By Phil Skeggs and Peter Rawley

Ivanhoe’s hardest working players were the big winners in our 2021 season best and fairest awards on Saturday night. Men’s seniors co-captain Danny Jones picked up the Hec Rutherford Medal, edging out comp B&F Wayne Schultz and winger Connor O’Brien, who was also runner-up in 2019. Hard-running Ivies midfielder Rachel McLean, runner-up in the B&F in 2019, capped an ultra-consistent season in which she played in all 11 games, including the semi-final, to earn the Ida Marcon Medal. Ivies captain Emilia Bisogni, who missed four games through injury, was runner-up alongside another polished performer Cate Riddington, who played in nine games.

In a season interrupted by pandemic lockdowns, Jones was most consistent in nine senior men’s games as our top rover and also bagged 7 goals. Schultz and O’Brien played in 10 of the 11 games and also regularly polled well, as did coaches award recipient Nick Geary. Senior coach Ash Close, who was unable to attend the big night while awaiting the result of a Covid test, praised award winners for their work ethic.

“Danny has been our best pressure player and it’s what I value very highly,” said Close. “We all know how important Schultz is to the club and it’s good to see him get rewarded. I think Connor put in a really good year. He has learnt a lot about himself and where he can get his football and it’s good to see him get recognition.” He said coaches were unanimous in choosing Geary for the coaches award. “His attack on the footy and his willingness to do whatever we asked meant his award was a no-brainer. We expect a big year from him next season as well.”

The Colin McDonald Medal for the best player in the men’s reserves went to another hard-running player, Brad Dawson, who also played three games in the seniors. Ivies whites star Charlotte Williams, who also got a couple of senior games, enjoyed an outstanding debut year as a forward and was awarded the B&F from coach Ian Callahan.

About 75 people attended the awards night at East Ivanhoe Bowls Club on Saturday November 27. Club president Rob Pearce and Ivies coach Leighton Pearce gave heartfelt speeches as they announced they were stepping down from their roles in 2022, but were looking forward to being around the club to watch and support all involved. Ian Callahan will be coaching both Ivies teams next season. Several other volunteers and support staff were acknowledged for all their help throughout the year. A big thanks to the organisers and our MCs Fiona Tansley and Conor Mitchell for making this a special night for all involved. It’s understood the vast majority of players have indicated intentions to pull on the boots next season.

Award recipients:

Senior Mens: 1st Danny Jones, 2nd Wayne Schultz, 3rd Connor O’Brien. Coaches Award: Nick Geary

Mens Development Team: 1st Brad Dawson, 2nd Karl Kaldawi, 3rd James Pititto. Coaches Award: Jim Leahy

Mens Thirds: 1st Thomas Gibson, equal 2nd Flynn Bergman and Tyler O’Neil equal 3rd Ben Cococcia and Declan Cremasco Coaches Award: Lucas Keyhoe. Most Courageous: Aido Cullinane. Competition Leading Goal Kicker: Ben CococciaIvies

Ivies Black: 1st Rachel McLean, 2nd Emilia Bisogni, 3rd Cate Riddington. Coaches Award: Rihannon Campbell. Most Valued: Megan Tsilemanis. Most Determined: Molly UwlandIvies

Ivies White. 1st Charlotte Williams. 2nd Georgia McKenzie 3rd Charly Rouch. Coaches Award: Lauren Beveridge. Most Determined: Sophie Akther. Coaches Award: Lauren Beveridge. Goal Kicking: Sophie Callahan

John Miles Award for best clubwoman: Tess Vandergriff

Tim Robinson Award: The Callahan Family

The President’s Award: Jessica Apps

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