NORTH Tamworth received a fair little boost for Sunday’s Group 4 first grade grand final when Bears prop, Marshall Barker, was named The Northern Daily Leader Group 4 Player of the Year at Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club last night.
Barker, who pockets a $500 winner’s prize, and his Bears tackle West Lions in Sunday’s first grade grand final at Scully Park.
Last night the 29-year-old prop received the NDL Group 4 Best and Fairest Award from a group of five finalists including Narrabri’s Sean Russ, West Lions pair Scott Rolls and Chris Vidler and Wee Waa’s Ben Power.
In the end Barker, who hardly polled a point in the last six weeks, scored one point in the final round to edge out Narrabri captain-coach Sean Russ. Russ was just one point adrift after impressive displays to lead his Blues to wins over Gunnedah and West Lions in the final two rounds before losing out to the Bears in the minor semi final.
Russ had also won the previous two NDL Group 4 Player of the Year Awards.
“It was a pretty good finish,” said Group 4 secretary Mick Schmiedel of the B&F Award.
“There wasn’t much in it between any of them in the end.”
It was a good night for the North Tamworth club, who also have teams in all four grand final grades on Sunday, as club stalwart, Tim Fenwick was also named the Group 4 Second Grade Player of the Year.
West Lions young star, Dylan Lake, won the Under 18 B&F Award while Walcha Jilleroo, Rhiannon Moran, won the Ladies League Tag B&F.
While injury halted Scott Rolls’ run to a first grade NDL G4 B&F his brother, Rod, had a better finish in the Group 4 Second Division B&F
The big Bendemeer prop was named the Group 4 Second Division’s Player of the Year, beating out the likes of Barraba captain-coach Tim Coombes and Manilla captain-coach Sam Jacobsen.
Presentations to leading point scorers and try scorers in all grades were also made while Group 4 also introduced a new award at its re-jigged presentation night – Rookie of the Year.
That award went to Narrabri Blues backrower Dylan Howe.
His powerful performances in attack and defence was one of the reasons the Narrabri side made the semis.