Shepparton United’s Jessie Barnes wins Wellman Family Medal

By Alex Mitchell

It's Jessie Barnes' world and we're all just living in it.

That much was confirmed last night as the Shepparton United goaler stormed to the Wellman Family Medal, blitzing the field to win by eight votes.

She is the first United player to win the medal in 10 years, with Keisha Guilmartin winning the 2009 Wellman with a similarly brilliant season.

Barnes finished with a quality 30 votes, polling in 12 of a possible 18 games to beat Seymour defender Meg Grbac by eight votes.

Barnes, who is a former Murray Netball League best-and-fairest, thanked her teammates for their hand in what she saw as a team award.

“It’s pretty surreal actually and pretty exciting, but I don’t see this as being my personal achievement, I’ve got an amazing team around me and they make me a better player,” Barnes said.

“I think this goes to all of them actually.”

Barnes, whose United side will play in Sunday’s Goulburn Valley League netball grand final against Seymour, said team success would complete a banner year.

“It’s an amazing feeling, but I’ve just got to look forward to Sunday and to be honest, I’d give it back in a heartbeat if it meant we could take out the grand final,” she said.

“But this is amazing and I’m a little bit lost for words.”

Mooroopna youngster Dayna Williams rounded out the podium on the back of her side's ripping form, votes in 10 games helping her to 21 votes for the campaign, just one back from Grbac.

Star Echuca goaler Claudia Mawson also produced an eye-catching season, polling 19 votes to take fourth, with Sarah Szczykulski (Seymour) and Gemma O'Sullivan (Shepparton Swans) sharing fifth with 18 votes each.

Euroa's Kelly Hill took home B-grade's Sandra Cox Medal for her fantastic season, polling 27 votes to win by three from Shepparton's Lilly Caia.

The Magpies' great year which will culminate in a trip to the grand final was highlighted with Megan O'Bree finishing third on 23 votes, with Marnie Burton (fifth, 21 votes) making it three Magpies in the top five.

Seymour's Courtney Aldous (22 votes) took fourth.

Votes in 14 of 18 games had Shepparton's Tanya Holland gallop away to win the Gaye Eaton Medal for B-reserve best-and-fairest.

Holland finished with 30 votes, with Tatura's Maddison Biggs and Shepparton United's Tara Palmer sharing second on 23 votes.

Rochester's Kristy Roulston and Shepparton's Emma Ley rounded out the top five.

A quite exceptional season from Tatura's Elsie Boyer earned her the Carol Ryan Medal for 17-and-under best-and-fairest.

The prodigal talent polled in 16 of 18 matches, finishing with 39 votes to beat out Shepparton United's Molly Kennedy, who found 33 votes.

Echuca's Lara Judd was third with 25 votes, while Alice Clurey (United) and Ruby Martin (Seymour) completed the top five.

Rochester's Teal Hocking also put together a ripping season, winning the 15-and-under Jacqui Hudgson Medal with a grand total of 43 votes.

Only once this season did the ultra-talented Hocking not poll a vote, winning by nine votes from Shepparton United's Hannah Onley, whose tally of 34 votes is nothing to sneeze at.

Shepparton's Taylin Wells was third with 27 votes.


Jessie Barnes (United) 30

Meg Grbac (Seymour) 22

Dayna Williams (Mooroopna) 21

Claudia Mawson (Echuca) 19

Sarah Szczykulski (Seymour) 18

Gemma O'Sullivan (Swans) 18

Laura Cole (United) 17

Bridget Hill (Benalla) 17

Ella Ogier (Mooroopna) 16