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club

McDonald’s Fourth Grade Premiers

St George Cricket Club

McDonald’s Fifth Grade Premiers

Sutherland Cricket Club

Under 21 Poidevin-Gray Shield Premiers

Mosman

Under 16 Green Shield Premiers

Northern District

Spirit of Cricket Award

Sydney University

Captains of the Year

First Grade – Harry Evans (Gordon)

Second Grade – Daniel Friedrich (Northern District)

Third Grade – Mark Morley (Eastern Suburbs)

Fourth Grade – Adam Gummer (Manly-Warringah)

Fifth Grade – Nathan Whittingham (Sutherland)

Under 16 A W Green Shield Player of the Year

Joel Davies (Manly-Warringah)

Women’s Premier Cricket

McDonald’s First Grade Premiers

Campbelltown-Camden

McDonald’s Combined First and Second Grade T20 Premiers

Gordon Blue

McDonald’s Second Grade Premiers

Northern District

McDonald’s Third Grade Premiers

Gordon

McDonald’s Third Grade T20 Premiers

St George-Sutherland

Under 18 Brewer Shield Premiers

Parramatta

Spirit of Cricket Award

Northern District

Player of the Year Awards

Under 18 Brewer Shield – Lauren Kua (Gordon)

Second Grade – Grace Dignam (Northern District)

Third Grade – Kristen Dorsch (Gordon)

Women’s First & Second Grade T20 – Saskia Horley (Gordon)

Bob Simpson Award

Men’s Premier Cricket Coach of the Year

Cameron Borgas – Sydney University

Women’s Premier Cricket Coach of the Year

Mechelle Hare – Gordon Cricket Club

Community Spirit Award

Randwick Petersham Cricket Club

Ground of the Year

Hurstville Oval – St George Cricket Club

Phil Tresidder Media Award

Andrew Parkinson – St George & Sutherland Shire Leader