GUS Bourke says extra net sessions under the watchful eye of his father helped elevate his batting to cricketer of the year standards.
The Noorat all-rounder was on Monday unveiled as the South West Cricket Association's top player, edging out Heytesbury Rebels coach Simon Harkness, Bookaar's Fraser Lucas and Pomborneit's Lahiru Fernando by one vote.
Bourke's 17-vote haul came from a season which yielded 418 runs and 23 wickets. He helped his side to a semi-final but the Steamrollers suffered a 128-run loss to Pomborneit on Saturday.
Bourke said he'd worked on batting more sensibly and felt his efforts with the stick were the sealing factor in winning the association's top individual honour.
I feel like I'm taking the time until I'm in...Gus Bourke
"I think my batting improved that little bit. I'm not playing anywhere near as many stupid shots," he quipped.
"I feel like I'm taking the time until I'm in before I start (playing riskier shots).
"My dad (William) and I would go out to the nets on a Tuesday or Wednesday and set up the bowling machine. He's always sort of been my coach like that.
"He was saying 'you need to work on your defence. You have too many attacking shots straight away'."
Bourke said Noorat had a bright future on the back of an emerging bowling unit.
Harkness claimed the batting aggregate award, blasting 524 runs, while Fernando's 36 wickets were enough to be recognised as the association's most prolific bowler.
In other grades, Woorndoo's Grant Cameron took out the division two cricketer of the year in a season which yielded 585 runs. He also took out the division's batting aggregate.
Heytesbury Rebels' Simon Illingworth was the division's leading wicket-taker, grabbing 26.
Pomborneit's Stephen Hill, meanwhile, was voted division three's most valuable player.
South West Cricket Association
Bushman Tanks Division One Cricketer of the Year
Gus Bourke (Noorat) 17 votes
Bushman Tanks Division One Batting Aggregate
Simon Harkness (Heytesbury Rebels) 524 runs
Bushman Tanks Division One Bowling Aggregate
Lahiru Fernando (Pomborneit) 36 wickets
WD News Division Two Cricketer of the Year
Grant Cameron (Woorndoo) 16 votes
WD News Division Two Batting Aggregate
Grant Cameron (Woorndoo) 585 runs
WD News Division Two Bowling Aggregate
Simon Illingworth (Heytesbury Rebels) 26 wickets
Camperdown Compost Company Division Three Cricketer of the Year
Stephen Hill (Pomborneit) 24 votes
Camperdown Compost Company Division Three Batting Aggregate
Stephen Hill (Pomborneit) 570 runs
Camperdown Compost Company Division Three Bowling Aggregate
Greg Teal (Bookaar) 30 wickets
Terang Co-Op MyCricket Player of the Year
Stephen Hill (Pomborneit) 930 points
South West Cricket
Season 2020/21 Team of the Year
Simon Harkness (Heytesbury Rebels)
Tommy Moloney (Terang)
Isaac Wareham (Mortlake)
Johno Benallack (Cobden)
Tom Place (Pomborneit)
Gus Bourke (Noorat) (capt)
Eddie Lucas (Bookaar)
Lahiru Fernando (Pomborneit)
Jack Lehmann (Mortlake)
Sam Munro (Terang)
James Moloney (Noorat)
Tim Fitzgerald (Bookaar) (vice capt)
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