CHRIS Endres of Kilcunda-Bass and Tom Cameron of Fish Creek might have tied for the Peter Moore medal, and the Giants’ Christie Hillberg might have won her sixth league best and fairest award, but that wasn’t the story of the night.
There was barely a dry eye in the house last Saturday night at the Alberton Football Netball League’s annual presentation night when MDU’s reserves’ coach Peter Harris won the Chris Tudor Trophy for the best player in the seconds on the last votes of the count.
And it was a delighted Coral Lannigan, daughter of Chris Tudor, who presented the award.
“I couldn’t think of a better person to win this award. Not only is Peter the best player, but he also coaches his club and is a thoroughly pleasant young man. I know there is someone up there who will be so proud,” she said, referring to Peter’s father Owen who died suddenly during the year.
Harris acknowledged that it had been a difficult year for obvious reasons but he paid tribute to his team mates and the club for the award.
“This is a product of being in a good team,” he said.
The night featured the presentation of best and fairest awards to all senior football and netball teams as well as the naming of a team of the year in both football and netball.
Results were as follows:
The night started with an exciting count in C Grade Netball with Emma Ton of Dalyston on 23 votes and Amy White of Korumburra-Bena on 29 votes with two rounds to go and seemingly having the best and fairest trophy in her keeping.
But Emma Ton polled two best on court votes in the final two matches to draw level with Amy, but with the last vote card to be read out by AFL Director Leonie McCluskey. Much to the delight of Amy and her Giants’ team mates she polled one vote in the final match to take the win by one with Emma runner-up.
Others to vote well in the C Grade best and fairest were Jane Harrison (MDU) 27 who led the count at the half-way mark, Emma Phillips (Dalyston) 21 and Cheryl Nicholas (K-Bena) 21.
B Grade netball
The B Grade best and fairest vote count resulted in a runaway win for Melissa Harris of MDU, well in front in the comp from the halfway stage. Interest late in the count surrounded the prospects of Korumburra-Bena team mates Zoe Archer and Jamie-Lee Jeffs, who were level on 22 votes with one round remaining. Zoe collected one vote to move clear by one but it was Jamie-Lee who collected the best on court in the final game to take second 25 votes to 23.
Next best were Laura Williams (Dalyston) and Therese Dalmau (Foster) on 19 and Katherine Roberts (IK) and Melamie Kalis (PI) on 17 votes.
In her acceptance speech, Melissa said she thoroughly enjoyed testing herself out against the strong players in the league and hoped to be able to continue doing so for many years to come.
A Grade netball
Christie HIllberg got out to a strong lead early in the A Grade best and fairest count and only extended her lead after each round, winning her sixth award with 37 votes from Lawri Piera of Phillip Island 26, Kim Hillberg 25, Kelsey Buxton 21, Jarney Thomas 19 and Tess Angarane 17.
Christie collected nine ‘3’ votes during the season and was in the best six other times.
In accepting the award, Christie said it was encouraging to see the number of young players coming into A Grade and “having a real crack” and while her eyes were on “the main prize” next Saturday, the club was also looking forward to the new challenges ahead next year.
Others to poll well were Linsey Boddy IK 16Kelly O’Neill PI 16, Kara Wogan-Browne Toora 16, Hannah Weston Toora 16Rebecca Browne Stony Creek 15, Lucy Monahan NDU 15 and Kelsey Angwin Foster 15.
Peter Harris of MDU won the best and fairest in the Reserves with 28 votes (including seven ‘best on’ votes), from Dale Brown of Dalyston 26 (six ‘best on’ votes) and Peter Nicolaci of Phillip Island on 24.
Others to poll well were James Kyle K-Bena 17, S Buxton IK 13, Adam Bright Fish Creek 12, B Graham FC 12, W Blundy IK 12 and M East MDU 12.
The league also presented the reserves’ goal kicking award to Adam Bright (Fish Creek) for his top tally of 61 goals.
The AFNL senior vote count was a real highlight with Fish Creek’s Tom Cameron coming from the clouds to share the award with Kilcunda-Bass’ Chris Endres, a former winner and one-time runner-up.
Cameron polled three ‘best on ground’ votes in the last three rounds to move from four behind Endres with two rounds to go to a share of the spoils at the end. In fact, with a whirlwind finish to the season, he collected six ‘best on ground’ votes in the final eight rounds.
Trailing 24 votes to 27 with the final round to go, knowing Endres had not played against MDU, Cameron collected the last three votes of the night to share the Ron Tibballs Trophy and Peter Moore Medal, presented by the late Peter Moore’s granddaughter, Sarah Kidd.
Endres said afterwards that he didn’t think he’d had that much of a year, after starting well, picking up several niggling injuries on the way but was delighted to share the award with Fish Creek’s young gun, Tom Cameron.
For Cameron, who was runners-up in a Southern League Under 18s award at Murrumbeena some years ago, it was his first major football award.
Others to poll well were Ryan Fitzgerald KB 19, Brad Fisher Dalyston 18, Darcy Atkins DWWWW 18, Matt Clark Foster 16, Paul Hinkley Tarwin 16, Dylan Clark IK 14 and Daniel Reid IK 14.