A highlight of the 2019 Tasmanian State League Awards was the crowning of the 2019 Alastair Lynch Medal.
Awarded to the best and fairest player in the Bupa TSL, the 2019 Medal went to North Launceston ball magnet Josh Ponting for a second straight season.
Ponting pipped Launceston co-captain and Tigers star Kieran Lovell in a thrilling count that went down to the final round of the 2019 home and away season.
Here we take a look at the top vote-getters from each club from what was a memorable season of #BUPATSL action.
It was a relatively quiet count for the young ‘Roos, with ruckman Ryan Bailey finishing as the team’s highest vote-getter with eight.
Captain Brady Jones polled seven, with two best afield efforts in rounds six and seven.
The breakout season of Ben Kamaric was recognised by the whistle-blowers, with the clearance machine notching 12 votes, including three best afield efforts. Started the count on fire to feature at the pointy end for most of the night before finishing in fifth.
Hudson Medalist Aiden Grace also finished in the top 10, picking up 10 votes, while Callen Daly and Sam Rundle picked up seven each.
Interim captain Josh Arnold also impressed in the back half of the season, notching maximum votes in rounds 17 and 19.
Ineligible ruckman Haydn Smith was the leading poller for the Southern Bombers with 14, backing up his 10-vote 2018 campaign. Had a purple patch that saw him earn 11 votes across five games within the space of seven matches between rounds eight and 15.
Recruit Sam Burge also proved popular with 10 votes earned across five games, as did skipper Bryce Walsh, who notched 10 votes across six vote-getting performances.
Utility Sam Siggins picked up nine, but had zero votes to his name at the round seven mark.
The Blues proved to be big players on the night, with co-captain Jobi Harper only just being pipped at the post.
Harper was at the pointy end of the count all night, being joint leader as late as round 19.
Harper picked up three best on grounds but was a model of consistency, featuring in the votes in 11 games – more than any other player.
Fletcher Seymour, who finished second in the RACT Insurance Player of the Year, was also prolific with 13 votes to finish in outright fourth.
Brodie Palfreyman’s shift from the inside to the wing was rewarded with nine votes, while defender Jake Smith was acknowledged for his strongest season yet with seven.
Key forward Colin Garland proved to be the major vote-getter for the Demons with 10. The former Melbourne Demon finished with three best-on-ground performances to finish joint 10th for the competition.
Midfield bull Nathan McCulloch notched five, while interestingly star midfielder Sam Darley only registered four, with these coming from two one-vote games and one two-vote effort.
Josh Ponting made it a third straight year of a North Launceston premiership and Lynch Medal double, with the ball magnet picking up his second competition best and fairest medal in as many years.
Ponting was in touch with the leaders for most of the night before a hot streak of eight votes across rounds 18, 19 and 20 saw him overtake Jobi Harper and Kieran Lovell and take out the competition’s highest individual honour.
This effort put the cherry on Ponting’s remarkable individual season that included his fourth Bupa TSL Premiership and first Baldock Medal as best afield in the decider.
2017 Lynch Medalist Brad Cox-Goodyer was also a constant throughout the night with 11 votes, placing him sixth overall.
Recruit Jordan Tepper notched nine votes from three best-on-ground efforts, while key forward Bart McCulloch also picked up six.
Tigers ball magnet Kieran Lovell fell agonisingly short of claiming his first Lynch Medal, picking up 21 votes to fall just two short of North Launceston midfielder Josh Ponting.
Lovell was a standout all season, picking up votes in nine individual games. A lean patch between rounds 16 and 19 threatened to see him drop out of the race before a three-vote effort in round 20 made for a thrilling finish.
Fellow midfielder Ryan Matthews finished the year with a bang, notching eight of his 12 votes across the final four games of the season, perhaps robbing some crucial votes from Lovell at the pointy end.
Jarryd Drew was the Tigers’ next best with five.