Sandringham Dragons midfielder Liam Stocker was awarded the 2018 Morrish Medal for the TAC Cup’s best and fairest player at Sunday’s TAC Cup Best & Fairest night.
The 18-year-old Old Haileybury (VAFA) and East Sandringham (South Metro Junior FL) product polled 18 votes to finish two votes ahead of Western Jets ball-winner Connor Thar, with Atunaisa Bosenavulagi (Oakleigh Chargers), Campbell Hustwaite (Dandenong Stingrays) and Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons) a further two votes back.
183cm Stocker averaged 23 disposals and five tackles per game as well as kicking five goals in his 12 TAC Cup matches this season. His triumph was Sandringham’s second Morrish Medal in the club’s 27-year history following Jackson Sketcher’s joint win with Dyson Heppell (Gippsland Power) in 2010.
Stocker was awarded three votes in four games and two votes in a further three appearances, missing matches in Rounds 5, 7, 8 and 14.
In the run to the end of the home-and-away season in Round 16, Stocker established an outright lead of three votes (on 16 votes) ahead of Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power) and Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets) with a best-on-ground performance in Round 13.
He then took a two-vote lead over Hustwaite into the final round, before being joined at the top of the leaderboard when Thar was named best-on-ground in Western’s final match. However, Stocker produced a two-vote performance in the Dragons’ Round 16 loss to Dandenong to secure the medal in his own right.
WATCH a full replay of the best and fairest night HERE
Stocker’s three-vote performances included:
- 19 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances in a 45-point win against the Northern Knights at SkyBus Stadium in Round 1;
- 30 disposals, 10 clearances and six inside-50s in a 22-point win against the Eastern Ranges in Round 9;
- 20 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances and one goal in a three-point win against the Oakleigh Chargers at Warrawee Park in Round 10; and
- 35 disposals, 12 inside-50s, nine clearances and one goal in an eight-point win against the Bendigo Pioneers in Round 13.
Stocker joins the likes of Jack Higgins (2017 – Oakleigh Chargers), Hugh McCluggage (2016 – GWV Rebels) and Clayton Oliver (2015 – Murray Bushrangers) as recent winners of the Morrish Medal.
CLICK HERE for the Team of the Year
CLICK HERE for full votes
2018 MORRISH MEDAL LEADERBOARD
|Liam Stocker||Sandringham Dragons||18|
|Connor Thar||Western Jets||16|
|Atunaisa Bosenavulagi||Oakleigh Chargers||14|
|Campbell Hustwaite||Dandenong Stingrays||14|
|Sam Walsh||Geelong Falcons||14|
|Xavier O’Halloran||Western Jets||13|
|Xavier Duursma||Gippsland Power||13|
|Ely Smith||Murray Bushrangers||12|
|Charlie Wilson||GWV Rebels||12|
|Irving Mosquito||Gippsland Power||11|
|Sam Flanders||Gippsland Power||10|
|Bailey Williams||Dandenong Stingrays||10|
|Noah Gown||Gippsland Power||9|
|Isaac Quaynor||Oakleigh Chargers||8|
|Oscar Brownless||Geelong Falcons||8|