WITH 12 rounds gone in the Southern Football League division 3 medal count, Sandown co-captain Daniel Macklin gave himself no chance of coming away with the best-and-fairest medal.
Macklin had just seven votes on the board after an injury-interrupted first half of the season while Doveton Eagles flyer Matt O'Callaghan had 15 votes on the board and looked a solid chance of victory.
By round 14 O'Callaghan had 23 votes but didn't poll again until two votes in the final round got him to the winning number 25, a tally Macklin equalled with three votes of his own to end the season.
The pair happily shared the honour, something that will bond them forever, at least in the SFL history books.
"It was a good feeling knowing you've been recognised," Macklin said.
"It was great to win it with Matty O; he's a great player and fantastic bloke.
"To be honest, I didn't think I was a chance with three rounds to go."
O'Callaghan, a 24-year-old midfielder, was staggered to find himself well in front after round 14, making the final announcement a frightening experience.
"From round 15 I didn't poll any votes and Daniel did so in the final round he was two votes ahead," O'Callaghan said.
"Luckily, I had a good game in the final round and got two votes.
"I couldn't be happier to share it with someone of Daniel's calibre.
"I only knew him by reputation but after the count we had a chat and he is a great bloke."
Macklin paid tribute to Sandown coach Mick Rossborough for pushing him into the centre after he played much of his career on the wing.
"Mick was rapt for me. He was the one who got me down to the club and I've known him for a very long time," Macklin said.
"He gave me an opportunity and put me in the centre, in the thick of the action, and it has paid off for the club and myself."
O'Callaghan said he had drawn strength from the drive of the Eagles after the club was almost kicked out of the SFL before the start of the season.
"You build yourself around a footy club," he said. "From where we started, we didn't know if we would be playing or not this season and then starting fresh again. It was a big credit to everyone. I wouldn't have been able to do well without their support.
"The credit for this win goes to them."
In division 2 Bentleigh's Scott Lawry was named best-and-fairest and the division 2 reserves award was won by Oakleigh District's Peter Maynard. Mt Waverley's Matthew Wingfield won the division 3 reserves honour.
SFL division 3 best and fairest
Daniel Macklin, Sandown 25; Matthew O'Callaghan, Doveton Eagles 25; Jarrod Wilkin, Mount Waverley 18; Darryl Thomas, Doveton Eagles 14; Daniel Atkin, Dandenong 12.