Jonathan Cook wins Bill O’Reilly Medal
and Nick Larkin voted best captain in NSW competition
Former Mid North Coast cricket player Jonathan Cook has taken out the prestigious Bill O’Reilly Medal as the the best player in the NSW Premier 1st Grade competition(Sydney). Cook who captains the Western Suburbs Club took 56 wickets at an average of 15.5 runs with his leg spinners and also chipped in with 291 runs at 24.3 with the bat.
The umpires also voted on the best captains in Sydney 1st Grade. Former MNCJCC player Nick Larkin got the most votes and Jono Cook 2nd.
Not a bad reflection on players coming out of the Mid North Coast (and North Coast Zone).
The MNC team that Jono and Nick Larkin was in was very strong and always played as a team. They had one narrow semi-final loss to Newcastle at Lismore U/12's finishing 3rd(Merv Bourke was the coach at the time), won Ballina Under 13's and Bowral Under 14's Carnivals and again a narrow loss in final at Under 15 carnival at Singleton. Jono and Nick Larkin have been friends since they first meet when selected for Lismore Under 12 carnival.
Jonathan had an impressive record as a junior player in the North Coastal Zone captaining the Zone's first Bradman Cup winning team in 2005-06.
This North Coastal team which also included current NSW player Nick Larkin went on to win the Under 16 State Challenge beating Sydney Green Shield winners Bankstown. In the 2007-08 season Cook while still at school in Port Macquarie played in the last North Coastal Open team to win a NSW Country Carnival Championships. This team also included South Australia and Australia player Joe Mennie.
When in the North Coast team Jono was a bat who bowled a few leggies. Obviously his leg break bowling developed further along(in Wollongong) so players should never close the door to developing their skills in new areas even after passing through pathway programs.
One thing that never changed was his application to training/playing which was always 1st class.