Hicks earns Ward Medal for a fourth time

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MITIAMO goaler Laura Hicks has won the Helen Ward Medal as fairest and best in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s A-grade netball competition for a fourth time.

The brilliant goaler, captured in action by the Bendigo Advertiser, capped a brilliant 2021 season for the Superoos by scoring 20 votes.

The league’s awards night, backed by Bendigo Taxis, was broadcast on Fresh fm 101.5 on Monday night.

Hicks had previously been adjudged league best in 2016, and also in 2009 and ’12 as Laura Spence.

“This season was one of the most challenging I have played,” Hicks said of a stint with Mitiamo which began in the juniors more than 15 years ago.

“Because of Covid there were lockdowns and there was uncertainty about when we would or not play, and also about training,” Hicks said.

Despite those concerns, the Superoos star and her A-grade team-mates put in a superb effort to be beaten just once in 12 games after no play in 2020.

Being on the sidelines for a season was not new to Hicks who took a break in 2018 for the birth of now three-year-old Millie.

The Hicks clan includes husband Adrian and eldest daughter, Ayla, five.

“It was great to be back on court in 2019 and to play in a premiership win.”

In 2021, the Glenda Thomas-coached Mitiamo had Laura Hicks as goal attack or goalshooter.

Mitiamo began the season aiming for back-to-back A-grade premierships.

“We had most of the 2019 premiership team, but a couple of changes in defence.”

Injury to Lucy Morcom, a previous runner-up for the Helen Ward Medal meant Mitiamo used some different goaling combinations throughout the season.

At times it was Hicks teamed with Laura Brooks or Sarah Ludeman and then Morcom.

“Adapting to different combinations was a great challenge,” said Hicks.

“The team played really well all season. We had a four-goal loss to Calivil United, but learnt a lot from that game and were in a strong form going into finals.

“To not play finals has made me even more determined to keep playing on next season.”

This year’s league awards were not only decided by votes, but also on a games ratio.

Adjudged best on court in five matches, Hicks scored 20 votes, 1.82 ratio.

Runner-up was Maiden Gully YCW Eagles’ goaler Tia Webb on 16 votes, 1.60.

Third placegetter was Claudia Collins from Bridgewater on 13 votes, 1.18, from Pyramid Hill’s Abbey Dingwall, 10 votes, 1.0.

Best and fairest winners in the other grades of netball were spread across four clubs.

Newbridge led the way on three victories.

Games ratio was needed to determine the winner of the Joy Lawry Medal in B-grade after Newbridge’s Jasmine Daly and Bridgewater’s Kym Childs were locked on 13 votes.

The medal went to Daly, 1.18 ratio, from Childs, 1.08, a dual winner of the Joy Lawry Medal.

Next best in a thrilling contest were Marong team-mates Darcie Fry and Tania Kerrison, 13 votes, 1.0.

The C-grade award went to Rochelle Daley from Newbridge on 16 votes, 1.45 ratio.

Runner-up was Gabrielle Gadsden from Bears Lagoon Serpentine on 14 votes, 1.27, as Bridgewater’s Keira Lane was third on 15 votes, ratio of 1.25.

The C-reserve count ended with Maiden Gully YCW’s Grace Pigdon and Bridgewater’s Brooke Watson on 17 and 18 votes.

The Eagles played one less match so Pigdon took honours on match ratio, 1.55 to 1.50.

Honours in under-17 votes went to Calivil United’s Georgia Mangan who was named best on court in five matches on the way to a tally of 19 votes, 2.38 ratio.

Next best were Maiden Gully YCW’s Phoenix Pointon, 15 at 1.67, and Bridgewater’s Danielle Flood, 13 at 1.30.

The awards night began with a tie for the under-15s netball between Newbridge’s Abbi Wells and Bridgewater’s Daisy Stringer.

They capped a superb season in which they polled 24 votes across 10 matches.

Joint runners-up were Maiden Gully YCW Eagles’ team-mates Anika Bysouth and Charli Pigdon, 11 votes at 1.22.

 

Vote Count

Round 1

Marong 69 d Calivil United 50

3 Kimberley Dalton, Marong

2 Jarileey Scholtes, Calivil United

1 Kirsty Hamilton, Marong

Pyramid Hill 33 d Inglewood 23

3 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill

2 Zoe Kennedy, Pyramid Hill

1 Charlotte Edlin, Inglewood

Maiden Gully YCW 57 d Newbridge 40

3 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Leisa Barry, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Laura Butler, Maiden Gully YCW

Bridgewater bye

Mitiamo bye

Round 2

Calivil United 42 lt Maiden Gully YCW 45

3 Rachael Gray, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Christie Rogers, Calivil United

1 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

Mitiamo 61 d Inglewood 38

3 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

2 Charlotte Edlin, Inglewood

1 Lucy Morcom, Mitiamo

Newbridge 18 lt Pyramid Hill 47

3 Zoe Kennedy, Pyramid Hill

2 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill

1 Rebecca McKnight, Pyramid Hill

Bridgewater bye

Marong bye

Round 3

Bridgewater 76 d Inglewood 33

3 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater

2 Brianna Dalrymple-Monro, Bridgewater

1 Charlotte Edlin, Inglewood

Mitiamo 49 d Newbridge 34

3 Abbey Battersby, Mitiamo

2 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

1 Lara Malkah, Newbridge

Pyramid Hill 29 lt Calivil United 37

3 Michelle Balic, Calivil United

2 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill

1 Jarileey Scholtes, Calivil United

Maiden Gully YCW 61 d Marong 54

3 Meg Patterson, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Leisa Barry, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Kirsty Hamilton, Marong

Round 4

Calivil United 50 lt Mitiamo 66

3 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

2 Gabrielle Marlow, Mitiamo

1 Abbey Battersby, Mitiamo

Marong 37 lt Pyramid Hill 50

3 Zoe Kennedy, Pyramid Hill

2 Imogen Broad, Pyramid Hill

1 Kimberley Dalton, Marong

Newbridge 30 lt Bridgewater 51

3 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater

2 Olivia Collicoat, Bridgewater

1 Rachel Pettifer, Newbridge

Inglewood bye

Maiden Gully YCW bye

Round 5

Bridgewater 48 lt Calivil United 69

3 Tia Steen, Calivil United

2 Christie Rogers, Calivil United

1 Simone Foster, Calivil United

Mitiamo 57 d Marong 48

3 Kimberley Dalton, Marong

2 Gabrielle Marlow, Mitiamo

1 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

Pyramid Hill 32 lt Maiden Gully YCW 36

3 Christie Griffiths, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Laura Butler, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

Inglewood bye

Newbridge bye

Round 6

Marong 53 lt Bridgewater 57

3 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater

2 Bianca Garton, Marong

1 Olivia Collicoat, Bridgewater

Inglewood 26 lt Newbridge 52

3 Jorja Hufer, Newbridge

2 Rachel Pettifer, Newbridge

1 Sharlene Hannig, Newbridge

Maiden Gully YCW 54 lt Mitiamo 73

3 Amelia Ludeman, Mitiamo

2 Gabrielle Marlow, Mitiamo

1 Jessica Pay, Mitiamo

Calivil United bye

Pyramid Hill bye

Round 7

Bridgewater 48 lt Maiden Gully YCW 76

3 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Leisa Barry, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Christie Griffiths, Maiden Gully YCW

Mitiamo 56 d Pyramid Hill 44

3 Amelia Ludeman, Mitiamo

2 Rebecca McKnight, Pyramid Hill

1 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

Calivil United 69 d Inglewood 29

3 Tia Steen, Calivil United

2 Charlotte Edlin, Inglewood

1 Tegan Elliston, Calivil United

Marong bye

Newbridge bye

Round 8

Inglewood 38 lt Marong 44

3 Brittany Hercus, Marong

2 Kirsty Hamilton, Marong

1 Charlotte Edlin, Inglewood

Pyramid Hill 31 lt Bridgewater 45

3 Kathryn Meade, Bridgewater

2 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill

1 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater

Newbridge 29 lt Calivil United 54

3 Tegan Elliston, Calivil United

2 Simone Foster, Calivil United

1 Christie Rogers, Calivil United

Maiden Gully YCW bye

Mitiamo bye

Round 9

Bridgewater 53 lt Mitiamo 60

3 Ashlee Bowen, Bridgewater

2 Abbey Battersby, Mitiamo

1 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

Marong 53 d Newbridge 32

3 Tracey O’Donnell, Marong

2 Brittany Hercus, Marong

1 Sharlene Hannig, Newbridge

Maiden Gully YCW 52 d Inglewood 41

3 Rachael Gray, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Grace Christiansen, Inglewood

1 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

Calivil United bye

Pyramid Hill bye

Round 10

Abandoned

Round 11

Abandoned

Round 12

Calivil United 41 d Pyramid Hill 25

3 Amy Ryan, Calivil United

2 Simone Foster, Calivil United

1 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill

Marong 42 lt Maiden Gully YCW 56

3 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Tracey O’Donnell, Marong

1 Meg Patterson, Maiden Gully YCW

Inglewood 40 lt Bridgewater 56

3 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater

2 Kirsten Galea, Bridgewater

1 Stephanie Riley, Inglewood

Newbridge 19 lt Mitiamo 68

3 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

2 Britney Fitzpatrick, Mitiamo

1 Jessica Pay, Mitiamo

Round 13

Bridgewater 55 d Newbridge 30

3 Allana Swatton, Bridgewater

2 Hayley Hogan, Bridgewater

1 Gemma Steel, Newbridge

Mitiamo 56 lt Calivil United 60

3 Jarileey Scholtes, Calivil United

2 Simone Foster, Calivil United

1 Tia Steen, Calivil United

Pyramid Hill 28 lt Marong 30

3 Tracey O’Donnell, Marong

2 Imogen Broad, Pyramid Hill

1 Brittany Shannon, Marong

Inglewood bye

Maiden Gully YCW bye

Round 14

Abandoned

Round 15

Abandoned

Round 16

Inglewood 34 lt Calivil United 82

3 Christie Rogers, Calivil United

2 Tia Steen, Calivil United

1 Michelle Balic, Calivil United

Maiden Gully YCW 73 d Bridgewater 45

3 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Laura Butler, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Rachael Gray, Maiden Gully YCW

Pyramid Hill 36 lt Mitiamo 48

3 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

2 Gabrielle Marlow, Mitiamo

1 Zoe Kennedy, Pyramid Hill

Marong bye

Newbridge bye

Round 17

Abandoned

Round 18

Inglewood 27 lt Maiden Gully YCW 83

3 Meg Patterson, Maiden Gully YCW

2 Leisa Barry, Maiden Gully YCW

1 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW

Mitiamo 79 d Bridgewater 52

3 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo

2 Amelia Ludeman, Mitiamo

1 Lucy Morcom, Mitiamo

Newbridge 18 lt Marong 45

3 Kirsty Hamilton, Marong

2 Rachel Pettifer, Newbridge

1 Tracey O’Donnell, Marong

Calivil United bye

Pyramid Hill bye

 

Leader board

20 Laura Hicks, Mitiamo, 1.82 ratio

16 Tia Webb, Maiden Gully YCW, 1.60

13 Claudia Collins, Bridgewater, 1.18

10 Abbey Dingwall, Pyramid Hill, 1.00

9 Zoe Kennedy, Pyramid Hill, 0.90

9 Tracey O’Donnell, Marong, 0.90

9 Tia Steen, Calivil United, 0.90

8 Leisa Barry, Maiden Gully YCW, 0.80

8 Amelia Ludeman, Mitiamo, 0.80

8 Gabrielle Marlow, Mitiamo, 0.80

8 Christie Rogers, Calivil United, 0.80

 

Written by Nathan Dole. Photo courtesy of Bendigo Advertiser.

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