Incredible scenes as AFLW Best and Fairest ends in historic tie

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Kiara Bowers and Briana Davey, pictured here after winning the AFLW best and fairest award.
Kiara Bowers and Briana Davey shared the AFLW best and fairest award. Image: Getty

Collingwood co-captain Brianna Davey and Fremantle star Kiara Bowers have shared the AFLW's best and fairest award with 15 votes apiece.

For the first time in the league's history, the two best players in the competition couldn't be split at the AFLW awards on Tuesday night.

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Davey didn't poll in round one but then polled the maximum three votes in every game between rounds two and six, while Bowers polled consistently and landed a vote in round nine to force the tie.

"To be honest I wasn't (expecting it) - it's very overwhelming, and quite emotional. I'm just stoked - so very happy," Davey told reporters.

"Kiara's been an absolute force in this comp and she has been for years.

"Injuries plagued her (in the past) and I (have had injuries) as well so I can relate.

"... It's an honour to be able to wear a medal like this and alongside a player like her is the cherry on top."

Early leader and Western Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn and GWS young gun Alyce Parker had 14 votes apiece, while Melbourne gun Karen Paxman finished on 13.

Davey, 26, was named captain of the All-Australian team earlier in the night, recognising a season where she averaged 23.1 disposals and booted six goals.

Kiara Bowers, pictured here celebrating with partner Adele Coxall.
Kiara Bowers celebrates with partner Adele Coxall. Image: Getty

Meanwhile Bowers named vice-captain after averaging 21.2 disposals and 10.3 tackles per game.

Last week, Davey won the AFL Players Association most valuable player award with Bowers runner-up, while Bowers claimed the AFL Coaches Association champion player of the year award in March.

Earlier in the night, Melbourne young gun Tyla Hanks was named the 2021 AFLW Rising Star.

Hanks won the award with 48 votes, ahead of Richmond's Ellie McKenzie (32), West Coast's Mikayla Bowen (22), St Kilda's Tyanna Smith (19) and Brisbane's Nat Grider (10).

Darcy Vescio, Chloe Molloy and Monique Conti, pictured here with their AFLW All-Australian awards.
Darcy Vescio, Chloe Molloy and Monique Conti pose with their AFLW All-Australian awards. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Collingwood dominates AFLW All-Australian team

Six players were named All-Australian for the first time: Collingwood duo Roby Schleicher and Brittany Bonnici, Fremantle's Janelle Cuthbertson, St Kilda's Georgia Patrikios, Richmond captain Katie Brennan and Carlton ruck Breann Moody.

North Melbourne captain Emma Kearney and Melbourne stalwart Karen Paxman became the only two players to have been named All-Australian in all five seasons of the AFLW competition.

Five other players retained their spots from the 21 players named in the 2020 AFL Women's All Australian Team - Sarah Allan (Adelaide Crows), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane Lions), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne) and Alyce Parker (GWS).

Competition leading goalkicker Darcy Vescio was named on the interchange, with Erin Phillips and Chloe Molloy preferred in the forward line.

Sarah and Jess Hosking and Katie Brennan, pictured here at the AFLW awards.
Sarah and Jess Hosking (L), and Katie Brennan (R) arrive at the AFLW awards. Image: Getty

2021 AFLW ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM

FB: Sarah Allan (Adelaide), Meghan McDonald (Geelong)

HB: Ruby Schleicher (Collingwood), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane), Janelle Cuthbertson (Fremantle)

C: Monique Conti (Richmond), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Georgia Patrikios (St Kilda)

HF: Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne), Katie Brennan (Richmond), Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs)

FF: Erin Phillips (Adelaide), Chloe Molloy (Collingwood)

FOLL: Breann Moody (Carlton), Brianna Davey (Collingwood), Alyce Parker (GWS)

I/C: Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide), Brittany Bonnici (Collingwood), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Karen Paxman (Melbourne), Emma Kearney (North Melbourne).

with AAP

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