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
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