Monday 7 September 2009

Three players have shared the Syd Guildford Trophy in thrilling finish to the count to decide the best player in the QAFL as judged by independent league observers.

Morningside ace Paul Shelton went into Round 18 with a two-vote advantage over Southport ruckman Broc McCauley, a three-vote lead over Mt Gravatt onballer Nathan Gilliland, and was five votes ahead of teammate Ryan Holman.

Shelton did not poll a vote in the final match against Southport at Fankhauser Reserve, and neither did McCauley.

But Holman’s prolific work won him the best afield vote to draw level with Shelton.

Gilliland was outstanding in Mt Gravatt’s final round win over Labrador and grabbed three votes to join the winners podium, all three players finishing with 34 votes.

McCauley was just behind on 32 votes, with Jacob Gough next on 27 votes.

It was a reflection of Morningside’ dominant season that the Panthers should provide two of the joint winners and the fifth placegetter.

Shelton and Gilliland received only two best afield votes all season, less than a number of players around them, but were rewarded for their consistency.

Both polled in 10 games during the season.

Shelton caught votes in six games in succession from Rounds 3-8 and was eight votes in front of NT Thunder skipper Jarred Ilett when voting went into secret for the last month.

Ilett carried a painful groin condition through the second half of the year and did not poll after Round 13, finishing in seventh place.

Remarkably, Holman had just six votes to his name more than halfway through the season at Round 10, but polled no worse than three votes in each of the last six games in a barnstorming finish.

Gilliland was seven off the lead when voting went into secret, but polled four votes in Round 15 for a 30-possession/three-goal effort against the Lions and five votes for his six goals and 38 touches against the Western Magpies the following week.

Redland teenager and nab Rising Star nominee Justin Myers capped a fine individual season with a sixth-place finish to go with his State representation in June.

Former AFL star Jeff White enjoyed a top eight finish in his first season outside the elite level, while impressive young Brisbane Lion Tom Rockliff also finished on the leaderboard after a strong finish to the year.

Rockliff polled three best-on-ground votes and received two four-votes.

Top 10 votegetters:

34: Paul Shelton (Morningside)

34: Nathan Gilliland (Mt Gravatt)

34: Ryan Holman (Morningside)

32: Broc McCauley (Southport)

27: Jacob Gough (Morningside)

25: Justin Myers (Redland)

23: Jarred Ilett (NT Thunder)

23: Justin Kahlefeldt (Southport)

23: Jeff White (Redland)

23: Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions)



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