McKenna caps superb return to Gisborne
By Nathan Dole
GUN forward Patrick McKenna capped a brilliant return to Gisborne Football Netbal Club by winning the Gardiner Medal as senior best and fairest for the 2019 season.
McKenna kicked 95 goals as the Bulldogs fought their way to a third-place finish in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.
The return of the classy full-forward after time at AFL clubs Greater Western Sydney Giants and Melbourne was a huge plus for the Clinton Young-coached Gisborne.
The Bulldogs were beaten in the senior preliminary final clash with Eaglehawk by just four points.
Runner-up for Gisborne’s senior champion player award was talented midfielder/forward Brad Bernacki.
Playing coach Clinton Young presented the coaches award to Jarrad Lynch.
Most determined was Tim Walsh.
Best in the finals campaign were Casey Summerfield and Josh Grabham.
Gisborne’s run in the finals included a 38-point loss to Eaglehawk in the qualifying final, and a 63-point victory against Golden Square in the first semi.
It was a four-way tie for the Bernie Gardiner Medal as reserves best and fairest.
Hayden Doricic, Matt McDonald, Jacob Murphy and Aaron Whitford were all on the same votes after the final card was called.
A great year for Doricic included 33 goals to win the team’s goalkicking award.
The Bulldogs were beaten by South Bendigo in the first semi-final.
The Steve Simpson Medal for under-18s best and fairest was awarded to Jack Ozanne.
The Bulldogs played superb footy in the home and away series, but were on the end of 13-point defeats in both finals matches.
On the netball court, Maddy Stewart added the A-grade best and fairest to what’s been an incredible stint with Gisborne.
The team in red, white and blue achieved a 13-3 run in the regular season, but was beaten by Kangaroo Flat in the qualifying final, and then went down Eaglehawk by a goal in the first semi.
Stewart earned the best in finals award.
Runner-up for the A-grade champion player award was Tiana Newman, who also earned the Players’ Player title.
A highlight for Gisborne FNC was all five netball teams contesting finals.
A-reserve was defeated in the preliminary final by Kangaroo Flat.
The B-grade line-up was eliminated by South Bendigo.
In B-reserve, Gisborne’s run was ended by Sandhurst in the first semi.
The 17-under team was defeated in the preliminary final showdown with Golden Square by a goal.
Among the many highlights in netball was the play of the Floreani.
Emily Floreani earned the B-reserve best and fairest, and Olivia Floreani was 17-under team champion, Players’ Player and best in the finals action.
Gisborne FNC awards for the 2019 season:
Gardiner Medal, best and fairest: Patrick McKenna.
Runner-up: Bradley Bernacki.
Coaches award: Jarrad Lynch.
Most determined: Tim Walsh.
Leading goalkicker: Patrick McKenna.
Best in finals: Casey Summerfield, Josh Grabham.
Bernie Gardiner Medal, best and fairest: Hayden Doricic, Jacob Murphy, Aaron Whitford, Matt McDonald.
Runner-up: Jack Manago.
Coaches award: Joel Wood.
Most determined: Matt Monaghan.
Leading goalkicker: Hayden Doricic.
Best in finals: Darcy Challis.
Steve Simpson Medal, best and fairest: Jack Ozanne.
Runner-up: Adam Brancatisano.
Coaches award: Tyler Collings.
Most determined: Josh McDonald.
Leading goalkicker: Luke Weber.
Best in finals: Elijah Bretherton.
Best and fairest: Maddy Stewart.
Runner-up: Tiana Newman.
Players’ Player award: Tiana Newman.
Best in finals: Maddy Stewart.
Best and fairest: Tazma Morris.
Runner-up: Rylee Connell.
Players’ Player award: Tillie Avery.
Best in finals: Tyla Evans.
Best and fairest: Shelley Farrugia.
Runner-up: Taylah Ranieri.
Players’ Player award: Shelley Farrugia.
Best in finals: Samantha Simpson.
Best and fairest: Emily Floreani.
Runner-up: Zoe Southall.
Players’ Player award: Zoe Southall.
Best in finals: Jayde Kirkham.
Best and fairest: Olivia Floreani.
Runner-up: Charlotte Crook.
Players’ Player award: Olivia Floreani.
Best in finals: Olivia Floreani.