STAR Strathdale-Maristians’ all-rounder Cameron Taylor last night polled 18 votes to win the Bendigo Bank District Cricket Association’s Bill Stephenson Trophy as the cricketer of the year.
The 25-year-old also won the Leon Grose Trophy as the first XI champion player with 926 points and took out the Barry Ayres batting aggregate trophy with 606 runs.
Taylor was among the hot favourites going into last night’s count at the Bendigo Club and held off Golden Square’s two-time winner Scott Johnson, who polled 15 votes, while Bendigo captain Hayden Polglase (13) was third.
Taylor returned to Strathdale-Maristians this summer after spending last season overseas, meaning he missed the Suns’ drought-breaking grand final win against Bendigo United.
However, he has the opportunity to taste premiership success this weekend when the Suns again meet Bendigo United in the grand final.
“It’s a great honour to win this award, but for now, my main focus is this weekend’s grand final,” Taylor said.
The left-handed opening batsman combined his 606 runs – which included six scores above 50 – with 23 wickets with his leg-spin bowling.
He polled votes in eight games, including the maximum three in four matches – against Golden Square in round one (74 & 2-51), Bendigo United in round two (10 & 5-51), White Hills in round six (102 n.o. & 3-24) and Kangaroo Flat in round eight (64 & 1-30).
Other cricketer of the year winners last night were Bendigo United’s Curtis Tuohey in the second XI and Sandhurst skipper Simon Turnbull in the third XI.
Meanwhile, Max Taylor and Wayne Walsh were honoured with BDCA life membership, while Bill Baker and Shane Gilchrist were awarded living legend status.
And Neil Rasmussen, Gibson Pritchard, Robert Bakes, Dennis Bice, Robert Court, Ross Freeman, Robert Herbert and Ron Porter were all inducted into the Hall of Fame.