Dansie McCauley Medal 2023/24 winners

Two first time winners have been crowned at SACA’s annual Dansie McCauley Medal Night.

West End Redbacks vice-captain Nathan McSweeney has won his first Dansie Medal as the teams’ best player throughout the 2023/24 season, while in a season where she became South Australia’s leading wicket taker in WNCL history, Amanda-Jade Wellington has earned her first McCauley Medal.

McSweeney’s consistent season also earned him the Lord Hampden Trophy as the highest vote-getter in the Marsh Sheffield Shield, just ahead of Nathan McAndrew, who finished runners up in both awards for his outstanding 48-wicket season.

After compiling 762 runs at an average of 40.1, McSweeney was the Redbacks’ highest run scorer and finished third on the competitions run tally.

He hit three hundreds, the best of those when he took 28 off an over to bring up his century against New South Wales.

The right-hander’s patience and defence at the crease anchored many of the Redbacks’ innings, while he also contributed at times with his off-spin bowling.

McSweeney finished the Dansie Medal voting with 159 votes, ahead of McAndrew on 113 and Jordan Buckingham on 97.

It was closer between the ‘Nathan Mc’s’ in the Lord Hampden Trophy, with only four votes (111 to 107) between them, after McAndrew took a career best 48 wickets (the second most in the competition) in the Sheffield Shield season at an average of 18.58.

Wellington took 19 wickets to finish second on the WNCL competitions’ leading wicket taker list, with 19 the most wickets by a Scorpion this season.

One of those was the 107th in her WNCL career, with that wicket taking her to the top of South Australia’s tally, moving ahead of SA legend Karen Rolton at only 26 years of age.

The leg spinner finished on 140 votes, ahead of runner up Jemma Barbsy on 118, while opening batter Emma de Broughe finished third.

Wellington’s 19 wickets came at an average of 24.47 and with best figures of 4-50, but it wasn’t just Wellington’s bowling that impressed.

She also made 304 runs, often saving the Scorpions from precarious positions in innings, scoring three half centuries with a high score of 73.

Barsby finishing as the runner up was also due to impressive all-round performances in a season where she played her 100th WNCL match and claimed her 50th wicket for South Australia.

The captain finished in the top 10 of WNCL wicket takers after taking 16 wickets with best figures of 5-20, along with making 236 runs including two half centuries.

de Broughe, who earned the Betty Wilson Best Young Cricketer Award at the Australian Cricket Awards, finished third for the second year in a row, after making two half centuries, with a top score of 90, among her 319 runs.

In the men’s short format, Daniel Drew earned the Marsh One Day Cup MVP Award for an outstanding season with the bat, despite playing only four innings.

After the perfect start to the season where he made a century in the opening match against eventual Champions Western Australia, he went on to make 259 runs at an average of 64.75.

He made another two half centuries (52 v Tasmania and 84 v Western Australia) throughout the season.

McSweeney also impressed in the shorter format, leading the team’s run scoring with 307 runs at 51.17 to be runner up in the MVP voting, with both he and Drew finishing in the top 10 of the competitions’ run scorers.

Buckingham came in third thanks to his equal team-high nine wickets at 13.89, while Henry Thornton also finished the season with nine wickets.

After his third place finish, Buckingham earned the Barry Jarman Award for displaying significant improvement, distinguished character and respect for the game in the last 12 months.

The Barry ‘Nugget’ Rees Award for his passion, humility, honesty, integrity, team work and respect for the game of cricket went to Wes Agar.

Vice-captain of the Scorpions team, Bridget Patterson, was the winner of the Tegan McPharlin Award for her efforts demonstrating the Scorpions values and contributing positively to team culture.

The Lauren Ebsary Award for best young player was awarded to pace bowler Kate Peterson, who took 14 wickets throughout the season with a best of 4-34.

Middle order batter Courtney Webb was also recognised for leading the run-scoring for the Scorpions for the third year running.

A new award was handed out for the first time on Thursday night, with Thomas Kelly the inaugural winner of the Player Community Award, which recognises a male or female player who has made an outstanding contribution to the community, external of the clubs existing programs, during the year.

Kelly earned the award for his work as a Childhood Cancer Ambassador, helping to organise and support a charity cricket match to raise funds for a young family going through a difficult time and much more.

Kane Halfpenny from the SACA Under 19 Premier Cricket side and Tea Tree Gully was the recipient of the Peter Wang Award for the best youth player, after making 256 runs at an average of 42.67.

The Adelaide Strikers MVP’s were also awarded, with Katie Mack earning the WBBL MVP Award in a Championship winning season and Matthew Short winning his third BBL MVP in a row.

It was a special night at Adelaide Oval, where the life of Mr Neil Dansie was celebrated in what was the first Dansie McCauley Medal Night since his passing, a number of cricketers were acknowledged for outstanding seasons, from the elite level to grassroots.

Outgoing General Manager, Cricket Tim Nielsen was also recognised for his work in the role of General Manager, Cricket for the past decade.  

At the beginning of the night, SACA President Will Rayner announced that from the 2024/25 cricket season onwards, SA's state representative teams will return to their historical name of ‘South Australia’.

All the winners:

Neil Dansie Award – Nathan McSweeney

Andrea McCauley Medal – Amanda-Jade Wellington

Lord Hampden Trophy (Sheffield Shield Player of the Year) – Nathan McSweeney

Marsh One Day Cup MVP – Daniel Drew

Strikers WBBL MVP – Katie Mack

Strikers BBL MVP – Matthew Short

Tegan McPharlin Award (team culture) – Bridget Patterson

Barry ‘Nugget’ Rees (team culture) Award – Wes Agar

Lauren Ebsary Award (best young player) – Kate Peterson

Barry Jarman (most improved) Award – Jordan Buckingham

State Indigenous Female Player of the Year – Febi Mansell

State Indigenous Male Player of the Year – Liam Connors

Peter Wang (best youth player) Award – Kane Halfpenny

Under 19 Male Batting – Kane Halfpenny

Under 19 Male Bowling – Deakin Murphy

Under 19 Female Batting – Eleanor Larosa

Under 19 Female Bowling – Nicole Hobbs

Under 17 Male Batting – Matthew LeRay

Under 17 Male Bowling – Ryan Percival, Lachlan Ranaldo and Roman Crawford

Under 16 Female Batting – Indira Panelli

Under 16 Female Bowling – Makenzie Holy

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