IT CAME as no real surprise to anyone watching the HDFNL A-grade grand final at Huntly on Saturday to find the medal for best on court hanging around the neck of Rhian Moresi.
The White Hills goal attack was a pretty clear-cut choice and was deservedly recognised for her immense contribution to the Demons’ first A-grade premiership since 2010.
Moresi has often been a thorn in the side of Colbinabbin in matches played over the last two seasons, according to Grasshoppers coach Liz Cobbledick.
And so it was again on grand final day, with the 24-year-old’s 19 goals and adventurous play proving pivotal in a two goal win.
“She has probably been best-on-court a few times we have played against White Hills,” said Cobbledick, who earlier in the season coached Moresi in a winning Heathcote District inter-league effort against Geelong District.
“She plays like an extra midcourter for them, which is really handy to help feed into the goaler.
“But she’s also really accurate and a really valuable player for them.”
As most players on either side on Saturday would readily admit, they thrive on the rivalry that has built between Colbinabbin and White Hills.
Moresi is no exception.
“I think I play out of the ring a lot more against Colbo and that’s allowed (goal shooter) Ash (Gilmore) to play more one-on-one,” she said.
“Obviously when they double team her that’s when I start trying to cut and get into the ring a little faster.
“I do modify my game against Colbo – I have to. Brydie (Lawford) is such an amazing player; she’s so agile and so tall and fit.”
Having just finished her second season with White Hills, Moresi said she could not be happier for the club to finally get one back on Colbinabbin following a pair of grand final defeats in 2016 and ’17.
“This would have been their fourth one in a row, but we’ve been training for this all season,” she said.
“We knew Colbo would be the benchmark.
“It’s just amazing to win it with such a great group of girls, who are all so close and such good friends.
“To get a win by two goals – how much better does it get?
“It was real nerve-wracking - it took us a good two quarters to settle down, but the third quarter was our winning quarter.”
The grand final triumph completes a stellar sporting year for the Bendigo South East College teacher.
Her premiership and best on court medals will soon sit proudly next to her medal as the inaugural winner of the Central Victorian Football League Women’s best and fairest with Strathfieldsaye Storm, which played off in the grand final against a victorious Bendigo Thunder.
“I started football just as a little bit of fitness to help with my netball and then injured my finger during the season,” she said.
“I had a couple of games off football and a game of netball, but I play for social reasons.
“It’s fun and so great to play with a great bunch of girls with Storm and Hillies.”