Nathan Yates contender for fourth Cleary Medal

Ballarat Cricket Association firsts best and fairest, the EJ Clearly Medal, appears wide open.

Last season’s winner Nathan Yates, is again expected to poll heavily in the count on Wednesday night after another impressive campaign with Mounties.

The all-rounder made almost 400 runs in the home and away season at an average of 42.4, as well as taking 27 wickets – again making him one of the most damaging players with bat and ball in the BCA.

Yates is already a three-time Cleary Medalist, having been judged the competition’s number one player in  2008-09 and 2010-11 as well as last season.

The competition’s leading wicket-taker with 29 victims and a teammate of Yates, Darcy Thomson, is also expected to poll well. 

After joining Mt Clear from Melbourne this season, Thomson has been a welcome addition to the Mt Clear attack.

Napoleons-Sebastopol captain Matthew Ringin is another to keep an eye on.

The Cleary Medal has traditionally been kind to all-rounders and Ringin has been one of the best in 2016-17.

CHASING FOUR: Nathan Yates a chance to add to his three Cleary Medals

CHASING FOUR: Nathan Yates a chance to add to his three Cleary Medals

Ringin notched up 326 runs at an average of 40.8 and was also one of the most influential with the ball - taking 26 wickets.

Ringin formed a damaging partnership with fellow strike bowler and 2014-15 Cleary Medalist Liam Rigby, with the duo being a key reason for Napoleons-Sebastopol’s rise up the ladder.

Rigby claimed 20 wickets along with a number of solid contributions at the crease with a top-score of 71 to underline his all-rounder status.

Meanwhile, Wendouree’s Heath Pyke enjoyed an outstanding second half of the season, which included four half-centuries and ended on a high with a century in the final match of the season.

Grand finalists Darley comprise made up of an even line-up, but captain-coach Heath Pritchard proved a threat throughout the season with both bat and ball and could feature in the votes.

Golden Point bowler Andrew Warrick blitzed the first half of the season, but slowed towards the latter stages, while skipper Josh White produced some great innings’.

Mt Clear’s Curtis Townrow also delivered some fine knocks to hit 400 runs at an average of 40.

The BCA presentation night also features the Bernie Davey Medal for the second best and fairest. 

This award was previously awarded in division one, but it changed after a club-district competitions’ merger last season. 

CLEARY MEDAL CONTENDERS 

BALLARAT-REDAN

Jayden Hayes: 285 runs @25.9, 8 wickets.

BROWN HILL

Dan Davies:  309 runs @38.6, 11 wickets.

DARLEY

Heath Pritchard: 253 runs @28.1, 14 wickets.

EAST BALLARAT

Oliver Hayes: 77 runs @19.3, 23 wickets.

GOLDEN POINT

Josh White: 276 runs @39.4, 2 wickets.

MT CLEAR

Nathan Yates: 382 runs @42.4, 27 wickets.

NAPOLEONS-SEBASTOPOL

Matthew Ringin: 326 runs @40.8, 26 wickets.

NORTH BALLARAT

Matthew Skeemer: 301 runs @30.1, 18 wickets.

WENDOUREE

Heath Pyke: 411 runs, wicketkeeper.