Walker wins top Qld Cup honours
By Steve Spinks
KYOGLE'S Shannon Walker has stunned the Queensland Cup by winning the Courier Mail best and fairest medal at an awards dinner in Brisbane last night.
Walker secured the medal like he scores so many of his tries, with a last minute swoop that took all his competitors by surprise.
By receiving the maximum votes in his last three matches of the regular season with the Tweed Heads Seagulls, Walker procured the award by a single point.
Walker's last minute win was reminiscent of the North Queensland Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston winning the Dally M last week.
The 18-year-old fullback finished on 19 points after being on just eight points in round 18.
He then picked up 11 votes (2-3-3-3) in the final four rounds to take the medal by one point from Wynnum-Manly halfback Denny Lambert.
Walker was also named the Carbine Club rookie of the year.
Voted on by referees, the Courier-Mail Best and Fairest Medal has existed for over 60 years and brings a winner's cheque of $7000.
Walker's victory comes only two years after another Indigenous try-scoring phenomenon, Greg Inglis, was awarded the same honour.
Inglis has since gone on to become a regular first grader with the Melbourne Storm and a Queensland and Australian representative.
Walker only just missed out on being the leading tryscorer of the Queensland Cup.
Rory Bromley of Redcliffe and John Tamanika of Easts tied on 17 tries apiece, with Walker left on 16 tries at the end of the regular season.
After an emotional evening, Walker has to set himself for the Queensland Cup grand final against Redcliffe at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.
Also turning out for the Seagulls will be Kyogle's Will Matthews and Mullumbimby's Dan Molenaar.