Hawk Healey wins Mulrooney Medal in 3 way tie

Three players tied for the 2009 AFL Canberra Best & Fairest award last night in one of the closest JL Mulrooney Medal counts in decades.

Queanbeyan's Mitch Daniher, Tuggeranong's Craig Healey and Eastlake's Chad Gibson finished on 13 votes each to share the award.

Up to eight players were still in contention with three rounds remaining, a few best-on-ground performances from the three winners set them apart. In round 17, Gibson collected two votes and Healey three to jump into first and second.

Healey picked up one more vote in Round 18 to join Gibson on 13 points, while Daniher jumped from fifth to first thanks to his best-on-ground performance against Eastlake.

For the second consecutive year, Belconnen's James Bennett finished Runner-Up. This year it was by just one vote. Bennet was leading after Round 16, before the winners trumped him in the finals two rounds.

Eastlake's Aaron Bruce and two more Magpies, Josh Jennings and Andrew Ainger all finished third on 11 votes. The winning number of votes was the lowest to win in the past five years, while the tie broke 19 years of outright winners in the award.

Since the Mulrooney Medal was first awarded in 1936, there have only been five tied results. The last time there was a three-player tie for the award was in 1950. But the three-person tie isn't a record, because in 1990 a total of five players tied for the AFL Canberra Best & Fairest award.

Last night's award also was the second consecutive year that the medal winner will not be playing in the Grand Final. Last year, Ainslie's Ryan Lewis won when the Grand Final was between Belconnen and the Sydney Swans. This year, all of the winners' teams have been knocked out.

JL Mulrooney Medal (AFL Canberra Labor Club Division 1 Best & Fairest)

Joint winners: Craig Healey (Tuggeranong), Mitch Daniher (Queanbeyan), Chad Gibson (Eastlake) - 13 votes


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