Five-eighth AJ Davis has taken out the Cessnock Goannas 2021 Player of the Year award in a close count from backrower Wyatt Shaw.
Davis set the tone for an outstanding season from round one when he played a crucial role in overcoming the much-vaunted Maitland Pickers line-up at the Maitland Sportsground.
In other sports news:
The awards were announced online with COVID-restrictions preventing an awards night.
The Goannas finished second on the ladder when the Newcastle RL season was cut short by lockdown on the eve of the finals.
Cessnock secretary Cherie Douglas said after an outstanding start to the season Davis was able to hold off Shaw in the count for first grade player of the year.
Davis shared the best back award with Harvey Neville, while Shaw was named best forward, players player and also took out the Henry Tatana Coaches Award and Mark Watson Achievement Award.
Tears were shed across the web when Kelly Neville was announced as the Aileen Scott/Graham Robertson Club Person of the Year.
"Kelly shed a tear, I shed a tear and quite a few others did as well when the award was announced," Douglas said.
"Kelly has done so much for the club, but this year she was so important keeping everyone in touch with the weekly raffles."
In a first for the club the Mark Hemsworth Highest Try Scorer award was won by a woman, with Isabella Garvie taking out the coveted award.
The players of the year awards across the lower grades were won by Danielle Nicol (Ladies League Tag), Mick Deacon (Open Age), Hayden Regan (U-19) and Tyson Geering (Reserve Grade).
In other special awards: Josh Cagney won the Jack Bourke Rookie of the Year; Harvey Neville won the George Ambrum Most Improved award; and Harry O'Brien and Mark Wilton shared the Ron Sadler Most Dedicated award.
LADIES LEAGUE TAG
- Best Back: Danielle Nicol
- Best Forward: Brooke Summers
- Most Improved: Alexia Vowles
- Coach Award: Keira Moojen/Lena Cartwright
- Players Player: Danielle Nicol
- Best Back: Brock Charnock
- Best Forward: Mick Deacon
- Most Improved: Ryan Egge
- Coach Award: Mick Deacon
- Players Player: Mick Deacon
- Best Back: Bailey Mitchell
- Best Forward: Trent Bailey
- Most Improved: Elliott Morris
- Coach Award: Nic Holland
- Players Player: Hayden Regan
- Best Back: Logan Edwards/Josh Cagney
- Best Forward: Tyson Geering
- Most Improved: Elijah Smith
- Coach award: Hayden Regan/Joseph Barber
- Players Player: Hayden Regan/Joseph Barber
- Best back: Adrian Davis/Harvey Neville
- Best forward: Wyatt Shaw
- Players player: Wyatt Shaw
- Coach award: Wyatt Shaw
- Joshua Cagney
100 Club Games:
- Connor Kirkwood
- Sam Apthorpe
- Brendan Williams