NIGEL Jones may have just missed out on leading CIYMS to Gardiner Bros Premier League glory this season but he has been named player of the season.

The CI skipper was not present at the Annual NCU Awards Dinner in Belfast as he had gone home to New Zealand but on his return the All-rounder of the season and the top bowler in the Premier League awards will also be waiting for him.

Jones took 25 wickets (only his South African club professional Matt McGillivray took more) at 16 runs each and also had the sixth highest batting average – 45.54 with 592 runs from 16 innings.

North Down’s Alistair Shields (again pipped only by McGillivray) took the top batsman prize after scoring 812 runs at an average of 58, while CI wicket-keeper won the Dai Jones award for his 29 dismissals, five more than his nearest challengers.

League champions Waringstown, who won the title on run-rate from CIYMS after their final league game against relegated Lisburn was abandoned, had to be satisfied on the evening at formally receiving the trophy, presented to captain Greg Thompson by Gardiner Bros’ Michael Warke and NCU president Peter McMorran.

Amy Hunter, the prodigiously talented 11-year-old at Instonians was the inaugural winner of the Young Woman’s Player of the Year with the main award going for the third time in four years to Lurgan’s Hanna Grieve.

Other award winners: Coach of the Year Peter Bates (Muckamore), Young Player: Oliver Metcalfe (Instonians). Senior League Section One: Neil Gelston (Armagh), Section Two: Ross Bryans (Templepatrick), Section Three: Neil Walsh (Drumaness).

Four NCU players had a good excuse for missing the Dinner – they are in Bangladesh with the Ireland Wolves and the 16-man squad yesterday completed its first day of training ahead of their opening four-day game against Bangladesh A, starting in Sylhet on Wednesday.

James Shannon, Nathan Smith, Jacob Mulder and Shane Getkate will all be hoping to get the chance to impress before the senior squad for the UAE tour, at the end of next month, is selected.