NT’s best footballers crowned in thrilling vote count

Molly Althouse stands on a footy field holding a football.

The Northern Territory Football League’s (NTFL) highest individual honours for the 2020/21 season have gone to three first-time winners in a nail-biting vote count on Sunday evening.

Key points:

  • The Gwynne and Nichols medals go to the best and fairest players in the NTFL
  • Molly Althouse won the Gwynne Medal by two votes over Lisa Roberts
  • Eric Guthrie and Daniel Bowles tied for the Nichols Medal ahead of Jarrod Stokes

Molly Althouse from the Darwin Buffettes (20 votes) won the Gwynne Medal for the Women’s Premier League best and fairest player, edging out Waratah’s Lisa Roberts by two votes.

In the equivalent award in the Men’s Premier League, Eric Guthrie from the Palmerston Magpies and Daniel Bowles from the Nightcliff Tigers (14 votes) were joint winners of the Nichols Medal.

Darwin Buffaloes player Jarrod Stokes finished closely behind on 13 votes.

Other key winners on the night included Jackson Calder from St Mary’s (58 goals) and Lisa Miceli from Waratah (37 goals) who took out the leading goal kicker awards in the Men’s and Women’s Premier League respectively.

It is the second season in a row Miceli has won the award.

There were no crowds or speeches on the night, with the awards held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19.

Althouse, who will line up in the league’s women’s grand final this weekend, said winning the Gwynne Medal was both an honour and a surprise.

“I was just shocked,” the 19-year-old ruck said.

“Mum was crying. I really didn’t know what to think.”

Molly Althouse stands on a footy field holding a football.
Molly Althouse from the Darwin Buffettes became the club’s fourth Gwynne Medal winner.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

But Althouse’s attention soon turned to team success.

“We went down in a grand final last year, so we’re seeking revenge,” she said.

“We’ve got [the Nightcliff] Tigers so hopefully we can do alright.”

In the tied men’s count, Bowles, a defender known for intercept marking, high disposal numbers and using the ball skilfully, became the fifth consecutive Nichols Medal winner from Nightcliff.

Guthrie, a hard-nosed inside midfielder, became Palmerston’s first Nichols Medal winner since the club was known as North Darwin.

“Obviously winning games is good but at the end of the day it’s still a game and you play with your best mates and make some really good friendships through football,” Guthrie said after the count.

“I don’t think anyone expects to be standing and getting an award like this, but it’s obviously nice to be standing [here] and have it around your neck.”

Eric Guthrie biting his Nichols Medal.Eric Guthrie biting his Nichols Medal.
Eric Guthrie is the first man to win the Nichols Medal under the Palmerston Magpies colours.(ABC News: Che Chorley)



Author: Ivan Robinson