Ea­gles star fi­nally lands cov­eted hon­our


Geelong Advertiser - - FOOTY FIX - DAMIEN RACTLIFFE

A LAST round best-on-ground per­for­mance pro­pelled New­town & Chilwell cap­tain Matthew McMa­hon to a well-de­served Mathieson Medal last night.

The league medal added to McMa­hon’s GFL in­ter­league best-on­ground ac­co­lade against Morn­ing­ton and Penin­sula in May and came af­ter he fin­ished equal-third last year and sec­ond in 2013 and 2014,.

The vote count went right down to the wire, with McMa­hon trail­ing Jar­rod Garth (Bell Park), Lech Feather­stone (St Joseph’s) and last year’s win­ner Nathan Deans (Grovedale) with one round to play.

But a dom­i­nant dis­play against Lara in the sea­son closer saw McMa­hon grab three votes and pinch the medal, fin­ish­ing two votes clear of the star trio.

He fin­ished the sea­son with five be­ston-grounds and three sec­onds in a dom­i­nant year for the Ea­gles.

The Ea­gles on­baller had just four votes in the first six rounds, but pro­duced back-to-back-to-back threes to rocket to sec­ond in the count at the half­way point of the sea­son.

Leopold’s Zanna Woods won the net­ball Pre­mier best-and-fairest from Bell Park’s Kait­lyn Sher­ing­ham.

McMa­hon paid trib­ute to his fam­ily and new coach Damien McMa­hon, who only joined New­town late in pre-sea­son.

“I love go­ing to footy train­ing and be­ing around the boys and the footy club and the sup­port I get from (my wife) and fam­ily is fan­tas­tic,” McMa­hon, 27, said.

“We lost a lot of ma­ture aged play­ers and we got Macca on board pretty late in the pre-sea­son which made it tough, but the work he puts in ... is un­be­liev­able, and with the young side it is re­ally ex­cit­ing and some­thing I haven’t re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced for a few years.

“The young kids com­ing through just adds a lot of ex­cite­ment to the club and we’re in a re­ally good po­si­tion.”

By Round 12 only one vote sep­a­rated the top five play­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Deans made his move and when he and Feather­stone polled threes in Round 14 to move to 19 and 16 votes re­spec­tively, McMa­hon looked in for a bat­tle.

But an­other best-on-ground for the star mid­fielder in Round 16 saw him close to within one of Deans.

Power for­wards Garth and Feather­stone then joined Deans on 19 votes with threes of their own, with McMa­hon one off on 18 go­ing into the fi­nal round.

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