A winning Way

Ben Way has won the Sullivan Medal for the time. (Shawn Smits)

Oliver Lees

Romsey’s Ben Way has taken out the Sullivan Medal for the third time in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.

The Sullivan Medal recognises the best and fairest player across the season in the GDCA’s top flight McIntyre Cup division.

Way had yet another stellar season as playing captain-coach, leading by example en route to the club’s third grand final in three seasons.

Way scored 915 runs on the season with an average of 91.5.

He previously took out the award in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.

He said although he doesn’t set out to win individual awards, he was humbled by the recognition.

“I play for enjoyment and getting better as a club and as a coach and trying to improve everyone around me,” he said.

“It’s something at the end of the day where it’s great to win, but it’s not something I’m striving for.

“I’m sure it’s something when I’ll look back on down the track.”

The award caps a positive season for Way and his Romsey teammates, who fell just short of the ultimate success.

Both Romsey and Gisbone went through the regular season undefeated with 12 wins a piece, setting the stage for a memorable grand final.

Romsey batted first and made 212 off 80 overs, which was comfortably chased down by Gisborne in 60 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Way was the shining light in the defeat, top scoring for his team with 63 runs off 152 deliveries.

His teammate Chris Burkett also put up a fight making 47 off 105.

However both players were dismissed by Leigh Brennan whose five wickets was a major determining factor in the match.

Brennan was also responsible for the run out of opening batsmen Matthew Milne.

Now 37-years-old, Way said he and his teammates are determined to look forward.

“When it comes to that stuff as a club we’re pretty good at moving on,” he said.

“You go out and you give it your best over the weekend and it’s not always going to go your way, there are two teams who think they’re gonna win, but only one can.

“We’ve been in the past three [grand finals], hopefully we’re in the next three.

“We’ve got a group that all gets on really well, we enjoy our time together and try to get better every year.”

Way said he was confident the majority, if not all of his teammates would be returning next season.

He was also named captain of the team of the year alongside his teammates Matthew Milne and Jamie Taylor.

As an opening batsmen, Milne averaged 58 runs per game, the fourth best average in the competition.

Taylor received this season’s bowling award, finishing with 28 wickets at an average of 13.1.

Gisborne’s Riley Vernon was the league’s top scorer finishing the year with 1129 for an average of 81. He finished runner up in the Sullivan Medal behind Way.