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Benji Jones takes home Ray, again

Posted: 07-Jun-2016 by Cricket Senior

Benji Jones takes home Ray, again

The Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club formally celebrated their double-Premiership season 2015/16, with their annual awards night, the Ray Saffer Medal last Sunday night at the David Mandie Pavilion.

First XI all-rounder Benji Jones claimed his third consecutive Ray Saffer Medal (Club Best & Fairest) and a Club record fourth with 13 votes, ahead of First XI Skipper Josh Masel (11) and young gun Reece Israel (8.2).

“It was definitely a highlight for the whole club to have Mr Ray Saffer himself down to present the award, it was obviously very exciting,” Jones told the AJN.

A packed house of players, sponsors and most notably club legends, Harry Newhouse, Clive Fredman, Steve Sandor, Barry Kave, Paul Fink and Ray Saffer himself, all enjoyed a night of recognition and celebration.

Jones, 23, was his consistent self in season 2015/16, contributing strongly with both bat and ball.

He hit 186 runs at an average of 23 opening the batting, while he took 15 wickets at an average of 13 at a mere 2.2 runs an over.

Although he failed to notch up a half-century, Jones passed 20 in six of his nine innings and often batted for long periods of time at the top of the order, taking the shine off the new ball and improving the batting conditions for his teammates.

With the ball Jones was called upon in a number of roles. He could be depended on to open the bowling, come on first change and bowl long spells or bowl tightly at the death.

Photo: Peter Haskin/AJN

Jones’ best bowling for the season was 4/19 from 12 overs in the First XI’s Round 11 clash with ESO. Other strong performances were 4/31 from 15.5 overs and 3/38 off 14.5 overs.

Jones did not feature in either of the Second or Third XI’s Premiership success. “The night was all about celebrating two Premierships and that was really great. You felt that pride of being part of the success at the club which we haven’t had for quite a while”, Jones said.

Jones spoke with J-Air Radio's 'On the Ball' program after his record-breaking win. Listen here!

Captain of the First XI Josh Masel capped off his maiden season at the club with the Leonard Burman Outstanding First XI Cricketer Award for his 199 runs (at an average of 22) and ten wickets at 26.

Masel also took home the Shawne Rubinstein Best Fieldsman Award, claiming nine catches and two run-outs in eight matches.

17-year old Dean Spilkin was given the coveted Michael Klinger Rising Star Award on the back of a promising season with the bat, hitting 204 runs at an average of 20. Spilkin stood up to the heat of finals cricket, playing a strong hand in both the Semi and Grand Final.

Photo: Peter Haskin/AJN

The Jones family continued their award-winning ways with fiery all-rounder Josh taking out the Rob Lourie Award for the Most Determined Player. Josh was influential with both bat and ball, hitting 193 runs at an average of 27 as well as taking 23 wickets at 11.

Speedster Ari Werdiger was rewarded for his stellar debut season with the Les Kausman Award for the Most Consistent Player. Weridger took 31 wickets in 15 matches at an average of ten, also earning him the Second XI Bowling Average Award and the Club Aggregate Bowling Award.

Mendi Rosenbaum’s 289-run season was rewarded with the Club Aggregate Batting Award.

Younger brother Moshe Rosenbaum took home the Ernie Adler Award for Most Improved, taking 23 wickets in an ultra-consistent season.

The tireless efforts of opening batsman Zac Aflalo were recognised with the Harry Newhouse Award for the Most Dedicated Trainer.

Zac managed 173 runs at the top of the order this season, often batting considerable lengths of time, providing a strong platform for the middle order. Zac’s commitment and work ethic at training and in his own time set the training standard.

Circle of Latitude Third XI Skipper Eli Barr was named the Player of the Finals taking combined figures of 7/19 from 17 overs (11 maidens), including two catches and a run-out in the Grand Final. Barr also claimed the Third XI Bowling Average Award for his 26 wickets at an average of 8.7.

Nathan Joel took out the Thirds’ Batting Average Award with 212 runs at 16.

Eytan Epstein’s strong start to the season saw him win the Second XI Batting Average Award with 226 runs at an average of 16

Off the field Epstein claimed the Hans Spitz Award for the Best Clubman, while current President Leon Jacobs was presented with the Kurt Defris Award for Outstanding Service.

The Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club Team of the Year was also announced. It is as follows (in batting order) :

Josh Masel, Zev Aron, Rafael Epstein (+), Eli Adelist, Moishe Chaiton, Reece Israel, Mendi Rosenbaum, Josh Jones, Simon Fisher, Eli Barr ©, Ari Werdiger, Moshe Rosenbaum (12th man)

Aaron Fetter