A LIFT in form after Christmas has catapulted Mortlake’s Clinton Baker to South West Cricket’s division one Cricketer of the Year award.
The all-rounder took out the award on 26 votes ahead of Heytesbury Rebels’ Simon Harkness and his brother Simon, of Bookaar.
Baker played consistent cricket all season, featuring amongst the leading bowlers or batsmen each week for his side.
With the bat, he finished the regular season with 622 runs from 18 innings at an average of 51.83, which included a highest score of 139 not out, along with three half centuries.
He was also consistent with the ball, snaring 20 wickets at an average of 15.40 from 104.2 overs, with best figures of 3/6.
Baker said he was a little surprised to be named the league’s best after winning the award, and believed that Harkness was a bigger chance of winning.
“It’s good (to win),” he said.
“I was a bit slow at the start of the year, but the back end of the year I picked up a little bit.
“Guys like Harko and a couple of others have had very consistent years as well.”
Baker said the addition of some new willow gave him added confidence in the last half of the season, and acknowledged that by making runs, his form change.
“Probably with my batting, I hadn’t been batting very well,” he said.
“I got a new cricket bat and it felt good and it probably changed the way I was batting and the way I felt about my cricket.”
The win was Baker’s fourth of his career and while he is pleased to win the award, he has pressing matters ahead of him.
He will be leading the charge in this weekend’s grand final against Heytesbury, with Mortlake looking to make it six wins in seven years.
“It’s good I suppose (to win four), but hopefully we can go and play in the grand final and win that,” Baker said.
Harkness was rewarded for his big season with the bat, winning the batting aggregate award with 810 runs, while Bookaar’s Fraser Lucas took 33 wickets to win the bowling aggregate.
In division two, Mark Fraser almost made it a clean sweep, taking out the Cricketer of the Year and batting aggregate awards.
The Ecklin all-rounder polled 18 votes from 17 games to win the main award, making 634 runs and taking nine wickets.
His best bowling was 1/9 against Princetown, while an unbeaten knock of 95 against Boorcan was his highest score with the bat.
Simpson’s Wayne Drayton won the bowling aggregate, taking 27 wickets, including best figures of 5/16.
In division three, Princetown’s Darren Frith was rewarded for a strong season, winning the bowling aggregate and Cricketer of the Year.
Frith finished with 13 votes across 14 matches, taking 26 wickets and making 222 runs.
His best innings was 42 not out in round 14 and his best haul with the ball was 3/16 against Boorcan.
Simpson’s Peter Kerr took out the batting aggregate, making 335 runs from eight innings, including a high score of 115.
The team of the year was also presented, which included representatives from Bookaar, Heytesbury Rebels, Mortlake and Pomborneit.
Mortlake’s Todd Lamont was named captain of the side.
SWC Team of the Year: Simon Harkness- Heytesbury Rebels, Tyler Schafer- Mortlake, Eddie Lucas- Bookaar, Shane Slater- Mortlake, Simon Baker- Bookaar, Travis Brown- Heytesbury Rebels, David Murphy- Pomborneit (wicketkeeper), Clinton Baker- Mortlake, Todd Lamont- Mortlake, Fraser Lucas- Bookaar, Paul Vogels- Heytesbury Rebels, Brad Hillman- Pomborneit.