Zone’s best in line for another major gong
AN IMPRESSIVE season on the rugby union field has resulted in Grafton Redmen number eight Ed McGrath being named GSW Senior Sportsperson of the Month for September.
Despite the Redmen missing the Far North Coast Rugby Union First Grade semi-finals in a shortened 2020 season, McGrath was named the zone's best and fairest player for the second year in a row.
"I was probably more surprised getting the (best and fairest) award this year than last year," McGrath said.
After a breakout 2019 as part of the Richardson Cup-winning Far North Coast side, the 28-year-old had his sights set on securing a NSW Country Cockatoos jersey, but has had to put those plans on hold with all representative fixtures cancelled due to coronavirus.
"I've got a goal to make Country. I've made the reserve squad three years in a row."
It turned into a year of what could've been for McGrath, with higher representative opportunities gone begging and a shortened season coming back to bite the late blooming Redmen.
"We were unlucky really," he said.
"If we won those games it would've been a different looking year. We really started to click at the end of the season."
The 27-year-old's claim to fame came in round four, when he was awarded three best and fairest points despite being on the losing end of a 48 to 7 scoreline against a Lennox Head side featuring former Wallaby Berrick Barnes.
"He was a really great bloke to play against and after the game a really nice fella," McGrath said.
As a rugged loose forward one of the prized scalps on the rugby field is the five-eighth. So did McGrath manage to leave a mark on the 34-year-old veteran in their chance encounter?
"I got a couple of sneaky late shots on him, that was about as close as I got to him," he said.
"But I did step him once. I don't step match, so I don't know what that says about him."
McGrath joins Grafton Redmen teammate and captain Kyle Hancock, who won the award last month, among the finalists for Clarence Valley Sportsperson of the Year.
The full list of finalists in the running for the award to be presented at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards at Grafton District Services Club on November 14 are:
• Ed McGrath (September) - Rugby Union
Nominations about to close Team, Club, Coach and Volunteer
While all the finalists for the major individual awards have now been decided, nominations for Volunteer, Club, Team and Coach of the year are open until 5pm this Friday, October 9.
To nominate simply download a form from the Clarence Valley Sports Awards Facebook page and email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 6643 0574 for more details.
The seventh annual awards dinner is proudly supported by The Daily Examiner, Grafton Shoppingworld and Clarence Valley Council. Ticket details to be released soon.
Relive the 2019 Clarence Valley Sports Awards