And the 2016 NEAFL MVP is…
Payne wins second NEAFL MVP in a one-vote thriller
Originally posted on the NEAFL website.
Aspley champion Matthew Payne has re-written the history books after claiming a second NEAFL Most Valuable Player Award by a single vote in thrilling conclusion at the Doltone House in Sydney on Sunday night.
Payne, 30, polled seven votes in the final round against Gold Coast to hold off Canberra young gun Jordan Harper in the race to the finish line.
An inaugural NEAFL MVP winner in 2014, Payne kicked off his 2016 season with a maximum-vote effort in Round 1 against Southport.
The 30-year-old was soon overtaken in Round 5 by teammate James Ives, before regaining the lead in Round 12.
But the challengers kept coming, in particular Harper who took over outright first position a week before voting became withheld from the public.
Harper, 22, led by seven votes when voting went into hiding after Round 16, but Payne polled nine in Aspley’s win over NT Thunder in Round 17 to restore the lead once more.
The pair added nine and 10 votes respectively in Round 18, and by Round 20, the margin was three votes in favour of Payne.
It came down the final round, where Harper polled nine votes after 38 disposals and two goals in Canberra’s loss to Redland.
But Payne’s seven votes, after 31 disposals and eight clearances against the Suns, was enough to get the decorated midfielder over the line.
The NEAFL MVP Award is presented to the player uniquely judged the best in the competition by a combination of umpire and coaches votes.
The votes are submitted post-game cast on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. As such, the maximum amount of votes a single player can earn per match is 10 – courtesy of the maximum five votes from both umpires and coaches.
Former Gold Coast midfielder Andrew Boston, and last year’s winner Tom Young, finished equal third on 70 votes. NT Thunder’s Cameron Ilett (68) and Redland’s Blake Grewar (65) rounded out the Top 5.
FINAL LEADER BOARD
87: Matthew Payne (Aspley)
86: Jordan Harper (Canberra)
70: Andrew Boston (Southport)
70: Tom Young (Sydney Uni)
68: Cameron Ilett (NT Thunder)
65: Blake Grewar (Redland)
60: James Ives (Aspley)
59: Matt Rawlinson (Sydney Uni)
57: Jordan Foote (Sydney)
51: Jack Steele (Giants)
51: Nic Newman (Sydney)