Filo and O’Connell share top honours, while Roberts smashes records to take home the Gwynne Medal

Nichols 2019/20

For the first time in 12 years, we have joint-winners of the Nichols Medal, with Nightcliff gun midfielder Brodie Filo and Wanderers tyro Beau O’Connell claiming the prestigious prize, with the shared honour being decided with the very last vote of the night. 

At 18 years and four months of age, O’Connell became the youngest Nichols medallist in 31 years since William Rioli Snr took home the award in 1988/89 for St Mary’s as a 17-year-old.
The speedy onballer stormed home in the final two rounds, polling five votes to draw level with Filo on 20 votes, despite Wanderers winning just three games for the season. 

With best and fairest awards across three different football leagues; the 2018 Morris Medal in the Ovens and Murray League, the Bendigo League’s Michelsen Medal in 2015 and the NTFL’s top prize in 2015/16, Filo claimed his second Nichols Medal. He polled six best-on-ground performances on the back of a dominant campaign for the Tigers, who lost just one match during the regular season. 

It is Nightcliff’s third Nichols Medal winner in a row, while O’Connell becomes the first Wanderers player since James McNamee in season 2010/11 to take home the crown. 

In contrasting tales, Nightcliff players recorded 90 votes, more than any other team, while Wanderers totalled 43 votes, making O’Connell’s 20, 14 more than he polled last season, even more impressive. 
Both players’ ability to hit the scoreboard from the midfield also boosted their polling potential with Filo nailing 15 majors from 13 games while O'Connell scored 13 goals from 14 games.

The pair also demonstrated their skill and goal sense by both winning the NTFL’s Play of the Round for freakish individual six-pointers during the season.  

While Filo polled votes in seven games, three of them being the maximum gettable three votes, O’Connell polled the maximum in four matches but was positively cited by the umpires in nine games. 

St Mary’s inside midfield bull Nathaniel Paredes finished runner-up to the pair on 15 votes, while silky Waratah onballer Abraham Ankers finished third on 14 votes, despite playing just seven games for the season. 

Paredes took the lead early in the count, and after Round 6 the ball-magnet sat on seven votes, one ahead of Filo, Ankers and star Nightcliff stalwart, Cameron Ilett.

Ankers, an Alice Springs native who was flying up and down on weekends, hit the lead after Round 10 with his 12 votes, one ahead of Paredes and three votes clear of ex-AFL player and Southern Districts’ Ed Barlow who has eight votes. In fourth place was Ilett on seven, while Filo and O’Connell were locked in a three-way tie for fifth place with St Mary’s hard nut, Josh Cheek.

But anyone who kept a close eye on the season would’ve known Ankers played only two more games in the final eight rounds of the season, and so it wasn’t long before his lead was eaten away. 

From Round 11 onwards, Filo and O’Connell sprang to life when they both picked up respective best on ground nods. Filo displayed dominance in a big win over the Magpies, while O’Connell was a livewire in Wanderers’ narrow loss to the Tiwi Bombers on Bathurst Island. 

In Round 12, Paredes drew level with Ankers on 12 votes and in Round 13, when Filo and O’Connell polled three apiece there was a four-way tie for the lead. Barlow was next highest but remained on eight votes. 

In Round 14, Filo picked up his fifth lot of three votes to take the outright lead, but O’Connell was hot on his heels having collected two votes from the umpires. 

Filo edged further ahead in Round 15 when he received two votes, and O’Connell got one for his efforts in the Foundation Cup game. Ankers, his opponent on the day, played his last game of the season and picked up his final two votes of the season to take him to his end tally of 14.

In Round 16, Filo was on the path to victory with another three votes that took him to 20, while Paredes pushed back into contention when three votes saw him draw level with O’Connell on 15. 

With only two rounds left to count, Round 17 rolled in, and it fitted well that Filo and O’Connell came up against one another on the field and rather poetically, they each kicked two goals. Filo needed only two votes to open a lead that would’ve seen him as the outright winner, while one vote would’ve guaranteed the win also, even if he could be caught. But he didn’t poll, and it was O’Connell who got a nod from the umpires as he collected two votes and moved to 17. 

Round 18 was when it all happened; Nightcliff had a massive win over the Palmerston Magpies, and the three votes went to a player starting with ‘B’, but it was Brad Arnold as Filo had sat out the last game of the season. 

In the very last vote read of the night, O’Connell’s best on ground performance against the Tiwi Bombers completed his fairytale. 

In other awards for the night, Southern Districts full-forward Will Farrer took home the Dennis Dunn Leading Goalkicker sponsored by Darwin Family Law for his 47 majors during 2019/20. It is the Crocs’ captain’s fourth nod as the competition’s leading goalkicker since he began playing NTFL in season 2010/11. 

His teammate, Brodie Lake was named the NT News Rising Star from a quality field of youngsters after receiving the nomination in Round 18, his second in as many seasons.

Having returned from school in Perth, the 17-year-old played 14 Premier League games and became renowned for his dash around the ground and ability to match it with bigger bodies. He credited his improvement to the opportunities he’s enjoyed like training with the Gold Coast SUNS. 

It’s his latest award in a string of successes over the past 12 months; which included being named NT Under 16 MVP as well as the McAsker Players’ Player Award, earn Under 16 All-Australian honours, and being selected for the Under 17 Futures Game on AFL Grand Final and Under 18 Allies squad. 

Filo capped off his night by also claiming the NT News/Darwin Business Machines Player of the Year, while Nightcliff teammate and fellow dual Nichols medallist, Cameron Ilett won the ABC Player of the Year Award.
In the Women’s Premier League, Waratah co-captain Lisa Roberts smashed the record for most votes in an NTFL women's medal count, claiming her second Gwynne Medal after polling a monster 37 votes. 

Read the full Gwynne Medal recap here. 

This time she didn’t have to share the honours as she led from the start, holding off the Darwin Buffettes’ Kylie Duggan, who finished in second place on 29 votes and Nightcliff’s Eliza Morrison who placed third on 26 votes. 

Premiership-winning Southern Districts player, Ebony Miller capped off a formidable season, walking away with the Women’s Premier League Leading Goalkicker Award.

Miller finished the regular season booting 59 majors in just 14 games and kicked a goal in every game but was at her peak on three separate occasions when she booted 10 goals in rounds 7, 15 and 18. 

Even more remarkably, in her 28 NTFL games prior to this season, Miller had only kicked six goals.

Helping to secure the goalkicker and Rising Star double in both the men’s and women’s for Southern Districts, was 16-year-old Grace Mulvahil. The Croc had a breakout season after she transitioned from Under 18s to debut in the senior side in Round 5, kicking two goals. 

And she capped it off yesterday, by picking up the Williams Medal for best on ground in the Women’s Premier League Grand Final. 

A versatile player, Mulvahil started as a key defender before being used as a dangerous forward because of textbook kicking technique and efficiency around the ground. 

In the Men’s Division 1 competition, Banks’ Bradley Taheny claimed his first Mitch Lee Medal with 20 votes, holding off his teammate and last season’s co-winner, David Oates who finished runner-up on 16. 

In a season where the Bulldogs and the PINT Greenants dominated, it wasn’t surprising to see their players fill five of the top six spots on the leaderboard. 

Taheny, who only missed two games and kicked 31 goals for the season, featured in his team’s best on 10 occasions and got the maximum three votes from the umpires five times.

Another serious contender for the top prize was PINT’s Oscar Whitty, who drew level with Taheny on 15 votes in Round 13 when he turned in a best on ground performance for the fourth time.

Going into the final two rounds any of the top three could’ve claimed the Medal with Taheny leading the way on 17, Whitty on 15 and Oates on 14. But when Taheny picked up his fifth lot of three votes, he had an unassailable lead and secured the top honour.

Travis Carroll ensured Southern Districts remained synonymous with goalkicking when he was presented with the Division 1 Leading Goalkicker Award for the third time with 53 goals for the season. 

In Division 2, Nightcliff’s Chris Smith won the Lancaster Medal, polling 23 votes to run away from the rest of the pack and claim back-to-back league best and fairest medals. 

Four games into the season and Smith had already collected three lots of three votes to lead the way on nine, but after missing rounds 7 and 8, it opened the door for Banks’ Dylan St Jack, who polled in four out of five games to take a one-vote lead his 10 votes at the end of Round 9.

Smith regained the lead with the next game, acquiring a full three votes for his three goals and best on ground performance in a big win over Wanderers. 

From there the man who has won many a Division 2 award, including best on ground in a grand final, was unstoppable as he collected seven lots of three votes and a game with two from 14 possible games.  

The Division 2 Leading Goalkicker Award went the way of St Mary’s veteran, Mathias Liddy who botted 46 goals in just 11 matches.  

Colourful umpiring personality Mark Noonan, who broke the record for umpiring the most Men’s Premier League games this season, received the ABC Umpire of the Year Award.

Nightcliff’s Mark Pedretti claimed the Kennards Hire Volunteer of the Year award for his tireless work around the Tigers in multiple roles.

Known to help coach, fulfill trainer duties as well as run water, line mark and organise social club events, Mr Pedretti was recognised for his all-in commitment to the Tigers and his expertise in recruiting other volunteers. Over the years he has also made his home available to Nightcliff players, those from country areas, interstate or players that have fallen on hard times. 

In the first award for the night, Nightcliff won the Statewide Super Big Club of the Year award, securing the $5,000 prize after going one better than last season when it finished second.

With all three of its senior men’s teams making the grand final next weekend and a number of the Tigers junior teams also putting in strong seasons, it was no surprise to see Nightcliff leading the way at each stage of the season before claiming the end reward. 

This season the improvement of St Mary’s in the Men’s Premier League, as well as the results from its other teams also helped them, as they finished second and were awarded $2,500, while Southern Districts came in third place for $1,000.

In the Statewide Super Small Club of the Year award, PINT celebrated a solid season by claiming the $1,500 prize ahead of Banks and the Tiwi Bombers. 

For their efforts in claiming the Nichols Medal and Gwynne Medal; Filo, O’Connell and Roberts will each receive $1,000. 

A full list of awards and winners at the 2019/20 NIchols Medal, presented by Cazalys Palmerston Club:

Nichols Medallists
Brodie Filo – Nightcliff – 20 votes
Beau O’Connell - Wanderers - 20 votes

Gwynne Medallist
Lisa Roberts – Waratah – 37 votes

Men’s Division 1 Mitch Lee Medallist
Bradley Taheny – Bank Bulldogs – 20 votes

Men’s Division 2 Lancaster Medallist
Chris Smith – Nightcliff Spartans – 23 votes

ABC Player of the Year
Cameron Ilett – Nightcliff 

ABC Umpire of the Year
Mark Noonan

The NT News/Darwin Business Machines Player of the Year
Brodie Filo – Nightcliff 

The NT News Rising Star
Brodie Lake – Southern Districts

Women’s Rising Star
Grace Mulvahil – Southern Districts

Dennis Dunn Leading Goalkicker sponsored by Darwin Family Law
William Farrer – Southern Districts – 47 goals

Women’s Leading Goalkicker
Ebony Miller – Southern Districts – 59 goals

Men’s Division 1 Leading Goalkicker
Travis Carroll – Southern Districts – 53 goals

Men’s Division 2 Leading Goalkicker
Mathias Liddy – St Mary’s – 46 goals 

Kennards Hire Volunteer of the Year 
Mark Pedretti - Nightcliff

Statewide Super Club of the Year

Big Club division:
1st - $5,000 – Nightcliff
2nd - $2,500 – St Mary’s
3rd - $1,000 – Southern Districts

Small Club division:
1st - $1,500 – PINT
2nd - $1,000 – Banks
3rd - $500 – Tiwi Bombers

Nichols Medal leading vote-getters:
1st – Brodie Filo – 20 votes
1st – Beau O’Connell – 20 votes
3rd – Nathaniel Paredes – 15 votes
4th – Abraham Ankers – 14 votes
5th – Brad Arnold – 12 votes
5th – Ashton Hams – 12 votes

Darwin Buffaloes top 3
54 total votes

1st – Timothy Eldridge – 9 votes
2nd – Jarrod Stokes – 7 votes **
3rd – Daniel Stafford – 6 votes

Nightcliff top 3
90 total votes

1st – Brodie Filo – 20 votes
2nd – Brad Arnold – 12 votes
3rd – Cameron Ilett – 8 votes

Palmerston Magpies top 3
16 total votes

1st – Kyle Emery – 7 votes
2nd – Matthew Dennis – 4 votes
3rd – Jack Berry – 3 votes

Southern Districts top 3
59 total votes

1st – Ed Barlow – 11 votes
2nd – William Farrer – 6 votes **
2nd – Dean Staunton – 6 votes

St Mary’s top 4
74 total votes

1st – Nathaniel Paredes – 15 votes
2nd – Josh Cheek – 9 votes
3rd – Jackson Geary – 6 votes
3rd – Shaun Edwards – 6 votes

Tiwi Bombers top 4
52 total votes

1st – Ashton Hams – 12 votes
2nd – Jack Monigatti – 7 votes
3rd – Michael Dunn – 5 votes
3rd – Patrick Heenan – 5 votes

Wanderers top 3
43 total votes

1st – Beau O’Connell – 20 votes
2nd – Simon Bates – 5 votes
3rd – Joel Jeffrey – 4 votes

Waratah top 2
36 total votes

1st – Abraham Ankers – 14 votes
2nd – Kim Kantilla – 5 votes

Gwynne Medal leading vote-getters:
1st – Lisa Roberts – 37 votes
2nd – Kylie Duggan – 29 votes
3rd – Eliza Morrison – 26 votes
4th – Arthurina Moreen – 24 votes
5th – Katie Streader – 20 votes

Big River Hawks top vote-getter
4 total votes

1st – Johanna Daniels – 2 votes

Darwin Buffaloes top 3
72 total votes

1st – Kylie Duggan – 29 votes 
2nd – Tayla Hart-Aluni – 8 votes 
3rd – Dominique Carbone – 7 votes

Nightcliff top 3
56 total votes

1st – Eliza Morrison – 26 votes
2nd –Emma-Lou Wolsey – 8 votes
3rd – Shantel Miskin-Ripia – 7 votes

Palmerston Magpies top 4
67 total votes

1st – Arthurina Moreen – 24 votes
2nd – Freda Puruntatameri – 10 votes
3rd – Janet Baird – 8 votes

PINT top 3
60 total votes

1st – Katie Streader – 20 votes
2nd – Jasmyn Hewett – 17 votes
3rd – Erin Hetherington – 7 votes

Southern Districts top 3
67 total votes

1st – Mattea Breed – 15 votes
2nd – Lateesha Jeffrey – 13 votes
3rd – Ebony Miller – 12 votes

St Mary’s top 3
47 total votes

1st – Danielle Ponter – 12 votes
1st – Chinette Suapero – 12 votes
3rd – Emily Casey – 5 votes

Tracy Village top 2
10 total votes

1st – Lauren Douglas – 3 votes 
1st – Bonnie McDougall – 3 votes

Wanderers top 2
34 total votes

1st – Morgan Johnston – 18 votes
2nd – Sophie Armitstead – 4 votes

Waratah top 3
71 total votes

1st – Lisa Roberts – 37 votes 
2nd – Jenna Singh – 8 votes
3rd – Sherayn Puruntatameri – 7 votes

Men’s Division 1 Mitch Lee Medal leading vote-getters:
1st – Bradley Taheny – Banks – 20 votes
2nd – David Oates – Banks – 16 votes
3rd – Oscar Whitty – PINT – 15 votes
4th – Kale Barker – PINT – 12 votes
5th – Cohen Thiele – Banks – 11 votes
5th – Harry Williams – Nightcliff – 11 votes

Men’s Division 2 Lancaster Medal leading vote-getters:
1st – Chris Smith – Nightcliff – 23 votes
2nd – Dylan St Jack – Banks – 13 votes
3rd – Mark Chadwick – Banks – 11 votes
4th – Peter Burgess – PINT – 10 votes
4th – Patrick Papas – Nightcliff – 10 votes

** Denotes a player who is ineligible to win a best and fairest award due to suspension

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