Donnelly claims Catchpole Medal
September 26, 2005

Eastwood skipper Tim Donnelly has beaten a class field to take out the 2005 Ken Catchpole Medal for most outstanding player in the Tooheys New Cup.

Donnelly, who will lead Eastwood into their fourth consecutive Grand Final on Saturday against Sydney University, was announced as the winner at the 2005 Catchpole Medal presentation at Sydney's Menzies Hotel on Monday night.
He polled 17 referee's votes to take the medal from Manly Flanker Matt Hodgson, who finished on 15.

Eastern Suburbs half Luke Burgess and Parramatta hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau finished equal third on 14 votes.
Prolific with the boot, Donnelly leads the point scoring for the Tooheys New Cup with 212 points heading into this weekend's decider, a mark that cannot be topped in 2005.

He continues Eastwood's domination of the Catchpole Medal, with his win following three straight victories by Scott Fava.

After a three point haul against Parramatta in round one, Donnelly then had to wait until the Woods clash with Manly in round six to claim his next points. The talented flyhalf claimed the three again in that match, starting a run of four consecutive performances in which he claimed full points.

Two points in round ten against Southern Districts took Donnelly along to 17 points, setting up a nail biting finish as Hodgson mounted a late challenge for the title.

The Waratah pivot will now try to cap off the year by leading the Woods to potentially their third title in the four years of the Tooheys New Cup.
Two other major awards were handed out at tonight's ceremony, with Sydney University coach Steve Surridge named the Gulf Air Coach of the Year and veteran whistleblower John McCarthy taking out the Telstra Referee of the Year title.

Surridge - who guided the Students to the Minor Premiership in his first year at the helm - will now head off with the HSBC Waratahs on the Gulf Air development tour to Bahrain and Eastern Europe.

Surridge also claims the medal named in honour of one of his predecessors - legendary former coach Dave Brockhoff.
McCarthy, who retired at the conclusion of the regular season after over a decade at the top, claimed the referee's title for the third straight year. He's also the only man to have won the Dick Byres Medal.

THE WINNERS
Ken Catchpole Medal - Tim Donnelly (Eastwood)
Gulf Air Coach of the Year & Dave Brockhoff Medal - Steve Surridge (Sydney University)
Telstra Referee of the Year & Dick Byres Medal - John McCarthy

KEN CATCHPOLE MEDAL - TOP 10
1. Tim Donnelly (Eastwood) 17
2. Matt Hodgson (Manly) 15
=3. Luke Burgess (Eastern Suburbs) 14
Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta) 14
5. Luke Holmes (Warringah) 12
6. Pelea Afu (Parramatta) 11
=7. Peter Hewat (Manly) 10
Jone Tawake (Canberra) 10
=9. Kieran Massey (West Harbour) 9
Shawn Mackay (Randwick) 9

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