It was a day and night with plenty of ‘firsts’ as the Borough celebrated the 2018 ‘season that was’ on Friday in the Sandridge Events Centre.
After the confirmation of an incredibly exciting $5 million ground redevelopment funding announcement to kick off proceedings, two closely-run vote counts ensued, with Paige Holt (Women) and Mack Rivett (VFL Men) at the top of their respective groups as Best and Fairest winners come night’s end.
For Holt, her 37 votes was enough to take home the club’s first ever Women’s Best and Fairest Medallion, which capped off a season in which she was also bestowed with the honour of captaincy.
She was able to hold off the ever-consistent Belinda Ousley on 32 votes, with Kelly Nelson third on 27 votes.
Holt singled out several people for acknowledgement in her acceptance speech, and said she “loved the club” and was “so honoured” to be voted as the Borough’s first ever women’s Best and Fairest winner.
The VFL vote count was also an incredibly tight race right throughout, before Rivett was able to edge away in the last couple of rounds, to finish on 126 votes.
He defeated fellow midfielders Tom O’Sullivan on 120 votes and Eli Templeton on 115 votes, who had each filled the top two spots for much of the count before Rivett was able to come home with a wet sail.
The award capped a whirlwind few weeks for Rivett, who had only arrived back in Melbourne on Friday morning from a month-long holiday in Europe; which came just days after his side’s Elimination Final defeat at the hands of eventual Premier Box Hill.
Rivett – the club’s third consecutive first-time winner of the Jack McFarlane Medal – said he was equally chuffed to accept the Borough’s highest individual honour, after an outstanding 2018 pre-season had helped him sweep aside the injury concerns that kept him out of the 2017 Grand Final success.
Several other awards were presented on the night, with the future of the club put up in lights as youngsters such as Ethan Phillips (Best First Year Player) and Daniel Beddison (Most Improved) were recognised for their terrific seasons.
It was also heartening to see that despite having his extraordinary year being cut short by an ACL injury in Round 15, midfielder Isaac Conway took home the club’s trophy for ‘Most Determined’.
Long-serving kiosk/laundry/meals volunteer Di Perazzo was also an emotional recipient of the ‘Best Club Person’ Award for the 2018 season.
The full listing of awards and respective trophy donors were as follows:
– VFL Best & Fairest (Jack McFarlane Medal): Mack Rivett (Donor: 5 Star Trophies)
– VFL 2nd Best & Fairest: Tom O’Sullivan (Fortburn P/L)
– VFL 3rd Best & Fairest: Eli Templeton (Di Perazzo)
– VFL Leading Goalkicker: Jordan Lisle (Bevan and Tracy Ford)
– VFL Most Determined: Isaac Conway (Patrick Hayes)
– VFL Most Consistent (Joseph Campbell Memorial Award): Lucas Cook (Marg, Simon and Leanne Addicoat)
– VFL Coach’s Award: Shannen Lange (Stannards)
– VFL Most Improved: Daniel Beddison (Dorr Paper & Food Supplies)
– VFL Tom Lahiff Memorial Award: Tom O’Sullivan (Lahiff Family)
– VFL Best 1st Year Player: Ethan Phillips (PMPPA)
– Heather Doughty Memorial Supporters Trophy: Mack Rivett (Robert Doughty)
– Goal of the Year: Blake Pearson – Round 18 vs. Essendon (Jenny and Andrew Tserkezidis)
– Women’s Best & Fairest: Paige Holt (Donor: 5 Star Trophies)
– Women’s 2nd Best & Fairest: Belinda Ousley (Leanne Graham)
– Women’s 3rd Best & Fairest: Kelly Nelson (Carr Electrical)
– Women’s Leading Goalkickers: Tiana Assini and Bronte James (South Pacific Health Clubs / Mischel & Co. Group)
– Women’s Most Determined: Vivien Leong (Marg, Simon and Leanne Addicoat)
– Women’s Most Consistent: Belinda Ousley (David Yuill)
– Women’s Coach’s Award: Sarah Allen (Beastwear)
– Women’s Most Improved: Aoife O’Gorman (BECK Property Group)
– Women’s Tom Lahiff Memorial Award: Jade Garcia (Lahiff Family)
– 2018 Best Club Person: Di Perazzo (The Goss Family)
Article: Sam Wharton.
Images: Jenny Tserkezidis.