Alforque snares Gillies Medal in a thriller

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Railways' Henrick Alforque won the 2019 Rod Gillies Medal.
Camera IconRailways' Henrick Alforque won the 2019 Rod Gillies Medal. Credit: Cameron Newbold

Speedy midfielder Henrick Alforque has become Railways’ first Rod Gillies Medal since Zane Marwick in 2010, taking out the award for the fairest and best colts player in the Great Southern Football League on Tuesday night.

Switching camps from Albany to the Tigers in 2019, Alforque has been part of a formidable colts team that are already through to the grand final.

However the 17-year-old had to survive a late surge from Royals playmaker Tyreice Brown to win the prestigious award by a single vote.

Alforque, pictured, made his league debut last season and has also played senior football with the Tigers and was a stand-out in the regular season, both at half-forward and in the midfield. kicking 23 goals in 13 games.

Denmark-Walpole’s Ben Olden was the early leader after five rounds, with Alforque on six votes at that stage.

By round 10, Alforque had hit the front, three votes ahead of Royals’ Jared Hayes and his Tigers teammate Kyle Smith.

Hayes polled three votes in round 11 to draw level but a best-afield performance from Alforque against Mt Barker in round 12 proved decisive.

Brown was not on the leaderboard after 10 rounds but he polled a couple of best-on-grounds to make a late charge.

Alforque claimed the medal, won previously by the likes of Tyler Stone, Jayden Woods, Chris Brabazon and Tarkyn Lockyer, with 15 votes ahead of Lions pair Brown (14 votes) and Hayes (12). Magpies star Noah Madaffari finished strongly to poll 11 votes and his teammate Olden was next with 10, the same amount as the winner’s twin brother Henry.

Earlier, Bulls talent Arthur Jones was rewarded for his stellar year, winning a tight finish to the Warrick Proudlove Medal for the best player in the 16s competition.

Jones was judged best-on-ground in three of the last five rounds to storm over the top of teammate Tristan Ballard and Lions’ Carson Flower.

Absent from the count itself, Jones finished with 22 votes to be the first Bull since 2015 to win the honour as he held off Flower and Ballard, who both ended up with 20.

Albany’s Luke Mowaljarlai Jr was fourth with 14 votes followed by Tigers’ Toby Hall (14) and Sharks’ Max Baker (14) and Lions’ Cooper Childs polled well late with 12 votes.

Sharks’ Damien Woods (25 goals) and Lions’ Carson Bristow (50) won the colts and 16s goal kicking awards respectively.

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