Hayworth the SAFL best
By STEPHEN WILLS
BYRON Bay's Graham Hayworth has been named as the Summerland AFL best and fairest player of 2005.
Hayworth, one of the Magpies' best and most consistent performers for a few years, won the Mason Medal at the competition's awards at Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club on Monday night.
He picked up four best-on-ground performances during the year.
However, he was back in sixth place going into the final two rounds, but picked up the maximum three points in both matches to storm home in the medal count, eclipsing the Ballina duo of Tim Price and Pat Bulzomi.
Unfortunately for Price, who led the poll for much of the season, and last year's runner-up Bulzomi, they were unable to poll in the last round due to a forfeit.
Incredibly, Bulzomi was limited to six games in the season due to work and injury, but polled four best-on-ground results.
Price picked up votes in seven games ? more than any other player in the competition.
Lismore's Daniel Bruce made a charge in the middle of the season and at one stage looked like coming from nowhere for an upset. However, team-mate Josh Suffolk pinched some valuable votes and three best-on-grounds, to halt Bruce's charge.
The number of quality players spread across the Ballina, Lismore and Byron teams augurs well for the start of the finals this Saturday at Ballina.
MASON MEDAL, main contenders: Graham Hayworth (16), Tim Price (14), Pat Bulzomi (13), Daniel Bruce (11), Josh Suffolk (10).