Gundagai Tigers first-grade stalwart Dane O’Hehir and up-and-coming star Jack Lloyd have shared top honours when winning the prestigious Hawthorne Shield for best and fairest player across the four men’s grades of rugby league within the club.
Both O’Hehir and Lloyd racked up 14 points to win the award, finishing just ahead of 2020 Hawthorn Shield winner Will Herring, who finished on 13 points.
O’Hehir, who had never previously won the Hawthorne Shield, said it was definitely an award that players in the club wanted to win.
“It’s up there with best and fairest and awards like that,” O’Hehir said.
“It’s an award that high profile players have won and I guess, with this year potentially being my last season, it’s nice to win it and tick it off.”
O’Hehir explained that he was more thrilled to share the honour with young, Jack Lloyd.
“I was so proud of Jack. He is such a talented young footballer and he has worked so hard off the field and on the field,” O’Hehir said.
“He is someone coming into grade this year and he has a huge future in the club and he deserved to win this award.”
While O’Hehir dominated the first-grade awards, with the talented fullback winning best and fairest and player’s player, Jack Lloyd also had a season to remember.
The hard-working second rower won the under 18s Weissel Cup best and fairest award and during the year, he made his first-grade debut for the Tigers during their win over Brothers back in July.
Tigers first-grade coach Luke Berkrey commended the pair for winning the award.
“It’s a very big award to win,” Berkrey said.
“They both well and truly deserve it.”
Berkrey said Lloyd’s performances in the under 18s Weissel Cup competition meant he was a deserved winner alongside O’Hehir.
“In the 18s, he was their leader and their best player,” Berkrey said.
“He seemed to be the guy that pulled them out of the fire a few times when they were struggling and he had a great year.”
With Lloyd making his first-grade debut, Berkrey explained that the youngster had worked very hard to make that progression to top grade.
“He has certainly come on with leaps and bounds over the past two years,” Berkrey said.
“When you come into grade when you are a forward, you have to be fairly big and strong.
“He probably doesn’t have the size yet, but he has the strength and a big heart.
“Once he progresses, and gets that man strength, he will come on even more and be a really good player.”
The announcement of the 2021 Hawthorne Shield winners brings an end to Gundagai’s season.
The club will be back at it soon though, with pre-season training officially kicking off on February 1.
2021 Hawthorne Shield counting
Dane O’Hehir 14
Jack Lloyd 14
Will Herring 13
Chris Rose 12
Royce Tout 10
Luke Berkrey 10
Kyle Ramage 10
Cody Bell 10
Josh Smith 9
Nick McDonald 9
Eddie Brooke 9
Riley McDonald 9
Peter Reardon 9
Cooper Bethune 9
Jordan Wilson 8
Kaidan Bell 8