By LIAM DURKIN
TRARALGON Tyers United utility Ricky Cochrane took home the North Gippsland Football-Netball League senior best and fairest.
Cochrane secured the win in dramatic fashion, with his victory coming down to the last vote card of the season.
Sitting equal-second on eight votes with one round to play, Cochrane got home thanks to a best on ground display in the final home-and-away match against Gormandale.
An incredibly tight leaderboard saw a four-way-tie for second once all the votes were tallied.
Yallourn Yallourn North’s Jai Massese, Churchill’s Jake Roe Dugan and Woodside pair Cameron Whiteoak and Josh Kennedy all ended just behind Cochrane on nine votes.
Cochrane was awarded the Sel Burley Medal for the best and fairest, named after the long serving NGFNL secretary and treasurer.
The league vote count was live streamed, with other awards also handed out.
There was another tie on the night, with three clubs recognised for outstanding Code of Conduct in football. The Code of Conduct awards are voted on by the umpires in the areas of player, spectators and officials behaviour.
Rosedale, Yallourn Yallourn North and Heyfield were awarded football Code of Conducts.
The Blues reputation was further solidified as they also won the netball Code of Conduct.
YYN favourite son Daniel Potts won the Lloyd Schacht Medal for the reserves best-and-fairest. The ruckman polled 15 votes, four clear of Sale City’s Daniel Bird.
TTU had another football league best and fairest with Jacob Williams taking out the George Bland Medal.
Williams won with 18 votes ahead of Sale City’s Toby O’Reilly who nabbed 15.
There was a tie for the A Grade netball crown with Glengarry’s Tiffany Boatman and Woodside’s Holly Johnston each polling 16 votes.
Winners in other grades were Cowarr’s Erin Campbell (B Grade), Heyfield’s Millicent Riseley (C Grade), Sale City’s Kirralee Carstairs (D Grade), YYN’s Meg Findlay (17 and Under) and Heyfield’s Jemma Birss (15 and Under).
The wins for Riseley and Birss were especially noteworthy as they also polled well in other teams.
Riseley came equal second in the 17 and Under vote count while teammate Birss finished runner-up in C Grade despite still being eligible for 15 and Under.
League president David Kyle took the opportunity to congratulate all award winners via the live stream, and said the groundwork for next season had already begun.
“Bitterly disappointed again that we couldn’t deliver a finals series but we are really excited about what we can deliver in 2022,” he said.
“Trust me, we are working on bigger plans, we are working on fixtures, we’re working on
improvements to the ‘Be North Gippy’ (initiative).”
Season 2022 award winners
• Football code of conduct:
Rosedale, Yallourn Yallourn North, Heyfield.
• Netball code of conduct:
Best and Fairest
• Seniors: Ricky Cochrane (Traralgon Tyers United).
• Reserves: Daniel Potts (Yallourn Yallourn North).
• Thirds: Jacob Williams (Traralgon Tyers United).
• A Grade: Tiffany Boatman (Glengarry) and
Holly Johnston (Woodside).
• B Grade: Erin Campbell (Cowwarr).
• C Grade: Millicent Riseley (Heyfield).
• D Grade: Kirralee Carstairs (Sale City).
• 17 and Under: Meg Findlay (Yallourn Yallourn North).
• 15 and Under: Jemma Birss (Heyfield).