Young talent in top company with Joe Menegola Award honour

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Joe Menegola Award recipient Dustin Boyce.
Camera IconJoe Menegola Award recipient Dustin Boyce. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Promising all-rounder Dustin Boyce has capped a terrific season by winning the prestigious Joe Menegola Award last week, recognising the region’s best junior cricket talent.

The gong is the highest individual award up for grabs in the Albany Junior Cricket Association, combining both outstanding achievement as a player and as an ambassador for the association.

Boyce had a superb season at under-16 level for Warriors in the AJCA, scoring 305 runs and taking 15 wickets to display his all-round capabilities.

He made an unbeaten 70 and averaged 27.3 across both the 45-over and Twenty20 formats with the blade while snaring his 15 wickets at an average of 12.4, including best figures of 4-9 in the under-16 competitions.

The 16-year-old was captain of Albany’s first XI team at junior country week, scoring 83 runs and taking three wickets.

He also played senior cricket for Narrikup Dark in the Albany Cricket Association B-grade competition, finishing with nine wickets and 127 runs in 13 matches.

Criteria for the Joe Menegola Award include outstanding performance in the under-16 competition, country week and carnival performance; being a cricket ambassador; senior competition performance; and being in the last year of junior cricket.

Boyce joins an illustrious group of former winners including Paul Donaldson, who has played first grade cricket, and Albany’s Country XI star, Zane Marwick.

Adding to his major award win, Boyce was also named the under-16 champion player for the AJCA season and won the bowling average trophy with 10.10.

Charlie Walters and Boyce were joint winners of the bowling aggregate award, taking 10 wickets each, and talented batsman Lorcan McNamara won both batting awards. McNamara made 245 runs for the season at an average of 49 to claim the average and aggregate titles.

In the under-14 competition, Mohit Jaggi was crowned champion player for the season after starring for Redbacks.

Henry Goldsmith won the bowling average award with 4.64 and was a joint winner of the bowling aggregate with 14 wickets, along with Jakob Douglas. A season that comprised 343 runs at an incredible average of 171.5 handed Noah Blight both the batting aggregate and average awards.

Storm Melia was named female player of the year and Violet Hefferman-Backshell was also recognised as the emerging female player in the region.

Both girls played in the girls’ competition in Albany and attended the country carnival in Perth in January.

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