THEY were the two clear standouts of the season and now both have an EJ Cleary Medal.
Brown Hill paceman Matt McMahon and Darley captain-coach Matt Cape were joint winners of the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts’ highest individual honour last night.
McMahon, who took 53 wickets during the home and away rounds, and Cape, who made 506 runs and snared 21 wickets, finished locked together on 15 votes apiece.
The Bulls’ strike bowler claimed two votes in the final home and away round of the season against Ballarat-Redan to move ahead by the narrowest of margins, before Cape tied the count with one vote against Coronet City.
The pair finished four votes ahead of a group of five players, including Brendan Burns (Coronet City), Gavin Webb (Wendouree), Ryan Knowles (Brown Hill), Brian Wheelahan (Darley), Brendan Thomson (Naps-Sebas).
McMahon’s victory caps a stellar season from the competition’s leading bowler, who also took out the club firsts’ bowling aggregate.
”It’s a big shock. I haven’t played a lot of cricket, it’s only my fourth year since I was about 17 so you don’t expect these things to come along,” the 35-year-old said.
Cape finally has a Cleary in his keeping after past runner-up placings, including last year behind Naps-Sebas’ Dan Davies.
“I’m pumped and over the moon. I’ve come second three times and to actually get over the line, I’m pretty happy,” the 33-year-old said.
“Even though we lost the semi final on the weekend and miss the opportunity to play in a grand final, it’s sort of a consolation to say that I’ve had a good year.”
McMahon was named best on ground twice during the year, with Cape claiming three votes on four occasions.