WESTERN Border football and netball will celebrate their top performers in the league tomorrow night, with the annual medal count to be held at Casterton Sandford’s Island Park venue.
The big award for the night is the Brian Hennessey medal for best and fairest in A Grade football.
The top teams in the competition should see players poll well, with North and West Gambier both boasting favourites among their ranks.
However, the Tigers have been plagued by injury this season, which could effect the final outcome.
Coach Justin McConnell topped the goal kicking list, ahead of last year’s winner, South Gambier’s Brayden Kain and Cat Dylan Ayton.
However, McConnell was troubled by injury, falling short of a full season on the park.
Other Tigers to do well were Hamish Telford early in the year, plus Sam Stafford.
Many others should poll due to the Tigers’ strong season.
East Gambier also showed plenty of class on occasions, with Jayden Eldridge again enjoying a solid year, as did Jack Dawe.
Both provided plenty of run to set up forward opportunities and with full seasons under their belts may feature up the leaderboard.
South Gambier enjoyed a mixed season, but narrowly missed the finals.
The likes of Todd Reid and Bronson Saffin were prime movers and should also climb up the leaderboard.
Reid appeared in the Demons’ best on nine occasions, while Saffin enjoyed 10 mentions.
Millicent will struggle to poll on account of their win-less season, but there were still some inspiring individual efforts across the board.
Jonah Grimes enjoyed another solid season in the ruck, while Sam Willis was certainly prominent on many occasions.
Casterton Sandford provided some good performances throughout the year to reach the major round.
Will Macdonald was yet again a solid contributor, while Ayton found the big sticks regularly and as usual was not afraid to gain the tough possessions.
Some mixed performances by the Cats may detract from their overall individual performances, but Macdonald in particular can never be discounted.
West Gambier certainly lived up to expectations, after a rebuilding phase began to show the rewards.
Tom Zeitz had an outstanding year, with plenty of appearances in the Roos’ best, as did Lawry Bradley-Brown.
Bradley-Brown was a prime mover in the Roos’ early push and is sure to poll high numbers for the first half of the season.
Netball also promises to throw up some interesting results.
Last season saw East young gun Tenille Gray scoop the pool to claim the top honours.
While Millicent always provides plenty of class, she stood tall and has certainly enjoyed another big season in the goal circle.
However, around the league there is no shortage of players who have had an impact.
West boasts some top talent, with the likes of Lisa McGregor in the circle, the tough defence of Maddy Teakle and the swift ball movement of Emily Hunter, to list just a few.
For East, Gray is always a chance, while Tyne Bosko enjoyed an impressive season.
North boasted some young talent and experienced heads, but spent much of the season searching for that elusive combination.
The likes of Sarah Nulty and Ellen Brown complemented the experience of Ash Kalantarian and Maddie Whaites slotted into the roster well.
South struggled for much of the season, with Imogen Walker one of the regular top players.
The Cats would hope to poll well at their home venue, with the likes of Christine Harris, Madalene Cleary, Gabby Tomkins and Scarlet Jarrad all regular contributors.
Millicent has been the benchmark of the association for so long, it is hard to suggest any particular player who would stand out.
The list of experienced heads continues, from Donna Denton to Lisa Duldig to Hayley Dunn, while possibly the more impressive statistic was the performance
of the young guns coming through.
Paige and Hannah Nitschke have continued to develop, along with Lucy Denton, while Madi Haggett appears to have cemented a spot at the defensive end of the court.
It all adds up to a continued stellar run for the Saints into the future.
The only problem the Saints face on medal night is so many good performers stealing votes off each other.
Whatever the case in football or netball it has certainly been an intriguing season in 2019, which continues tomorrow as the Cats face the Roos and chase an elusive grand final berth.