Five straight for Hannah
Hannah Grady claims fifth-straight club best and fairest
FIVE best and fairests in a career is something any sportsperson would like to be able to rest their hat on at the end of a career.
Five best and fairests before the age of 23 is a monumental achievement and five best and fairests in a row, including in a premiership year well and truly has Hannah Grady on track for an Ovens and Murray hall of fame induction once her career is over.
Wangaratta Magpies’ A grade 2018 season will be remembered as the year the team won its first Ovens and Murray A grade premiership, and it will also go down in history as the year that Grady won a fifth consecutive best and fairest.
Grady’s role in defence, coupled with runner up and pre- miership captain Katie Dean’s poise and nous has allowed the Magpie to settle their defence at critical times through games and hold opposing teams out.
The one-two finish of the Magpies’ defenders just goes to show their importance in the team.
While Dean locks the circle and her goal shooter down and uses her reach to deflect many passes, it is Grady’s ability to read the play and attack the ball, backing her athleticism in to beat her opponent and then help rebound down the court.
“It is a real privilege to win something like this at club level, because not only does it make you feel part of the club; you feel a part of the team and just everything,” Grady said.
“It is a little awkward to win this year.”
Grady, by her own admission, believed she had a slow start to the season, but still managed to lead by three votes, 23-20, over Katie Dean after round nine.
“I thought I had had a pretty ordinary first half of the year and I said to myself that I had to pull my finger out,” she said.
“I was pretty astonished with how I finished; I am pretty chuffed that I’ve managed to turn it around like I did.”
Grady finished runner up in the Ovens and Murray league count, the Ovens and Murray League’s Toni Wilson Medal finishing just behind Corowa’s Sophie Hanrahan.
In the other grades, B grade premiership hero Olivia Richards walked away with the best and fairest ahead of preliminary final star Shel Petts.
Richards said in her speech that while both her self and brother Joe had won best and fairest awards that hers trumped his due to winning a premiership, in a light-hearted jab on Friday night.
Molly Bate was named the C grade best and fairest with Casey Brown the runner up with both players enjoying great seasons at either end of the court.
Ebony Norris’ awesome under 16 campaign was rewarded with the best and fairest with Imogen Taylor the runner up.
WINNERS: Hannah Grady (left) and Olivia Richards were named A and B grade netball winners at Wangaratta on Friday night.