ORANGE CYMS five-eighth Ben McAlpine has completed a rare Country Rugby League double, taking home this year’s Group 10 Player of the Year gong 12 months after earning the same award with Young in Group Nine.
A worthy recipient of the best-player-in-the-Group tag, McAlpine was equally dominant in his year-long stint in the halves with the Cherrypickers in Group Nine, earning the 2012 Weissel Medal.
Set to spearhead the green and golds in tomorrow’s preliminary final against Lithgow, McAlpine edged a quality field to take home the Player of the Year award at the Group 10 awards in Bathurst last night.
Based on 3-2-1 votes throughout the season, McAlpine beat Lithgow hooker Jamie Clark (second), St Pat’s five-eighth Tim Holman (third) and Hawks prop Terawhiti Cooper (fourth) for the prize.
The classy five-eighth becomes the seventh CYMS player to earn the award - Tim Bassmann (2012), Mick Sullivan (2010), Mark Lowry (1995), John Connolly (1990), Mick Mullice (1986) and Terry Farrell (1985) are the others.
Orange Hawks captain-coach Tim Mortimer won the Coach of the Year gong after steering the two blues to their first premier league grand final appearance in a decade.
Orange CYMS league tag coach Matt King won the ladies Coach of the Year prize.
St Pat’s first division mentor Dane Fisher and Cowra’s under 18s coach Steve Sutton took home the lower grade coach of the year awards, guiding their side’s to grand final appearances next Sunday at Wade Park.
Lower grade players of the year were: Cowra captain-coach Dan McGann (first division), Lithgow and Western Division prop Luke Morris (under 18s) and Lithgow’s Chrissie West (league tag).
McAlpine finished the year as the premier league competition’s leading point scorer with 178 points from 14 tries and 61 goals.
Jono Van Veen scored a remarkable 21 four-pointers to lead all try scorers in the competition for the second year running.