IT was a night to celebrate the defenders when best and fairest awards were handed out in B grade.
The award was shared by Merrivale’s Lucy Woonton and Panmure’s Rhianna Healey.
Not only did both girls poll 23 votes but they also spent much of the season playing at goal defence.
Woonton had six three-vote performances and polled in nine games, while Healey polled in 10 games and landed four best-on-court vote cards.
Going into the last round Woonton held a two-vote lead, with Healey grabbing two votes in the Bulldogs loss to Kolora-Noorat to produce the tie.
Emily Johnston, from Deakin University, and Sarah Wormald, from Russells Creek, were next on 20 votes.
The win marked a triumphant return to netball for Woonton, who prior to this season had not played for two years following the birth of her daughter Kahzali.
While last night was a special occasion, Saturday is shaping just as big as the Tigers take on Old Collegians in the second semi-final.
It is also Kahzali’s first birthday and Woonton is hoping it will be a double celebration.
“It has been a really tight competition all season and we are lucky to have some great players,” Woonton said.
“I have enjoyed playing in defence and all through the year our defensive end has been really strong so it helps having that around you.”
Panmure just missed out on the finals, denying Healey the chance to extend her season.
Despite this the talented 24-year-old said it has been a season to remember.
“We had an amazing group of girls in the B grade this season and it has been a lot of fun,” Healey said.
“It was a shame we couldn’t sneak into the finals but I think Lucy and the Merrivale girls will be the team to beat.”