Adelaide Crows midfielder Anne Hatchard has been named joint SANFLW Best and Fairest Award winner following the resolution of a bizarre voting error.
During North Adelaide’s convincing 12.11 (83) to 1.0 (6) victory over Sturt in June, Hatchard managed 42 disposals — the 77-point win at Peter Motley Oval was also the 22-year-old’s SANFLW debut.
Meanwhile, Roosters teammate Alex Fitridge — who was also wearing long sleeves during the match — recorded just three possessions, but was awarded three votes towards the Best and Fairest tally. Hatchard was allocated no votes for her record performance.
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At the end of the season, Hatchard was three points behind Best and Fairest Award winner Rachelle Martin on the final ladder.
On Monday, The Advertiser ’s Daniela Abbracciavento reported the SANFL was investigating a potential mistake in the voting, and later in the week, SANFL General Manager of Football Matt Duldig confirmed the error had been rectified.
“The clear intent from the umpires on the day was to award three votes to Anne and, on that basis, it was only fair that a genuine error which was made aware to us be corrected and that Anne be rightfully honoured for her tremendous season in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League,” Duldig said in a statement.
“Anne shone in every game in the competition this season and, together with Rachelle Martin, is a very deserving winner of the League’s highest honour.”
Hatchard was officially awarded the three votes from the Round 5 fixture, and the Best and Fairest Award ended as a tie, with Martin and Hatchard polling 15 votes each.
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Last weekend, North Adelaide won the 2020 SANFLW final, trumping South Adelaide 5.5 (53) to 4.4 (28) at Thebarton Oval. Hatchard was awarded the best-on-ground medal after recording a game-high 34 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles.
The two-time AFLW premiership player was anointed Adelaide Crows club champion in June after breaking the league record for most disposals, and was named in the AFLW’s All-Australian team in 2019.