Huge recognition for Tipp and Brisbane star O’Dwyer to put icing on dream AFLW season

THE ICING HAS been put on top of a dream Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] season for Orla O’Dwyer, the Tipperary dual star finishing runner-up in Brisbane Lions’ Best and Fairest Awards.

Luck of the Irish ☘️

After an outstanding season, Orla O’Dwyer is our Best & Fairest Runner-Up in what has been a nail-biting count! Congratulations Orla 🥈 #Uncaged pic.twitter.com/XFq4J20eCO

— Brisbane Lions AFLW (@lionsaflw) April 23, 2021

O’Dwyer was instrumental each and every step of the way as Brisbane were crowned 2021 Premiers in last weekend’s historic Grand Final win over Adelaide Crows.

In just her second season in the AFLW, the 22-year-old enjoyed a simply stunning individual campaign and fell just short of winning the champions’ overall Player of the Year award.

(In Australian sport, the Best and Fairest recognises the player(s) adjudged to have had the best performance over a season for a given sporting club or competition, and is generally voted on by players.)

  • A long way from Tipperary, O’Dwyer shines on the biggest stage in third top-level sport

Ally Anderson claimed the top gong on the narrowest of margins with O’Dwyer, a top Gaelic football and camogie player on these shores, not far off, but finishing up with huge recognition.

“Irish import Orla O’Dwyer underlined her rapid improvement with a second-place finish in the tightest vote count in the Club’s AFLW history,” a statement from the Lions reads.

O’Dwyer on the ball for Brisbane in last weekend’s Grand Final.

Source: Brisbane Lions.

Praise has poured in for O’Dwyer online since the announcement — which brought a rousing reception from her team-mates — her notable improvement key through her side’s rise this year. Her athleticism was a huge asset; her run-and-carry and tackling of particular note on the wing, as was her goal-kicking.

“Huge congrats Orla, runner-up of Brisbane Lions’ Best & Fairest 2021,” AFL Ireland Women’s wrote on Twitter. “And within 5 votes of actually taking it out. AMAZING.”

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Anderson finished with 155 votes, O’Dwyer with 150.

“Ending the week on a high,” the Boherlahan footballer and Cashel camogie club woman wrote on Instagram this morning.

Great count at the @lionsaflw B&F. Ever-consistent Ally Anderson taking home her second win! Orla O’Dwyer a close second. Remarkable for someone that confessed she didn’t know the rules or hadn’t kicked a ball 18 months ago!

— Michael Whiting (@MichaelWhiting) April 23, 2021

How’s the reaction for Orla O’Dwyer taking out second place in tonight’s B&F 😍🎉 pic.twitter.com/TnAFNTwaUF

— Brisbane Lions AFLW (@lionsaflw) April 23, 2021

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