Quinn Medal count ends in tie

The Riverina Football League’s end of season awards night became an historic event with Jim Quinn Medal shared between three winners for the first time.

Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka midfielder Chris Gordon, Griffith captain-coach Guy Orton and Coolamon Captain Jamie Maddox all polled 20 votes to win the medal in an unprecedented three way tie.

Shane Buchanan AFL NSW/ACT Operations Manager for the Riverina said the tie for the award capped a thrilling night.

“Since 1982, we have never had a trio win the best and fairest award,” Buchanan said.

“It was a capitvating conclusion on what was a fantastic night for the league.”

Maddox finished the season with two consecutive three-vote games, levelling him with both Orton and Gordon.

It was a fitting reward for Maddox, who has been an inspirational leader and one of the league’s best-performed players over a number of years.

Maddox, 26, missed the best part of four games during the season through injury, but made an immediate impact on his return to be within reach of the leaders at the halfway point of the count.

Count favourite, Leeton-Whitton’s Bryce O’Garey led the with 12 votes at the midway mark, ahead of Orton on 10, Maddox nine and Gordon on eight.

O’Garey immediately stretched the lead in round 10 and looked hard to catch, but subsequently finished with just one vote over the final five rounds.

Gordon, Orton and Maddox continued to accumulate votes on a consistent basis and passed O’Grady over the final three rounds.

The win for Orton continued a sensational record in the Riverina Football League; he has now claimed the medal in his only two seasons at Griffith.

Buchanan said a trio winning the award speaks volumes for talent within the league.

“This season was the most evenly fought competition in the leagues time,” Buchanan said.

“Clubs have upped the bench mark with recruiting which is reflection of the talent within the competition.”

Williams was named the RFL Rising Star, while Coolamon mentor Matt Hard capping off a top season by being named both the RFL and state coach of the year.