What a week for Todd Gill and the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club!
In just his first season at the Spartans, Gilly has claimed the Jim McKenna Medal for the fairest and best player, as voted by the umpires, in the SMCA First Grade Competition.
During last night’s award ceremony held at the clubhouse, Gilly added a trio of honours to go alongside a memorable semi-final victory at the weekend and his Read/Waterer Medal for the Champion Clubman at Leeming Spartan.
In addition to claiming the evening’s highest honour, Todd also took home the leading average for a batsman in First Grade and the leading season aggregate.
It has been a sensational year for Gilly, his 580 runs for First Grade proving the difference time and again.
It is not just the total number he has scored, but how he has scored them.
Coming into bat at number six at times when the side was under pressure, Todd has unleashed class and expertise, and of course his trademark strength hitting, to more often than not put the Spartans back on top in the match.
Incredibly, his last five home and away matches recorded scores of over fifty, including a whopping 144, and all came at times when our top side had lost five wickets for less than one hundred runs.
Todd Gill (right) has capped off a sensational week at Leeming Spartan, last night claiming the 2017 Jim McKenna Medal for the best player in the First Grade competition.
Gilly polled a total of twelve votes for the season, having missed one match in November (he played day two in our third grade that game and recorded a match winning 58), to finish one vote clear of Brad Bootsma from CBC and Craig Stewart from Phoenix in equal second.
Kodie McKrill from Armadale finished on fifteen votes and would have therefore claimed victory had he not been ineligible due to suspension, but certainly, no-one can argue that there was any other choice for victor than Todd Gill.
In further excellent news for Leeming Spartan, he was joined in the top five by Callum Appleby, who polled nine votes to finish in fifth position on the back of a fine season with the ball.
As was the case when he made his Read/Waterer speech last Thursday, Gilly humbly reiterated the fact that as gratifying as it was to have claimed the association’s highest individual honour, it was a victory in this weekend’s First Grade Grand Final that he was most focussed on.
Leeming Spartan now boasts two actively playing Jim McKenna medalists in the First Grade side, with great mate of Toddy’s (and guess-the-song’s Donna extraordinaire) Marc Dodds having won the 2015 edition during his time at Kardinya Lakes. It is also worth noting that he edged out PK by a solitary vote in that count to claim victory.
The Jim McKenna Medal is presented to the person adjudged as the fairest and best player in the First Grade competition.
The award itself is named after former Kenwick Cricketer Jim McKenna, who in 1996, became the first President of the newly formed South Metropolitan Cricket Association.
The first time the medal was presented was during the 2000/01 season.
Todd becomes just the fourth Spartan to claim victory, following Rhys May in 2014, Todd Lavender in 2010, and inaugural Spartan Mark Atkinson 2006.
Fittingly, Mark was last night’s guest of honour, kindly speaking to the crowd of more than 130 attendees about his time and career.
Mark presented Todd with the Jim McKenna medal following a standing ovation from the crowd as Gilly walked up to claim his victory.
Mark Atkinson presents Todd Gill with the 2016/17 Jim McKenna Medal.
A large crowd was present to witness Gilly claim his Jim McKenna Medal, as Todd is embraced by great mate and former winner Marc Dodds.
Incredibly, Todd was not in the top seven with four rounds to go, his two votes in that fixture giving him a total of just three, still trailing the leader Bootsma by five votes.
From round ten onwards he clicked into overdrive, polling three votes in the next fixture and three in round twelve for his 144, to jump to 9 votes and equal leader.
Heading into the final round, Todd was sitting on eleven votes, needing to poll at least one more to claim an outright victory, after Bootsma claimed three votes to jump to 11 as well.
In a defeat to Armadale, the last match to be presented on the night, Todd did exactly that, claiming one vote to take him to a winning total of twelve.
It has capped of a sensational week for Gilly, with the incredible semi-final victory over CBC and the Read/Waterer Medal all coming from his first season at the Spartans.
In a true testament to his character, Toddy was also present during lunchtime yesterday, helping to set up the clubhouse and moving tables and chairs for the night’s event, completely unaware as to the honours that would come his way later that evening.
Congratulations mate, it has been an incredible season and we couldn’t be happier for you!
It is great to see you receive the much due recognition for your record-breaking year, and we wish you and the team all the best in next weekend’s Grand Final!
Anyone wishing to congratulate Todd can do so by commenting below, or by coming down this Thursday night for our final Thursday of 2016/17 at Leeming Spartan!