CAPTAIN Chris Park outlined Dorset spin king Sam Thomson as the star performer across the campaign this term.

The Bashley and former Parley off-spinner topped the wicket-taking charts for the Minor Counties outfit this summer, with 36 scalps at an average of 19.44 across all formats.

Despite finishing without a wicket in Dorset’s 327-run hammering at Berkshire this week, the spin all-rounder was awarded with the players’ player award from his colleagues after the contest.

“For his first season leading the bowling attack in the spin department he could not have asked for a better season,” captain Park told Echosport, when asked about Thomson.

“He has been our star this year I think.

“What has really helped him is having some rough and some foot holes for him to bowl into now we have Tom Barber and Bradley Currie.”

As well as impressing with his bowling, Thomson has also been a handy addition down the order with the bat this term, with two fifties and a batting average of just more than 30 in all forms.

And skipper Park compared Thomson’s skills to that of former county captain Tom Hicks, who was also at Finchampstead to watch his former side’s last outing of the season.

He added: “It’s part of the Minor Counties process that a young guy comes in on debut and sees what it is all about for two or three years.

“He (Thomson) has had a fantastic season and has stood up away from the likes of Tom Hicks and Jake Lintott, who he had been in the shadows of.

“I think the confidence aspect with his bowling has had an influence on his batting. For him to be averaging more than 30 with the bat in Championship cricket this year is a credit to him and he is a very important player for us now.”

Reflecting on their crushing defeat against the Western Division champions, in which his side lost four wickets with the final four balls to seamer Oli Wilkin, Park added: “They were at the top of their game and were eager to win the game and win the Championship.

“They were steaming in and put us under severe pressure, which we weren’t able to cope with.

“They are a good outfit and the best of luck to them in the final. We didn’t apply ourselves very well with the bat, which has been the shortcoming for us.”