WEST Warrnambool’s Ben Threlfall is looking to forge a reputation as an all-rounder in senior cricket after a stunning under 17 season.
Threlfall, who celebrated his 17th birthday last Saturday, last night dominated the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association under 17 awards.
He was named cricketer of the year after winning the competition’s batting aggregate, batting average and bowling average awards.
“I know I had a good year but it’s been a pretty even competition, you never really know,” he said of his expectations entering the night.
Threlfall, who grew up playing some fiercely competitive backyard matches with his older brother and Panthers division one team mate Michael, attributed a step up in competition helped his success in under 17s.
“Playing division one cricket helped me out,” he said.
“It gave me a bit of confidence in juniors to go out and back myself.
“It was my first year in division one.”
The Warrnambool College year 12 student said the awards went some way to making up for his under 17 side’s defeat in the grand final and the club’s division one side loss in last weekend’s semi-final.
“I would have loved to win a grand final, that was the big one.”
Threlfall, who became the youngest batsman to make a division one century in more than 50 years during the season, also reached three figures in the under 17s.
He said the restrictions on young bowlers who played under 17s and senior cricket on a Saturday had helped him in the junior grade.
With his teammates including West division one strike bowlers Will Mills and Tom Smith, they generally reserved their overs for the afternoon.
“I didn’t bowl in seniors but the restrictions meant I got more overs than I would have normally.
“They would have bowled a lot more, they are really good bowlers.”
While Threlfall said he was a better batsman than medium pacer, he wanted to further develop his bowling in senior cricket to become a genuine all-rounder rather than just be an opening batsman.
His year included 363 runs at an average of 121 and took 22 wickets at an average of 6.29.
In the under 15s, Brierly-Christ Church all-rounder Liam Antonio was named cricketer of the year.
Liam was unable to attend the awards night after representing Warrnambool College’s XI in a zone schools competition final in Ballarat yesterday.
Liam’s season included 250 runs.
Bulls coach Nathan Murphy accepted the award on his behalf.
“He’s a good young all-rounder,” he said.
Murphy said Liam had played a division one match late in the season and had a bright future.
He said the right-hand batsman/medium pace bowler would have more opportunities in the top grade next season.