Roberts breaks records to claim 2019/20 Gwynne Medal

Lisa Roberts

Waratah co-captain Lisa Roberts has smashed the record for most votes in an NTFL women's best and fairest medal count, claiming her second Gwynne Medal after polling a monster 37 votes across her 17 games.  

Even the 29 votes accumulated by the Darwin Buffaloes’ co-captain Kylie Duggan in second place would usually be enough to take home the award, given that the previous highest vote tally was 28 votes to Alanah Kelly in 2007/08.

Coming in third was Nightcliff’s best and fairest, Eliza Morrison, who in only her second season of footy picked up 26 votes. 

The Palmerston Magpies’ crafty goalkicker, Arthurina Moreen finished in fourth with 24 votes off the back of the 36 goals she kicked this season, while hardworking PINT player/coach Katie Streader, who missed small chunks of the season, had a big second half to finish with 20 votes in fifth place. 

When it's broken down, the numbers behind Roberts’ 2019/20 season are simply staggering.
She finished with nine best-on-ground performances, as adjudicated by the umpires, and only failed to poll votes in three out of 17 matches.

The veteran, who will receive AFLNT Life Membership next week for playing more than 150 Premier League/representative games, also had her best season in front of goals to date, slotting 20 majors in 2019/20. 

After the first four rounds, it was PINT’s big recruit, Jasmyn Hewett, who had polled 10 votes to hold a two-vote lead over Roberts, while Morgan Johnston from Wanderers had six and sat in third.

But it was never really going to be possible for Hewett to win the Gwynne Medal given Round 9 was her last match before she left for AFL Women’s (AFLW) duties with the Gold Coast SUNS.

Following three consecutive games where she polled the maximum votes, Roberts took a one-vote lead over Hewett at the end of Round 6; though both players picked up the three votes in their side’s big wins. 

The other big mover and shaker in the early part of the season was Danielle Ponter from St Mary’s. No stranger to winning best and fairest awards, Ponter, like Hewett, was able to use the NTFL as practice leading into the 2020 AFLW season.

At the close of Round 8, Roberts was on 18 votes and led Hewett by two and Ponter was in third with 12 votes. 

In Round 9 and Round 10, Duggan started to creep her way towards the top of the leaderboard. Five best on ground performances plus two more votes saw her join Hewett in second place on 17 votes, six adrift of Roberts. 

Coinciding with Nightcliff’s hot form, in rounds 11 through 13, it was Morrison who scored more votes than any other player. She collected the maximum number of nine, while Duggan and Moreen added seven to their tallies and Roberts picked up five. 

Morrison made it four best on ground performances in a row when she helped lead the Tigers to victory over Duggan’s Buffettes in Round 15. However, the Darwin stalwart was still recognised by the umpires and given the two votes. 

Meanwhile, Roberts hadn’t polled in Round 14, and a single vote in Round 15 meant that she sat on 29 votes, with Duggan on 26 and Morrison on 23 both within striking distance.

But there was no slowing the inspirational Warrior, as she sprinted home in the final three rounds of the season, picking up eight of an available nine votes to claim her second Gwynne Medal, this time to herself after sharing the honour with Lucy Adam in 2017/2018. 

In other awards already announced for the Women’s Premier League, premiership-winning Southern Districts player, Ebony Miller capped off a formidable season, walking away with the 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.

Securing the goalkicker and Rising Star double 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. 

For her efforts in claiming the Gwynne Medal, Roberts will receive $1,000. 

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

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