First year Creeks recruit Owen Daley claims SDCA first grade player of the year title

THE RECRUIT: Owen Daley has taken out the Singleton District Cricket Association first grade player of the year award. It marked the first time a Creeks player had taken out the title in seven years.
THE RECRUIT: Owen Daley has taken out the Singleton District Cricket Association first grade player of the year award. It marked the first time a Creeks player had taken out the title in seven years.

His cricket has taken him from tropical North Queensland to the green fields of Southern England.

Now another chapter has been added to the career of Owen Daley.

The 26-year-old made history this afternoon when claiming the Singleton District Cricket Association first grade player of the year title in a season which was abandoned prior to the finals.

For the second straight year the region's highest individual honour landed on the lap of a first year talent after JPC batsman Shane Givney claimed the crown in 2019.

This weekend's reveal also marked the first time a Creeks player had taken out the top award since dual winner Mark Unicomb (2009-10, 2012-13) seven years earlier.

"I'm shocked," Daley told the Singleton Argus.

"I was certainly happy with my year from a personal statistics perspective but would have preferred to turn a couple of our close losses into wins and finish higher up the table.

"Coming into a new competition, I was unsure what standard to expect but is certainly a strong comp with lots of quality players in all teams so this is an honour to be considered player of the year."

Daley collected three wickets on debut in Creeks on Saturday, October 19.

However his feat was shadowed by the hat-trick and 4/19 return from his teammate and SDCA stalwart Blake Cook in their season opening victory against Glendon.

He would return to Howe Park the following week and make the ultimate statement against JPC with a 103 run performance.

By then word had spread that the Creeks had found the missing piece of their recent premiership puzzle.

HOWE PARK: Owen Daley pictured on debut against Glendon at Singleton's traditional home of cricket.

HOWE PARK: Owen Daley pictured on debut against Glendon at Singleton's traditional home of cricket.

"Having relocated from Far North Queensland in April last year I was unsure of where to play this season but thankfully Gavin Wake, a close friend, strongly suggested I come across to Singleton to play for Creeks," Daley recalled.

"Thankfully, I was welcomed into the team by a great bunch of blokes who soon became good friends."

Prior to this season he mastered his craft before vocal Brittish crowds while playing for Cornwall (in 2012 and 2014) before collecting club awards at Atherton (Far North Creek).

He then unleashed his potential when handing minor premier PCH its only defeat of the season back in November.

"That was a game that they thought they had wrapped up and we were able to win in a close one," he recalled.

"It was good to get some runs that day but the win wasn't possible without the other guys getting some quick runs throughout the innings.

THE UPSET: Creeks recruit Owen Daley pictured moments after his side's upset victory over minor premier PCH.

THE UPSET: Creeks recruit Owen Daley pictured moments after his side's upset victory over minor premier PCH.

"Scoring my first hundred for Creeks against JPC early in the season really helped with feeling like I belonged in the team from the start.

"Obviously due to COVID-19 we didn't get the chance to play the finals series but I feel that we really had a team capable of winning another two games.

"But PCH were deserving minor premiers."

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Jackson and Brad Cox (PCH) finished second and third in this year's SDCA first grade player of the year award. It marked a second straight podium finish for Brad.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Jackson and Brad Cox (PCH) finished second and third in this year's SDCA first grade player of the year award. It marked a second straight podium finish for Brad.

Daley, who tallied 62 points to claim the title, held off PCH's Cox brothers Jackson (56) and Brad Cox (51).

Brad also led the charge to take out the wicket-keeping award while teammates Jake Daniels and Dan Oldknow (SDCA first grade player of the year for 2013-14 and 2014-15) proved best with the ball.

In his debut season Daley has claimed the top individual award and a John Bull Shield representative shirt.

Now there's only one more box to tick.

"I certainly plan to play again next year and would love to help the Creeks lads to a first grade premiership," he concluded.

SDCA FIRST GRADE (SEASON 2019/20)

Player of the Year points

62 - Owen Daley (Creeks)

56 - Jackson Cox (PCH)

51 - Brad Cox (PCH)

Most Runs

469 - Jackson Cox (PCH)

Average

60.2 - Jacob Carey (Valley)

42.63 - Jackson Cox (PCH)

37.85 - Bayden Mulholland (Creeks)

Most Wickets

25 - Jake Daniels (PCH)

Average

11.53 - Dan Oldknow (PCH)

12.76 - Tristan Muir (Valley)

13.76 - Jake Daniels (PCH)

Wicket Keeping

18 - Brad Cox (PCH)

14 - Dan Storey (Valley) and Gavin Wake (Creeks)