PORT City coach Ben Sprague told the Times after his side beat Taree City in the Group Three Rugby League final that he rated prop Mitch Fowler as the best player in Group Three Rugby League.
Fowler backed this up when he was named the player of the year at the annual award night held at Wingham Services Club.
Fowler made a strong charge in the second round of the competition to snatch the lead, winning by three points to Forster-Tuncurry utility player Kurt Lewis.
The representative prop finished with 19 points clear of Lewis on 16. Wauchope prop Chris Trembath was third on 15 followed by Matt Everitt (Old Bar) 14, Matt Bird (Wauchope) 13, Dean Hurrell (Wauchope) 13, Rob Trembath (Wauchope) 12, Daniel Dumas (Taree City) 11, Nathan Berry (Old Bar) 10, Josh Watson (Wingham) nine, Mick Henry (Taree City) nine and Josh Osborne (Port City) nine.
Rob Trembath was aiming to become the first player to win the award three years in a row.
Henry was the clear leader at the conclusion of the first round, but didn’t play in another competition match after breaking his foot representing Group Three against Group Two.
Three players who were selected in the Country Seconds side to play Victoria were named the representative players of the year. They are Rob and Chris Trembath and Taree City’s Clint Walker.
Rob Trembath, who guided Wauchope to the first grade premiership, capped a memorable year when he was named coach of the year, with Taree City’s Daniel Dumas and Port’s Ben Sprague the other nominees.
There were also joint winners of the most improved award, Old Bar second rower Jonathon Tickle and Wingham utility forward Tim Watson.
The nominees were Chris Coulton (Forster-Tuncurry), Matt Woods (Port City), Abdul Khan (Taree City) and Matt Bird (Wauchope).
Matt Bird was named the rookie of the year.
Clint Walker was the leading point scorer and try scorer. Walker crossed for 19 tries in 14 games and kicked 41 goals to finish with 158 points.