BRIDGEWATER onballer Adam Parry polled three votes in the final round to win the Harding Medal by one vote yesterday.
Parry’s best-on-ground performance against Newbridge in round 18 propelled him to 22 votes, one ahead of Pyramid Hill’s Gavin James.
Parry accepted the prestigious award as the Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s senior best-and-fairest at the Bendigo District RSL.
“I was pretty lucky I think, I thought a couple of boys might have pinched it off me, but I got just enough to sneak over the line,” Parry said.
Parry led the count with 13 votes at the half-way stage before James made a late charge.
The Bulldogs midfielder took a two-vote lead after polling nine votes from rounds 15 to 17.
James couldn’t poll in round 18 as Pyramid Hill had the bye and it was Parry who claimed the Harding Medal.
“I was lucky enough to get going early in the season and I think that helped me win it in the end,” the former Inglewood and Elmore player said.
“This is my first (best-and-fairest), so I’m pretty rapt to be honest. Hopefully in years to come I can try and pinch another one.”
The dual-premiership player at Bridgewater polled maximum votes in five games this season.
He has the chance to add to his medal collection when Bridgewater takes on Bears Lagoon-Serpentine in Saturday’s grand final at Marong.
Bridgewater and Pyramid Hill players dominated yesterday’s count.
Bulldogs coach Paul Grayling finished third on 18 votes, while Bridgewater coach Zac East was equal fourth.
East polled 16 votes, along with last year’s Harding Medallist Corey Gregg from Marong and Bears-Lagoon Serpentine’s Nathan McNally.
Bridgewater’s Alexander Collins received the league’s goal-kicking award after booting 93 goals.
Meanwhile, YCW’s Nicholas Waterson took home the ElVee Senior Award and rising star award.
Waterson polled 20 votes to pip Calivil United’s Jake Lawry by one vote for the Elvee.
Inglewood’s Joel Stevenson was third with 18 votes.
In A-grade netball, YCW’s Leisa Barry capped her return to the sport by winning her second LVFNL best-and-fairest award.
Barry polled 20 votes to finish three votes ahead of last year’s winner Laura Spence, from Mitiamo.
“I’m a bit surprised actually; I wasn’t really expecting it at all. I’ve just come back from having a baby last year, it took me a while to get into it this year,” Barry said.
The mother of nine-year-old Paige and 10-month-old Brodie has been one of the LVFNL’s shining stars throughout her career.
She finished runner-up in the league award while playing from Marong in 2001 and again in 2008 at YCW.
The mid-courter broke through for her first win in 2010 and finished runner-up again the next season.
Barry and Spence, the winner in 2009 and ‘12, will do battle this weekend when YCW and reigning premiers Mitiamo meet in the grand final.