History makers: Magpies co-captain, Dockers superstar share AFLW B&F

COLLINGWOOD co-captain and All-Australian skipper Brianna Davey and Fremantle superstar and All-Australian vice-captain Kiara Bowers are the joint 2021 AFLW best and fairest winners.

In the first ever tied count, Bowers polled one vote in round nine to join the Pie at the top of the tree, while Davey was voteless in the loss to Adelaide.

Coming into a thrilling final round, five players were in the running for the medal: Davey (15), Bowers (14), Karen Paxman (13), Brit Bonnici (12) and Monique Conti (12).

Bowers and Davey tie for AFLW's highest individual honour

16:21 Apr 20. 2021. 10:35 PM

Fremantle superstar Kiara Bowers and Collingwood co-captain Brianna Davey made history by becoming the first joint winners of the AFLW best and fairest

Bowers cut the lead to just one vote at the end of round seven, after Davey failed to poll against Brisbane when she was well held by Cathy Svarc, and neither polled in the penultimate round.

Davey had a stunning run in the middle of the season, polling five straight best-on games, while Bowers had a variety of votes throughout the season.

It was expected Pies teammates Bonnici, Jaimee Lambert, Chloe Molloy and Ruby Schleicher would make life difficult for Davey in the votes, but the 26-year-old dominated her club's count.

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Ellie Blackburn led all-comers after the first four rounds of the season, the Western Bulldogs skipper recording three consecutive best-afield results in her first three games.

Davey jumped to the lead courtesy of her fourth-straight three-vote performance in round five, and wasn't headed until the final round when Bowers joined her.

Both players have already had awards this year, with Bowers taking out the AFLCA Player of the Year, while Davey was named the AFLPA Most Valuable Player.

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The duo were named captain (Davey) and vice-captain (Bowers) of this year's All Australian team.

They joined the AFLW in season one as marquee players, with Davey signing with the Blues while Bowers has always worn purple.

In an entertaining speech, Bowers – also a carpenter – thanked partner Adele and son Nate for their support.

Kiara Bowers celebrates the best and fairest win with partner Adele Coxall. Picture: Getty Images

"I was pretty chill two minutes ago. Firstly, a shout out to Bri, how amazing is she? I feel pretty honoured to be [alongside] you, so we'll have a drink when I'm in Melbourne," Bowers said.

"My incredible partner Adele – I leave the house at 5, 5.30am, and don't get in till 9pm, and someone has to look after Nate. You're incredible and I could not have done this without you.

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"To Freo the club, you got me in, and I didn't play for two years (due to knee injuries). You could have flicked me off pretty easy, but you stuck with me and knew that I was going to be an all right player, so I appreciate the time and effort you put into me."

Asked what 12-year-old Kiara would think of the accomplishment, Bowers had a dead-pan response: "She'd say you're still a horrible speaker."

Brianna Davey and Collingwood coach Steve Symonds. Picture: AFL Photos

Davey said the win justified the switch she made to football, having represented Australia in soccer before the start of the AFLW.

"Football can be a rollercoaster of emotions. There can be some very big highs and some very low lows. I came across from soccer and people questioned that, and at times I did think, 'Did I make the right decision?'," Davey said.

"I think this solidifies that I have. I always thought I had made the right choice, because I love footy so much, but this sort of thing gives you a bit of recognition and shows that hard work pays off."

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She also revealed the pair's first clash, having lined up against each other in an exhibition match.

"I'd been thrown into the midfield, and 'Turbo' (Bowers) was the player to run with me. I remember she was giving me a bit of stick on the field, getting into me, and I was this new girl and I think she was like, 'Who are you?'

"But it was in a really endearing way, not in a bad way at all. After the game she came and gave me a big cuddle and a few nice words. She's an incredible competitor, a really, really great person, and I think that makes it all the better that we're sharing this medal."

2021 AFLW best and fairest leaderboard

Bri Davey (Collingwood) - 15 votes
Kiara Bowers (Fremantle) - 15 votes
Alyce Parker (GWS) - 14 votes
Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs) - 14 votes
Karen Paxman (Melbourne) - 13 votes
Anne Hatchard (Adelaide) - 13 votes
Monique Conti (Richmond) - 12 votes
Brittany Bonnici (Collingwood) - 12 votes
Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide) - 11 votes
Maddy Prespakis (Carlton) - 10 votes (ineligible)
Ash Riddell (North Melbourne) - 10 votes