Magic Murray wins Cricketer of the Year

By Daniel Hughes

Murray Urquhart was named the Finley Cats Division One Cricketer of the Year at the club's awards night on Friday night.

The night was celebrated by more than 35 members and players of the club, also in attendance was life member Stuart Lewis to help present awards.

The club had a successful year in its top division, making back to back grand finals appearances.

After six rounds of the Division One season the Cricketer of the Year award looked as though it was heading towards Matthew Wilson, who was out in front on nine.

His closest rivals included Urquhart, Edward Haynes and Dan Hughes all on five votes.

At the end of the regular season the count had tightened up with Urquhart and Hughes tied on 12 votes and Wilson and Russell Anderson behind on nine.

A match winning innings from Urquhart who put away 36 runs in the semi-finals against Katamatite was enough to secure man of the match honours, polling three votes to secure the Cricket of the Year award win, after Hughes failed to tally a vote.

After a tough grand final loss, that was led by the bowlers doing the work, Wilson earned himself three votes to share the runner-up position with Hughes.

The final vote counts saw Urquhart finish on 15 votes with Hughes and Wilson on 12 a piece.

Urquhart's arms were weighed down on the night from carrying his three accomplishments for the season that included cricket of the year, a five wicket innings award that included a hat-trick and figures of (7 wickets for 17 runs) and most wickets (28).

Also a big winner on the night was Russell Anderson who swept the two senior division batting average awards, with 46.7 avg Division One and 62.3 in Division Two.

Anderson also received a framed match card from his Division One round 13 century, where he finished with 105 runs.

Other award winners in Division One were Paul Massingham, claiming the Bowling Average with 16 wickets at 8.75, and Matthew Wilson (Coach's Award).

In Division Two it was Ryan Donkin who claimed top honours with 13 votes after a stellar second half of the season, finishing ahead of Anderson (11) and Anthony King (10).

Donkin had a lot of work to do after failing to poll a single vote in the first five rounds, largely due to call ups into the Division One side.

After 12 rounds Donkin had made an impression with eight votes, finishing the last two rounds with top overall performances that included an unbeaten 54 runs in round 14.

Donkin also claimed the Division Two Bowling Average award, 12 wickets at 12.6 while Matthew Peacock was presented with the Coach's Award.

The Division Two side's season was cut short, failing to make the finals, finishing sixth on the ladder.

Club president Matthew Whitty said the night and the 2019/20 season was a great success for the club.

“It was a really nice night on Friday, it is important to acknowledge not just individual awards from the season but to celebrate all who were involved,” he said.

“I do want to congratulate our crickets of the year Urquhart and Donkin, they each had great seasons and helped steer the success of the club.

“The Cats have more than a successful squad but contributions from many people off the pitch who put in a lot of time and effort during the week, and on our game days.

“I want to thank all our sponsors for the season, it is always appreciated to have the support of local businesses.

“A special mention to the Finley RS Club for hosting our awards night and for arranging the tables to maintain their COVID-19 Safety plan.

“I look forward to seeing everyone back for another great season later this year.”