Taylah having a ball in two sporting codes

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.

Portland goaler Taylah Nelson missed a game of basketball to claim her netball prize last night in Warrnambool. 140903LP12 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Portland goaler Taylah Nelson missed a game of basketball to claim her netball prize last night in Warrnambool. 140903LP12 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

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.

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