A young cricketer from Aythorpe Roding has been honoured in their league's end of season award ceremony.

Manith De Silva was named the Mid Essex Cricket League Premier Division young player of the year.

The 17-year-old played 15 times for his club during an ultimately disappointing year which culminated in relegation.

However, he was a hugely bright spark in among the gloom, scoring 236 runs, the highest of his knocks bringing 71 not out with an average of 22.36.

He also took 20 wickets at an average of 19.7, his best figures being 4-21 and claimed nine catches too.

Team captain Paul Gravatt was suitably impressed, as were the judges.

The Roding skipper said: "It was an outstanding season from a young all-rounder who showed himself to be highly proficient in all three disciplines.

"Mani is not only talented but committed. He missed one game due to injury and two were abandoned but otherwise played every week, making his way to Chelmsford or Braintree station on public transport.

"Behind the ear-to-ear grin and easy-going nature is a steely, highly competitive young cricketer and he would have finished the season with a bad back - after carrying the Aythorpe seam attack for much of it.

"With the new ball, he often rushed batsmen, and in particular right-handers, with his fast-medium in-swingers, taking the new ball and bowling the death overs where his Yorkers proved very effective.

"With the bat, after being promoted to open the innings in the second half of the season, Mani acquitted himself well, the highlight being a rapid 71 not out as Aythorpe completed the double over Basildon & Pitsea, chasing down 132 in just 24 overs.

"He had taken 4-21 in the first innings of that game."