Stevie Bibby wins HDFNL 17 and under netball best and fairest

IT HAS been a big year for Kalkee's Stevie Bibby.

The talented teenager is a vital cog in the Kees' 17 and under and senior A Grade netball teams, and has played every game in both divisions.

Her dedication paid off on Monday night when she was named the Horsham District Football Netball League 17 and under best and fairest.

Bibby polled 37 votes to win clearly from team-mate Mikayla McAuliffe and Harrow-Balmoral's Emily Langley, who had 30 each.

Rupanyup's Gemma Morgan was third with 26 votes.

Bibby was runner-up to Edenhope-Apsley player Alex Lang at last year's 17 and under count.

She credited regular A Grade appearances with improving her overall game.

"There's lots of competition out there in the under-17s so I'm happy to win the award," she said.

"I think it has been one of my better years.

"It probably comes from playing two games each week so the extra fitness helps, and there's a great group of girls I play with too."

Bibby said she was pleased to win the award from a great crop of 17 and under players.

"Everyone who finished in the top three this year plays A Grade as well, so there are some really good players," she said.

"It is good for the team that Mikayla was in the top two as well."

The 15 and under award went to Noradjuha-Quantong's Maddison Focroul, who was also runner-up in last year's poll.

The talented goal defence was in the lead when the vote count started at the halfway point of the season, and was always comfortably in front.

Focroul finished with 39 votes, winning from Pimpinio's Sally Baker with 31 and Kalkee's Coco Ledgar with 26.

Focroul also appeared at senior level in two A Grade matches this year.

She said she didn't think she would win the award at the start of the night.

"It felt pretty good to win by a big margin in the end," she said.

"This would probably be the best season I've played so far."

Continuing the theme of the night, both 13 and under co-winners play goal defence for their respective clubs.

Natimuk United's Holly Smith and Kalkee's Mya Jones split the award with 24 votes apiece, pipping early leader Abbie Bell of Noradjuha-Quantong at the post by one vote.

Edenhope-Apsley's Lavinia Fox finished third.

Bell led at the halfway point of the season and still had a one-vote advantage with three rounds to go, but did not poll in the final three games.

Smith and Jones said they were both thrilled to win.

"I didn't know who was in front at the end so it was a shock," Jones said.

"I was happy and excited - I think I've had a pretty good year."

Smith said she didn't think she would win.

"I was a bit nervous but very happy at the end," she said.

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