Golden Arch claims second O’Dwyer

September 18, 2017

Accustomed to the spotlight: Moama superstar Rhys Archard capped another great season - which included co-captaining Murray's interleague team - with his second O'Dwyer medal last night.

One of the Murray Football League’s most decorated players has added another accolade to his already overflowing war chest.

Moama superstar Rhys Archard was last night crowned the O’Dwyer medallist for the second time in three seasons after a stellar year.

The veteran dominated the vote count, polling 10 times (including a maximum three votes on six occasions) in 18 matches to record a total of 25, four ahead of second-placed Barooga ruckman Brodie A’Vard (21).

Archard’s superiority this season was highlighted by the fact that Numurkah ruckman Mitch Price and Deniliquin star Todd Gallagher finished eight votes behind the Magpie, despite still reaching the podium in equal third.

Able to rack up a mountain of possessions at will, Archard’s goalkicking ability also caught the eye of umpires with 25 majors during the regular season allowing him to add to his 2015 O’Dwyer, which he won by a massive nine votes.

Archard finished fourth last season in the count with 18 votes, behind former Finley midfielder Ned Morrison (25).

The match-winner also co-captained the Murray interleague team this year and will have the opportunity to defend his crown as the best player in the competition next season after re-signing at the Magpies.

In a feat of longevity and excellence not often matched, Archard, 34, has also won the Goulburn Valley League’s top individual honour after winning the 2003 Morrison Medal during his time at Echuca as well as a Magarey Medal (SANFL) in 2009 while at North Adelaide.

Remarkably, Archard remains only the second Moama player to win the O’Dwyer Medal after Brendan Hogan in 2000.

●Mulwala’s Chris O’Neill took home the Damien Jones Medal as the best player in the reserves competition with 22 votes, beating Numurkah’s Theo Thomas (15 votes) and the rest of the league easily.

In the under-17s, Finley rising star Zechariah Cuppens was crowned the best player, while Tongala’s Mackenzie Cowley took home the under-14 award.

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