Bentleigh captain Scott Lawry reaffirmed his standing as the preeminent player in the SFNL by taking out the League’s highest individual honour, the Ellis Medal, at last night’s Annual Awards Dinner.
Lawry polled 28 votes, including eight best on grounds, to be crowned the fairest and best player in Division 1 Senior competition for the second consecutive year after tying with St Pauls’ Liam Wilson in 2015.
Clayton’s star halfback, Andrew Ray, finished runner up on 23 votes, while Oakleigh District veteran Paul Fermanis rounded out the top three with 19 votes.
The Demons champion becomes just the fourth player in League history to win the coveted Division 1 medal for a second time, and the first back-to-back winner since SFNL Hall of Famer and fellow Bentleigh luminary David Martin won three in a row from 1997-99.
The win was also Lawry’s fourth League Best & Fairest in five years following his two consecutive Division 2 awards in 2012-13.
Earlier, Chelsea Heights jet Jordan Peryman blitzed the field to claim the Division 2 Bennett Medal with a stunning tally of 33 votes.
The speedy ball-magnet earned a phenomenal nine best on grounds to finish a staggering 15 votes clear atop the best and fairest leaderboard.
Exciting Port Colts teenager Mitch Clarke and ineligible Caulfield midfielder Tom Heagney tied for second place on 18 votes each.
Doveton Eagles coach Corrie Wilson held on to win the Division 3 Flack Medal by just one vote in a thrilling count.
Wilson tallied 20 votes and, despite not polling in the final round, survived a late charge from runners up Cedric LeGrand (Endeavour Hills), Manny Peresso (Hallam) and four-time winner Jarrod Wilkin (Mount Waverley), who each finished on 19 votes.
It has been a long time between drinks for Wilson, who previously won the Division 3 Best & Fairest back in 2004.
St Pauls’ Connor Byrne polled 25 votes to win the Under 19 Sparrow Medal by one vote ahead of leading goalkicker Mykelti Lefau (St Kilda City). Oakleigh District’s Liam McCabe finished third on 20 votes, but didn’t go home empty handed as he scooped the Leader Shooting Star award.
In the netball, Heatherton super shooter Rahni Samason came from behind to tie with last year’s winner Alicia Wise (Dingley) for the Division 1 Best & Fairest.
The pair polled 19 votes each to finish five ahead of runner up Zali Mifsud (Heatherton) on 14 votes.
Wise held a five-vote lead heading into Round 14, but failed to poll in the final two games as Samason drew level with a best on court in the last round.
The Dingoes captain becomes the only person to have earned two Netball Division 1 Best & Fairest awards.
League leading goalshooter Grace Healey (St Pauls) polled 18 votes to win the Division 2 Best & Fairest by the barest of margins ahead of Carrum Patterson Lakes’ Juliana Bedggood.
Heatherton’s Mandy Quinn also earned a spot in the podium, polling 15 votes.
Clayton’s Tahkara O’Sei won the medal in Division 3 with 17 votes, while Gemma Reynolds (Dingley Two), Olivia Selbst (Dingley One) and Daniela Tomaselli (Mordialloc One) each polled 15 votes in a three-way tie for the Under 19 Best & Fairest.
2016 SFNL AWARD WINNERS
Ellis Medal (Division 1 Senior Best & Fairest): Scott Lawry (Bentleigh)
Bennett Medal (Division 2 Senior Best & Fairest): Jordan Peryman (Chelsea Heights)
Flack Medal (Division 3 Senior Best & Fairest): Corrie Wilson (Doveton Eagles)
Sparrow Medal (Under 19 Best & Fairest): Connor Byrne (St Pauls)
Division 1 Reserve Most Valuable Player: Kade Murphy (Bentleigh)
Division 2 Reserve Most Valuable Player: Philip Karaminovski (Port Melbourne Colts)
Division 3 Reserve Most Valuable Player: Adam Strelec (South Yarra)
Thirds Most Valuable Player: Corey Dyson (Cerberus)