Narrandera coach Jarred Lane was rewarded for a stellar season with an upset victory in the Jim Quinn Medal on Tuesday night.
Lane finished on 20 votes to edge out Leeton-Whitton midfielder Matt Rainbird (19 votes) and Griffith coach Will Griggs (18 votes) in one of the closest Jim Quinn Medal vote counts in years.
The Eagles’ winless season did not stop Lane from taking out Riverina League’s best and fairest award.
The 26-year-old polled in 10 of Narrandera’s 16 games for the season to win the Quinn Medal for the first time.
Collingullie-Glenfield Park co-captain Jayden Klemke led for most of the night and was in the box seat for a historic third straight victory until injury ended his season in round 15.
Rainbird then hit the front before Lane polled two votes in round 17 to take the lead.
Neither player polled in the final round, as Lane held off a fast-finishing Griggs.
Pre-count favourite Jordan Iudica was a slow starter but finished strongly to share fourth with Klemke on 17 votes.
Wagga Tigers captain Nick Ryan and teenage Griffith ruckman Riley Irvin were next on 15 votes.
While a surprise winner, Lane was also a popular Medallist after being widely recognised as one of the competition’s best players since his arrival at Narrandera in 2016.
He is the first Narrandera player since Nathan Reynoldson in 2005 to win the Jim Quinn Medal.
While Narrandera did not win a game for the year, Lane still managed to be named best-on-ground on three occasions.
GGGM schoolboy sensation Riley Corbett, who polled 12 votes, was named Riverina League’s Rising Star, while Griggs was named Coach of the Year.
Meantime, Griffith’s Royce Johns went back-to-back in the Frank Gaynor Medal, polling 40 votes to take out the reserve grade count by a massive 26 votes.
Collingullie-Glenfield Park young gun Xavier Mamo took out the Lou Brown Medal for under 17 best and fairest by seven votes.
Respected Leeton-Whitton official David Meline was named Volunteer of the Year.