Zoe Kennedy caps big-time performance in grand final win

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NOT even an extra medal around her neck as best on court in Saturday’s LVFNL A-grade grand final could sway Zoe Kennedy away from her ‘team-first’ convictions.

The young goal attack was one of the undoubted stars of the Bulldogs’ intrepid grand final success, in what must have been a tough choice for umpires in deciding the top individual honour on grand final day.

There was no shortage of candidates to choose from on either side, with the efforts of wing attack Gabby Kennedy and goal defence Kate Burton – among others – substantial in a brilliant whole team performance.

But no one could question the influence of the Bulldogs’ goaler, who scored 19 of her team’s goals in a 45-38 win, working brilliantly in tandem with goal shooter Jess Holdstock.

Her effort capped an amazing season, which included 14 league best and fairest votes, a premiership and best on court medal.

Kennedy said her medal win had been unexpected.

“It’s a bit of a surprise really, to be honest we all just wanted this medal,” she said clutching her premiership medallion.

“We couldn’t ask for anything more.

“I think it was very even, everyone contributed well – it was just a great team effort.”

Others were less shocked by Kennedy’s best on court nomination, including opposition coach Jenny Clohesy.

“They had many good players across the court and they played like a real team, which is what wins games,” she said.

“But Zoe was tremendous for them, there’s no doubt.”

Her own coach Deb Forster was equally effusive in her praise.

“Zoe is just so quick, she opens the game up coming into the ring, she’s just an awesome player,” she said.

Kennedy has certainly earned her reputation as a big occasion player.

She was one of the Bulldogs’ very best in their 2015 premiership win against Calivil United, playing as a midcourter.

Despite protecting a lead at the end of every quarter, including by 10 goals at half time, Kennedy said the premiership win had been hard-fought.

“They just kept coming at us, every ball was so contested,” she said.

“(Mitiamo) were great today (Saturday), you couldn’t have asked for anything better from them.”