Sunday 20 September 2009

Rugged Morningside centre-half-back Ben Gibson crowned a memorable season by winning the Joe Grant Medal as best afield in the 2009 QAFL Velocity Sports Cup grand final.

Gibson, 19, showed that he had a big-game temperament when he was a late inclusion in the Queensland team to play Tasmania in Hobart in June and was one of the Maroons’ best players.

He used his long reach to great effect that day, and provided plenty of calm rebound today for a defence that was under siege for most of the game.

Gibson admitted the occasion and 31 degree conditions made life tough early.

“I was pretty nervous before the game,” he said.

“It was pretty hot in the first quarter I was stuffed as, so I just stuck in there.

“I just did my job really.”

He did a lot more than that, keeping a lid on in-form Shane Morrison, the athletic Joel Smouha, Darryl White and other players rotated through the Vultures half-forward line.

“Oh yeah, it’s a good feeling, a good reward,” he said of the Joe Grant coming on top of a premiership medallion.

Gibson admitted to being worried when the Vultures made their charge in the last quarter.

“I thought they almost had us, but everyone hung in there and did their job and got the result we wanted,” he said.

“This is the best feeling I’ve ever had in footy.”

The only downside to the occasion was being reported for an incident in the second quarter.

Gibson and Morrison were reported for striking each other, with the incident to be assessed by the video review panel tomorrow.

While Gibson is rarely mentioned in dispatches when it comes to the AFL recruiting scouts, his efforts in the big games in 2009 might prompt a re-think.


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