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BNL: Medal aspirants too talented to separate

Top duo: Darley’s Talei Bari. Picture: Ballarat Courier File Picture – Ballarat FL. Talei Bari from Darley joint League Best and Fairest winner with Meltons Brooke Thompson. Picture Ballarat Courier.
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Brooke Thompson (left). Picture: Shawn Smits

MELTON’S Brooke Thompson and Darley’s Talei Bari shared the Ballarat Netball League’s A grade medal as the competition’s best and fairest players at the Henderson Medal count last night.

North Ballarat footballer Jason McNamara took home the Henderson Medal in a runaway seven-vote win.

Thompson and Bari tied on 23 votes. Bari drew level to force the tie in the final round of the season with one vote in the last game, while Thompson failed to poll.

Bari’s win keeps the medal in Darley hands after teammate Olivia Aughton won outright last year.

After returning to her home club this season, Thompson was a catalyst in Melton’s rise from non-finalist to grand finalist.

East Point’s Lauren Atkinson finished third with 22 votes, while Aughton finished tied for seventh with 15 votes.

Bacchus Marsh had an even spread of votes with Susan Dalmau and Olivia Phyland leading the Cobras with 11 each and Katie Williams polling 10.

Melton South’s Scarlett Trewavis was the Panthers’ top poller with seven.

On the court, Bacchus Marsh advanced to the C grade grand final this weekend with a 35-16 win against East Point in the preliminary final.

Bacchus Marsh plays Redan at 11am at Eastern Oval on Saturday.

Melton A grade discovered its opponent for the grand final with Lake Wendouree beating East Point 49-48 in the preliminary final.

The Bloods will take on Lake Wendouree from 1.15pm this Saturday at the Eastern Oval.

In the Henderson Medal, Redan’s Jarrod Edwards was the early bolter, out to a five-vote lead after six rounds.

McNamara made his move in rounds 11 and 12, drawing level on 17 votes each with Edwards at the top of the count.

With the three votes against North Ballarat in round 14, McNamara was six clear, 23-17.

No challengers emerged in the final rounds, with McNamara’s 26 votes well clear of Edwards on 19, second, and East Point’s Matthew Bilton on 18, third. Darley’s Luke Guerra finished fourth with 17 votes and Bacchus Marsh’s Tyson Shea tied for fifth with 16.

Doug Thomas led Melton South’s votes with 12, while Alan Hill led Melton with seven.

The George King Medal for reserves football went to Sunbury’s Andrew Gill on 19 votes from North Ballarat’s Scott Howard, 15, while Melton South’s Ryan Sutherland finished third on 14.

The under-18.5 football count went to Redan’s Ben Schlitz, 32 votes, from Bacchus Marsh’s Bradley McKay (23).

B grade netball was won by East Point’s Anna Bucknall on 25 votes from Redan’s Emma Blomeley on 21.

C grade netball went to Redan’s Bianca Woods on 28 votes with Darley’s Tenielle Brown runner-up on 24 and Melton South’s Shereen Wolfe third on 21.

Under-18.5 netball went to Maddi Quayle (Ballarat) with 35 votes; Darley’s Demi Geary was runner-up on 25.