Portland goalie Taylah Nelson prefers basketball but after winning last night’s Hampden league 13 and under best and fairest award, netball is fast rising in popularity.
The 13-year-old claimed her highest individual prize with the last vote of the count at Deakin University, a three-vote, to edge out Port Fairy midcourter Eloise Swarbrick by one vote.
Taylah, who gave up a game of basketball to attend last night’s count, was delighted.
She said the gap between basketball and netball was narrowing as to which sport she favoured.
“Whichever one I can go further in,” she said.
Taylah moved from South West District league club Westerns at the beginning of the season to join school friends at Portland.
“I just wanted a change,” she said.
The move has paid handsome dividends for Taylah, with the Tigers playing in Saturday’s second semi-final.
She thanked her parents and coaches, with the award capping a memorable first season with the Tigers.
Taylah polled 26 votes, one clear of Port Fairy’s Eloise Swarbrick. Taylah’s teammate Jaymie Falconer was third on 23 votes.
In a tight count, four players were separated by three votes entering the final round. Eloise was two clear on 25 from Taylah, while Jaymie and Hamilton Kangaroos’ Brooke Stone were a vote further back on 22.
Taylah claimed the prize with a best-on-court performance against Koroit after Eloise failed to catch the eye of the umpires.
Taylah polled in 10 matches, including six best- on-court performances. She also received four two votes.