MOMENTS after securing her LVFNL league netball best and fairest, Jessey Wilson’s focus was back on helping Bridgewater end its seven-year premiership drought.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Mean Machine this season from BFNL club Strathfieldsaye, capped a stellar first season in the Loddon Valley, by scoring a three vote win in Monday’s count.
Wilson polled 20 votes, to edge out Newbridge’s Sharlene Hannig (17), with Calivil United’s Christie Rogers third on 16.
A further vote behind were Marong’s Kim Dalton and the player Wilson herself thought might claim the award, Mitiamo goal shooter Lucy Morcom.
Despite her stellar season – and one she describes as one of her most enjoyable – Wilson considered her win a surprise.
“I’m very happy, but it was very out of the blue – I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said.
“I thought a lot of the girls from our team would have polled a lot of votes, especially the defenders. I was expecting Meg (Allen) and Ash (Donnan) to be right up there for sure.
“And I thought Lucy Morcom, from Mitiamo, was a big chance, her goaling has been superb this year.”
The centre, who represented the LVFNL in inter-league action this season against Golden Rivers, was quick to praise the role of her coach and former Storm team-mate Claudia Powell and her Mean Machine team-mates in her success.
Wilson’s move to Bridgewater has been a massive one, with the Mean Machine now within one win of a grand final appearance.
“I’ve loved my year at Bridgewater – after this year I think I will definitely be there for a long, long time to come,” she said.
“I love the country-club feel, it’s very social. All of us girls are there for fun – we want to win, but we get so much enjoyment out of our netball.”
The Mean Machine are searching for their first A-grade flag since 2011.
To get that chance they must get over the top of Mitiamo in Saturday’s preliminary final at Marong, with the winner to get a crack at Calivil United on September 15 at Bridgewater.
With the Superoos having played just the one game since early August, Wilson believed a fast start by her side would give the Mean Machine a solid foundation to build a win.
“They’ve missed a fair few games over the last few weeks, so I think if we come out firing the way we did on Sunday against Maiden Gully YCW and persevere, I’m sure we can get the win,” she said.
“It’s very tight among the top three teams – it’s been great netball and really good for finals to be so close and competitive.”
Wilson’s battle with the Superoos’ Amelia Ludeman shapes as one of the duels of the day on Saturday.
Helen Ward Medal leaderboard
20 – Jessey Wilson (Bridgewater), 17 – Sharlene Hannig (Newbridge), 16 – Christie Rogers (Calivil United), 15 – Kim Dalton (Marong), 15 – Lucy Morcom (Mitiamo), 13 – Julia Twigg (Mitiamo), 12 – Leisa Barry (MGYCW), 11 – Lauren Miller (Calivil United), 11 – Rachel Pettifer (Newbridge), 11 – Teigan Redwood (Calivil United), 10 – Meg Allen (Bridgewater), 10 – Georgia Anderson (Mitiamo).