Quinlyn Cannon from Cairns Brothers has taken out the coveted Cairns District Rugby League Gold Medal which was announced at the annual gala dinner held on Friday evening at Brothers Leagues Club Auditorium.
He pipped Mossman-Sharks fullback Matthew Gibuma by three points in the count and was presented with the medal in front of more than 300 members of the local rugby league confraternity.
The Gold Medal for A Grade Best and Fairest Player is decided by a voting system by referees and touch judges on a "3, 2 1" points basis throughout the season.
Cannon, who last played for Cairns Brothers in Round 12 played the second least games of all nominees.
Despite no points in the first two rounds, Cannon picked up two points in Round 3 and then went on to score a maximum of three votes in the next five rounds.
He then picked up two more points in Round 9 and a further two in the last two rounds to finish with 23 points.
The star for Northern Pride Under 20s in 2018, Cannon started the season playing for Cairns Brothers.
The crafty hooker proved himself to be a prolific points scorer with 13 tries in his first eight appearances.
A pivotal part in Brethren's attacking structures and tough in defence, Cannon has an uncanny knack for not only scoring tries by setting them up.
Cannon was rewarded for his dominance in the local competition and made his Intrust Super Cup debut for Northern Pride in June.
He continued to impress and finished the season with the Pride which made his nomination and win even more impressive, considering he missed almost half of Cairns Brothers regular season games.
The gala night was all about recognising and rewarding the achievements of players, coaches, clubs, referees, support staff who have excelled on and off field.
Special guests in attendance included: CDRL Patron Lionel Williamson and his wife Diane, North Queensland Rugby League director Warren Pitt and his wife Linda, QRL Northern Division Manager Scott Nosworthy, QRL Northern Division Assistant Manager Robbie Moore, NRL Far North Queensland Referees' Development Officer Jamie Evans, as well as major sponsors Brett Stubbins from Intersport and Sharyn Anisset and Morgan Bowman from major sponsors Ken Frost Homes.
CDRL Chairman Colin Moore paid homage to all those people in the rugby league community for their invaluable contributions to the game which included his executive committee, sponsors and volunteers.
He also congratulated Edmonton Under 18 team who will play in the grand final for the first time in 15 years, as well as Atherton Roosters, now in their 101st year who were named Club of the Year in this year's QRL Community Awards.
There were 10 Gold Medal nominees with players from eight clubs and four finals teams represented which included a mix of seasoned campaigners and emerging stars.
Cairns Brothers were back-to-back Club Champions and awarded the Jack Seary Shield after having a great season across three grades.
For the first time, this year CDRL introduced a non-contact format of the game for senior women and 11 clubs entered a women's team to compete in the 10 round competition in line with the first 10 weeks of the men's draw.
Debra Gallop, the third recipient of the Rebecca Bowie Memorial Award was recognised for over 25 years of service to the game in many roles which included kiosk convenor, committee member, coach, referee and sports trainer with the Northern Pride and NRL Women's All Stars team in 2015.
Warren Pitt was bestowed Life membership of Cairns District Rugby League for a lifetime of dedicated service to the game in many roles which started in 1956.
Award winners were as follows:
Referee of the Year: Will Kennedy
Club Champions: Cairns Brothers
Chairman's Trophy - Coach of the Year: Luke Saunders (Southern Suburbs)
Leading Try Scorer of the Year: Matthew Gibuma (Mossman-Port Douglas) - 28 tries in 14 games.
Tom Tassell Memorial Award - Rookie of the Year - Caleb Dally (Mareeba)
Rebecca Bowie Memorial Shield - Debra Gallop
Women's Touch Player of the Year: Catherine Clark (Atherton)
Cairns District Junior Rugby League- Under 16 Best & Fairest Player: Saifu Savage (Cairns Brothers)
Eacham Junior Rugby League - Under 16 Best & Fairest Player: Timothy Lyall (Herberton)
Moore Family Medal - CDRL Under 18 Best & Fairest Player: Keishon Hunter-Flanders (Yarrabah)
Lionel Williamson Medal - CDRL Reserve Grade Best & Fairest Player: Terence Massey (Southern Suburbs)
Main image: The nominees for the 2019 medal. Photo: Maria Girgenti