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Wallan Magpies clean up at Riddell District awards night

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By Colin MacGillivray

WALLAN onballer Steven Boyall continued a recent trend of dominant seasons by senior Magpies footballers when he became the club’s third player in five years – and second in a row – to claim the Riddell District Football Netball League’s Bowen Medal.

Boyall claimed the medal, awarded to the league’s best and fairest senior footballer each year, ahead of Riddell’s Michael Edwards on Saturday night, succeeding fellow Wallan midfielder Ricky Schraven, who won the award in 2021.

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Wallan nearly claimed top individual netball honours as well, with Karina Martin finishing runner-up in the Ryan Medal count for the A Grade Netball best and fairest behind Macedon’s Tayissa Coppinger.

Wallan’s football depth was on full display, with forward Corey Grindlay named the senior player of the year – an award voted on by the league’s coaches.

Reserves player Matthew Traynor took out the James Scarborough Medal as reserves best and fairest and under 19.5 player Spencer Whittingham won the Charles Watson Medal, giving the Magpies a clean sweep of the top football awards.

Whittingham was also recognised as the best defender in the under 19.5 competition, with Josh Ruth named the best reserves defender and Matt Perri taking out the senior goal kicking award for the third straight season with 73 majors.

Seven Magpies were named in the senior team of the year, with captain Michael Mannix at ful back, Corey Viani in a back pocket, Boyall in the centre, Grindlay on a half-forward flank, Sean Morris in a forward pocket next to Perri at full forward, and Schraven on ball.

Romsey was also represented in the side, with Nathan Hoy, Jack Jedwab and Nathan Blair all named on the bench.

Sidone Moore was Wallan’s sole representative in the A Grade netball team of the year, with C Grade player Dakota Lister finishing runner-up in the best and fairest.

Unsurprisingly, Wallan was named club of the year, edging out Diggers Rest.

President Stephen Shephard said the club had plenty to be proud of.

“It was a really good night for the club. We probably didn’t expect to have that much success. We knew a few of the players would be up and about, but didn’t expect as many winners as we had,” he said.

“To get the club of the year is a fantastic achievement for everyone. It shows that we’re heading in the right direction – that we’re doing the right things and that our players conduct themselves well.

“It would have been nice to get the [senior football] flag to hang up, but that didn’t happen unfortunately.”

Shephard paid homage to the ultra-consistent Boyall, who had a year to remember.

“Stevie was probably our best player by far all year. He was very consistent every week and did what he had to do,” he said.

“For a little man he’s very well noticed. He’s not big in stature but he does very well on the field.”

Shephard thanked the club’s players, supporters, sponsors and committee for what he termed ‘a fantastic year’.

“We’ll look ahead to bigger and better things in 2023,” he said.

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