THIS one was a bit bigger than the last league presentation.

Cricket Latrobe Valley clubs and dignitaries gathered last Wednesday for the league’s inaugural awards night.

A throng of tables extended in the Morwell Bowling Club function room, welcoming the competition’s near 20 clubs.

Awards were presented commemorating the achievements of those during the 2023/24 season, as well as acknowledging and respecting various namesakes.

As part of the merger deal when the Traralgon District Cricket Association and Central Gippsland/Latrobe Valley District Cricket League came together last year, league awards will now rightfully take in the names from their former equivalents.

For example, the Cox/Bryne/James Medal is awarded to the CLV Premier A Player of the Year.

Previously, the LH Cox Trophy was awarded to the TDCA Player of the Year, and the Bryne/James Medal to the Central Gippsland/Latrobe Valley District Player of the Year.

Last Wednesday’s presentation was highlighted by former Australian fast bowler, Damien Fleming coming along as guest speaker.

Bowlogist: Former Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming was guest speaker. Flanking the Test quick are Cricket Latrobe Valley board members Pat Spiteri, Wayne Mills, Dale Banks, Brad Howlett, Sarah Prime, Rod Cheatley and Trevor Blandford. Photograph: Liam Durkin

Fleming regaled the audience with the story of his hat-trick on Test debut, and his part in the famous 1999 World Cup semi-final.

In that final, Fleming bowled the last over of the game, and saw Australia tie the match in unbelievable circumstances against South Africa.

Scenes of absolute disbelief followed when Fleming rolled the ball to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist to complete the run out, which sent the Aussies into the final they went on to win against Pakistan.

The game has gone down as arguably the most memorable in one day cricket history, as even those with no interest in cricket are vaguely familiar with it.

Many local coaches since have referenced the ending when teaching youngsters the importance of communicating running between wickets.

Fleming knew at least one person in the audience personally, having crossed paths with Moe’s Harry Frei in Queensland cricket circles.

Frei played first class cricket in the sunshine state, taking close to 100 wickets as a left arm fast-medium bowler.

The night was MC’d by Dan Robinson, who many radio listeners will know as the Dan of Mornings with Gabi and Dan on TRFM.

In a new initiative, the league named a Team of the Year for each senior grade, going all the way down to C Grade.

Ex Students bowling allrounder, Mitch Harris won the Premier A Player of the Year in a season that saw him take 23 wickets and make close to 200 runs in home-and-away matches.

The Sharks also showed the strength of their club, winning both the senior and junior club championships.

Other major award winners were Raiders stalwart Ken Hutchinson, who was acknowledged for his services to cricket, and Mirboo North rising star, Max Woodall, who was an obvious choice for the Lindsay George Medal for Young Cricketer of the Year.

The young fast bowler took 21 wickets this season, and was rewarded with a spot in the senior Country Week team.

George was a prominent junior coach of Central Gippsland players during his younger years, and had a stellar playing career himself in and around the Moe district.



Senior Club Championship (Bert Hill Memorial): Ex Students CC
Junior club championship: Ex Students CC

Spirit of Cricket (Peter McLean Memorial): Ken Hutchinson (Raiders)
Young Cricketer of the Year (Lindsay George Medal): Max Woodall (Mirboo North)
Umpire of the Year (Anton/Mussared Medal): Dale Ireland

Premier A Grade
Player of the Year: Mitch Harris (Ex Students)
Batting Aggregate: Sean Pickles (Toongabbie)
Batting Average: Jackson McMahon (Ex Students)
Bowling Aggregate: Keenan Hughes (Toongabbie)
Bowling Average: Nathan Allen (Glengarry)

Frank Marks (Glengarry) – 366 runs
Alistair Jenkin (Glengarry) – 301 runs
Sean Pickles (Toongabbie) – 510 runs
Andrew Philip (Moe) – 384 runs
Jackson McMahon (Ex Students) – 371 runs
Lee Stockdale (Ex Students) – 357 runs, 19 wickets
Keenan Hughes (Toongabbie) – 361 runs, 31 wickets
Ben Marks (Glengarry) – 23 catches, three stumpings
Tim Ford (Morwell) – 27 wickets
Nathan Allen (Glengarry) – 24 wickets
Mitch Harris (Ex Students) – 23 wickets
Ross Whelpdale (Morwell) – 29 wickets