Triple dead heat in Ryan Medal

Ellen Close (Riddell) and Gemma Grimmond (Wallan). At right: Tayissa Coppinger (Woodend-Hesket).

The count to decide the Riddell League’s Ryan Medal winner for the top A-grade netballer resulted in a nerve-tingling triple dead heat.
The medallists are 2022 winner Tayissa Coppinger (Woodend-Hesket), Ellen Close (Riddell) and Gemma Grimmond, from Wallan. Each received 20 votes.
Hot on their heels was Western Rams goal shooter Malia Suemanutafa and Woodend-Hesket coach Meg Grbac, the 2021 winner.
Two medals in a row for Coppinger was another triumph for the Hawks, as she captained their first ever A-grade premiership side with a 46-37 victory in extra time against Riddell.
Coppinger missed four home and away matches, and some felt this may cost the talented defender a chance this season.
Close has been a loyal Riddell netballer for years and was finally rewarded with the top individual award.
Woodend-Hesket took out the Player of the Year awards in football and netball via Daniel Toman and Meg Grbac. The latter was also the best A-grade defender.
Co-president of Woodend-Hesket, Paul Podbury, received the 2023 Unsung Hero award for his outstanding services as an administrator and a player.
The 19&Under netball best and fairest was shared by Maddy Brown (Riddell) and Jess Martin (Woodend-Hesket).
Romsey’s Darcy Lockens was the Steve Turner Rising Gun award winner from a strong field of young contenders.
The Charles Watson Medal for best in the U19.5s went to Marcus Tucker (Romsey). Runners-up were Tom Doyle (Gisborne Giants) and Hud Elmaway (Macedon).

There was plenty of applause when Woodend-Hesket’s Miriam Habib finished strong to win the inaugural best player award for the women’s football.
Habib received 19 votes, three clear of versatile Kyneton star Taylah Moore.
Coach of the Year was Kyneton’s Phil Hawkes. The Tigers went through the season unbeaten.
Senior football best defender was Woodend-Hesket’s Marcus Stapleton.
Matt Traynor (Wallan) easily won his second successive Scarborough Medal in the Reserves.