Thurston 2005 Player of Year
CUDGEN'S try-scoring machine Craig Thurston has been named the best player of the inaugural Northern Rivers rugby league competition.
Thurston picked up the Player of the Year award at the league's presentation night in Lismore.
He narrowly edged out South Grafton prop Xavier Sullivan after both finished the regular season on 19 points.
Thurston's win came courtesy of having been awarded more man-of-the-match performances by the referees, who allocated points on a 3-2-1 basis after each game.
In a closely fought competition, several players were still in with a chance of claiming the prestigious award right up to the final weekend of action.
Seagulls second-rower Scott Gray finished third.
Thurston also finished the season as the competition's top try-scorer with 29.
In accepting the trophy, the young fullback who was switched to five-eighth mid-way through the season, thanked Cudgen for its support.
The Hornets brought Thurston to the Tweed in the off-season from his outback Queensland home town of St George.
Meanwhile, the league also named eight Tweed-based players in its team of the year on Friday night.
Murwillumbah had the best representation of any team with four players selected.
Minor premiers Seagulls had three players named in the side as did Lismore's Marist Brothers (Niko Vakararawa, Graham Smallwood and skipper Luke Scott).
The team was selected by the competition's A-grade coaches, who all nominated the players they thought should be included.
Team of the Year
Fullback: Craig Thurston (Cudgen)
Wingers: Ricky Lang (Murbah), Niko Vakararawa (M Bros)
Centres: Graham Smallwood (M Bros), Jay McDermott (Twd Seagulls)
Five-eighth: Ray Mercy (Sth Grafton)
Halfback: Daniel Evans (Twd Seagulls)
Lock: Lionel Foster (Murbah)
Second-row: Luke Scott (M Bros), Scott Grey (Twd Seagulls)
Props: Christian Mene (Kyogle), Lyndon Murphy (Murbah)
Hooker: Jarrod Brown (Murbah).
Coach of Year: Craig Hodges (M Bros)
Most tries: 29 Craig Thurston (Cudgen)
Most goals: 82 Adrian Gooley (M Bros)
Highest pointscore: 214 - 82g, 12t Adrian Gooley (M Bros)
Rookie of Year: Ryan Murphy (Murbah)
Club champions: Twd Seagulls
Most tries: 24 Jason King (M Bros)
Player of Year: Jarrod de Thierry (Twd Seagulls)
Most tries: 34 Michael Keating (Twd Seagulls)
Player of Year: Ryan Binge (Lower Clarence)
High Achiever: Mitch Aubusson (Ballina)