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Tie for AFLW Best and Fairest

Football

The two best players in the AFLW couldn’t be split, with Collingwood co-captain Brianna Davey and Fremantle star Kiara Bowers tying for the league’s best and fairest award with 15 votes apiece.

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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 last night.

“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.

Meanwhile, Bowers, 29, named vice-captain after averaging 21.2 disposals and 10.3 tackles per game.

Bowers was one of Fremantle’s first signings but missed the first two AFLW seasons through knee injuries before coming to the fore, finishing second behind Maddison Prespakis in last year’s best and fairest.

Three Adelaide Crows made it to the All-Australian team, with defender Sarah Allan retaining her spot from last year, while stars Ebony Marinoff and Erin Phillips both made their third appearance in the exclusive squad.

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).

-with AAP

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