Aberdeen Tigers present Life Memberships to dedicated duo Josh Tuckerman and Stephen Bridge at annual presentation

THEY narrowly missed going back-to-back in 2018, but the Aberdeen Tigers had plenty to celebrate in Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League at its recent presentation ceremony.

For the first time in the club’s history, the two senior sides – and defending titleholders – claimed their respective minor premierships.

However, the top grade faltered 10-6 to the Scone Thoroughbreds in a thrilling grand final, while the reserves were humbled 20-14 by the same foes in the reserves’ decider. 

Despite that disappointment, Guy Thompson was named Group 21 Player of the Year and Shane Hasselmann shared the coaching honours with Singleton’s Jye Bayley.

On the local scene, newcomer Ben Baker capped off a brilliant season.

The pointscoring machine took home Aberdeen’s Player of the Year, leading tryscorer and best and fairest trophies.

Thompson also followed up with the coach’s award.

Players’ player Marcus Marsh and Josh Schmiedel were named best forwards, Liam Foran the best back and Sam Fitzsimmons most improved.

Under-18 star Dylan Porter collected the Kel Wright Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year.

Josh Tuckerman and Stephen Bridge’s dedication to the Tigers saw each of them presented Life Membership.

Clubperson of the Year went to Jeanette Fitzsimmons with Judy Wicks snaring the Club Service Award.

2018 award winners

Player of the Year – Ben Baker

Clubperson of the Year – Jeanette Fitzsimmons

Club Service Award – Judy Wicks

Most Dedicated Tiger (Huggins Family Trophy) – Layla Haggarty

Loyalty Award (Blanche Family U18s) – Ryan Hill

Loyalty Award (Blanche Family grade players) – Cameron Savage

Tigers Spirit (Brian "Wombat" Walmsley Award) – Riley Burgin

Most Committed Player (Dennis Ryan Memorial Award) – Sam Fitzsimmons 

Representative Player of the Year (Horvath Family Trophy) – Hamish Wolfgang 

Deen City Most Consistent Player (Lou Wright Memorial Trophy) – Richard Graham

Rookie of the Year (Kel Wright Memorial Trophy) – Dylan Porter

Leading tryscorer – Ben Baker

Most Likely to Succeed (Milton Family Award) – Mitch Taylor

Tigress of the Year (Horvath Family Trophy) – Rachel Savage

Tiger with the Biggest Heart (Nolene Foot Memorial Trophy) – Daniel Hoogerwerf

Life Membership - Josh Tuckerman and Stephen Bridge

First grade –

Best back: Liam Foran

Best forward: Marcus Marsh and Josh Schmiedel

Most improved: Sam Fitzsimmons

Players’ player: Marcus Marsh

Coach’s award: Guy Thompson

Best and fairest: Ben Baker

Reserve grade –

Best back: Grant Savell

Best forward: Gordon Akauma

Most improved: Josh Tickle

Players’ player: Gordon Akauma

Coach’s award: Richard Graham

Best and fairest: Brock Foreman

Under-18s –

Best back: Seth Mitchell

Best forward: Nick Collier

Most improved: Jackson Dunbar and Jake Price

Players’ player: Kieran Daymond

Coach’s award: Ryan Brown

Player of the Year: Dylan Porter

League tag –

Best defence: Jess Duggan

Best attack: Baillee Mavin

Most improved: Jorja Edwards

Players’ player: Talissa Robinson

Coach’s award: Georgia Haggarty

Best and fairest: Karina Dylko