One of Gippsland’s most decorated footballers has added the Alex Scott & Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition best and fairest award to his already glittering collection.
Phillip Island onballer Brendan Kimber, who finished runner up in last year’s inaugural medal count despite missing a third of the season through injury, polled 24 votes to win this year’s award from Cora Lynn ruckman Billy Thomas (18 votes).
Kimber’s win completed a full set of league medals in south west Gippsland, following previous wins in the Alberton Football Netball League’s Peter Moore Medal (2015) and Ellinbank and District Football League’s Alf Walton Medal (2012-13) – the latter while wearing the teal, red and black of Cora Lynn.
The 33-year-old has long been revered for his fearless attack on the ball and, having played a key role in Phillip Island’s flag in his first year at the club, Kimber will be chasing more team glory on Saturday week when Phillip Island contests the grand final at Garfield Recreation Reserve.
It was an entirely different story in the A Grade netball count, with 18-year-old sensation Alana McRae taking home the top prize.
McRae polled maximum votes in eight games, including the final game of the home and away season, to snatch the award away from Phillip Island goaler Janelle Smyth by one vote.
It caps a remarkable rise for the classy defender, who captained the competition’s 17-and-under interleague team last year and is already in her third season as an A Grade player at Dalyston.
McRae’s athleticism and determination ensures she rarely loses one-on-one battles, despite giving away height most weeks, and she also possesses the flexibility to play in the mid court as required.
In other awards, Koo Wee Rup’s Matthew Cameron stormed to the reserves best-and-fairest award, Kilcunda-Bass young gun Jack Rosenow and Nar Nar Goon’s Cooper Hampton shared the thirds medal and Koo Wee Rup tall Nick Prowd held on to win the fourths award.
Chelsea Lieshout was crowned B Grade best and fairest, Cora Lynn’s Alicia Scott won the C Grade award, Korumburra-Bena’s Esther Evans took home the 17-and-under medal, with Cora Lynn’s Morgan Harris and Bunyip’s Ashlyn Gallasch scoring the 15-and-under and 13-and-under prizes respectively.