Bendigo Thunder skipper Emma Grant scores runaway win in VWFL best and fairest award

Emma Grant has scored a runaway win in the VWFL Premier Division Helen Lambert Medal.

Emma Grant has scored a runaway win in the VWFL Premier Division Helen Lambert Medal.

A DOMINANT season has ended with Bendigo Thunder midfielder Emma Grant being a runaway winner of the VWFL Premier Division league best and fairest.

The Thunder captain capped a stellar season by polling 27 votes, finishing 10 clear of teammate Jess Kennedy and Deer Park's Shannon McFerran in equal second place.

Grant's first Helen Lambert Medal win was celebrated at the VWFL's presentation night on Wednesday.

In a big night for the Thunder, young gun Isabella Ayre was joint winner of the Debbie Lee Medal as the VWFL’s best first year player.

Ayre, who also claimed the Rohenna Young Medal as the Premier Division's leading goal kicker, finished equal ninth in the count.

Grant's medal win enhances her chances of being selected in the up-coming women’s AFL draft.

The Bendigo school teacher has already played two AFL women's exhibition games for Melbourne, including one apiece against Brisbane and her AFL team of choice Western Bulldogs.

She said it was an amazing honour to be presented with the medal by Daisy Pearce, a six-time Helen Lambert Medal winner.

"That's something I won't forget for a while," Grant said.

"And to have three Thunder girls in the top nine was something special.

"Obviously I would give that (the win) back to have another crack at the grand final, but it's not to be.

"It was a really tough couple of days, we definitely felt like we played our worst game of footy for the year in the biggest game of the year.

"Even personally I didn't have my best game."

Grant previously finished runner-up in the VWFL north-west division one best and fairest award in 2013.

She said it was now a case of wait and see when it comes to learning whether she will be a part of the AFL Women’s competition with the draft set down for October 12.

"I've been in touch with a couple of clubs, so fingers crossed something eventuates," she said.

"That's the aim, we'll just have to wait and see.

"I'm off to Queensland for five days, but when I get back I'll get straight back into the gym and a bit of running program.

Isabella Ayre claimed two awards at the VWFL presentation night on Wednesday.

Isabella Ayre claimed two awards at the VWFL presentation night on Wednesday.

"I'll just keep working on the things I need."

In the moments after the Thunder's dramatic grand final loss against Deer Park last Sunday at Coburg City Oval, coach Cherie O'Neill praised Grant's contribution on the day.

"Emma played a fantastic captain's game as she always does," O'Neill said.

"She did an amazing job to hold things together and was really strong across the backline.

“She’s been supportive all year and I can’t speak more highly of her.”

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