HERBIE SNARES TOP AWARD
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
A SEASON of top class performances with both the bat and ball from Troy Herbert was given the ultimate reward that the Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association can offer on Thursday night.
Each week, the umpires in each first grade match cast their votes on a 3-2-1 basis for who they believe the best and fairest players were on the day and the Diggers Ex-Services all-rounder came storming home late in the count to receive the coveted Bill Rae Memorial Medal.
The 25 year-old shared the bowling aggregate trophy with his father Terry on 28 wickets and the new medallist also made 188 runs throughout the season to impress the umpires.
It was a solid season but the right arm quick went to Thursday's presentation dinner expecting somebody else to walk away with the award.
"I was quite shocked actually," Herbert said of his reaction to winning.
"I knew I did alright but 'Flea' (Craig Haworth) scored runs all year and I thought that he'd be a shoo-in for sure."
With four matches of the season remaining, Herbert had polled only two votes but an outstanding month of cricket saw the proud Diggers man poll 11 votes in quick time to come right into contention against other regular vote getters, PBBC Colts pair Haworth and Andrew Murray and West Coffs' Peter Bayley.
With only the votes for the last day's play still to be read out, Herbert still wasn't leading the count and he thought his chances of taking out the sought after prize had disappeared.
That was until he polled a further two votes to hit the lead.
"I was extremely surprised about winning actually, I didn't think I'd get there," he admitted.
"I was trying to remember what happened in the last round, it was a fair while ago. I knew that I did alright, I got 20 or 30 runs and took three wickets.
"It was washed out the second week and I knew Peter Bayley from West Coffs didn't bowl in the second week so I thought I'd be pretty close but wasn't sure I'd win."
Herbert attributes his victory to two things.
First and foremost he says that the win can be put down to the simple recipe of hard work on the training track.
"I put in all the hard work all year, I was at training every week and batting with the ball machine and what-not," Herbert explained.
"I worked with Lincoln Tucker on my run-up and we sorted that out to an extent which give me the extra yard of pace and with the batting, I spent a couple of sessions with Daryl Parmenter and that got me on the right track.
Secondly, it was the motivation he had after Christmas as he desperately tried to catch up to his father in the wicket taking stakes.
"If I wasn't chasing him I probably wouldn't have won it," the young bull in the family said with a wry grin.
"He spurred me on but I got him in the end, just."
At the start of the season Herbert said that he'd made the goals of taking 30 wickets for the summer as well as reaching 200 runs. He fell agonisingly short on both counts but he's determined to make his targets next season.
"There's 30 wickets there and I got 28, so it's nearly a 10 per cent rise I need," he forecast.
"If you can do 10 per cent better in everything the following year then you're doing alright."
While pleased with the individual honours that came his way last week, it is always team success that drives the young man who can already be considered a first grade veteran after making his first-grade debut at the tender age of 15.
"We did all the hard work it was just unfortunate that we didn't win the grand final but we did win the club championship, so we'll take that."