By Sam Watson
KORUMBURRA-BENA sharpshooter Kim Hillberg has taken out her first West Gippsland A Grade netball league best and fairest, holding off Tooradin Dalmore’s Alex Maher by three votes.
It’s been a successful week for the Hillberg family, with Kim’s older sister Christie winning the Gippsland League best and fairest and league MVP playing for Warragul.
Kim finished third behind Christie in the 2017 West Gippsland count when Christie was still at Korumburra Bena, and Kim also finished third behind Dalyston young gun Alana McRae in 2018.
Hillberg coached the Giants in 2021, leading them to a second-place finish, with nine wins and two losses. She was also the focal point of their attack.
Her stellar season in goals was rewarded with another team of the year selection and she is now the only player in the West Gippsland FNC, netball or football, to be selected in every team of the year since the league started in 2017.
Finishing behind her and Maher was the 2019 winner from Inverloch-Kongwak Renee Pilkington, and joining Pilkington in equal third on 12 votes was Giants pair Kelsey Buxton and Gemma Dixon.
Dalyston, which finished the year undefeated in A Grade, had a more even spread of votes with Alana McRae, Gemma Thomas, Britt Thomas and coach Jarney Thomas all amongst the significant vote-getters.
Inverloch Kongwak’s Amy Hodge took home the B Grade best and fairest, beating Korumburra Bena’s Zali Hill by one vote.
Sea Eagle Abby Morgan had a super year in C Grade, finishing on 22 votes to hold off Dalyston’s Zoe Verboon on 16.
Nar Nar Goon’s Esther Allan won the D Grade count and Warragul Industrials’ Sienna Green held off Phillip Island’s Ella Duggan by two votes to win the under 17s medal.
In the under 15s, Phillip Island’s Lily Coco Mewett topped the count on 22 votes.
In the under 13s, Warragul Industrials’ Kira Wilson finished on the most individual votes in the entire league, 24, to take home the under 13s’ best and fairest.
And in the under 11s, Inverloch Kongwak’s Torah Boyd Metselaar won on 16 votes.