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Hawthorn ball magnet Tom Mitchell holds off surprise pair to win Brownlow Medal

Staff writers, September 25, 2018 8:02AM News Corp Australia Network

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Tom Mitchell of the Hawks gets a kiss from girlfriend Hannah Davis after being announced as the 2018 Brownlow Medallist. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraTom Mitchell of the Hawks gets a kiss from girlfriend Hannah Davis after being announced as the 2018 Brownlow Medallist. Picture: Getty Images

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AFL: Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell last night took home the AFL Brownlow Medal in much the same way he plays his football — he just kept gaining possessions*.

The Hawthorn midfielder secured his first Brownlow with two rounds left at Monday’s count.

But no one would have predicted that Collingwood onballer Steele Sidebottom would finish runner-up and Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw would take third place.

Sidebottom had AFL officials rushing to write briefing notes for AFL chairman Richard Goyder in case he won and Brayshaw was at home in a T-shirt, having not been invited to the gala* event.

Mitchell, however, was always the favourite to win and polled 28 votes, four clear of Sidebottom and seven ahead of Brayshaw.

The Hawks ball magnet*, who averaged a whopping 35 possessions per game this season, admitted his heart was racing near the end of the count.

“The exciting thing about the Brownlow is that it’s so unpredictable*,” Mitchell said.

“No one knows what’s going to happen — I was sitting there like everyone else, a little bit unsure.”

Roosters Cooper Cronk with his arm in a sling yesterday. Picture: Brett Costello media_cameraRoosters Cooper Cronk with his arm in a sling yesterday. Picture: Brett Costello

NRL: Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk admits he is a “long shot”* to play in Sunday’s NRL grand final against Melbourne due to a shoulder injury.

Cronk is racing the clock to be fit to take on his former club after suffering “severe” damage to his rotator cuff in the Roosters’ preliminary final win over South Sydney.

The 34-year-old was wearing a sling yesterday but promised to do everything he could to make himself available for the match.

“I could move it, the best thing is just to immobilise* it so I can get some recovery done, try and strengthen it up so the muscles don’t get worked over too much,” Cronk said.

“The whole idea for the sling is to keep it in place, so it’s protected, and do everything I can.”

Cronk was unwilling to explain exactly how bad his injury is, but was unsure about what his realistic chances were of taking the field.

“I’m a long shot. That’s not lying,” he said.

GLOSSARY

possessions: has the ball

gala: special occasion event

ball magnet: has the ball a lot

unpredictable: hard to know what will happen

long shot: not likely

immobilise: keep still

QUICK QUIZ

1. How many votes did Tom Mitchell poll to win the Brownlow?

2. Which players came second and third unexpectedly?

3. Who does Cooper Cronk play NRL for?

4. What sort of injury is Cronk suffering?

VCOP ACTIVITY

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many wow words or ambitious pieces of vocabulary that you can find in yellow. Discuss the meanings of these words and see if you can use them orally in another sentence.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you agree Tom Mitchell was the best and fairest player in the AFL this season? Why or why not?

No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.

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