FEW players in BFNL netball in recent history have risen to the big-occasion as consistently as star Sandhurst wing attack Meg Williams.
The 19-year-old has two grand final best on court medals and two premiership medals to prove it.
Williams was a popular best on court winner in the Dragons’ 2017 premiership triumph over Golden Square and followed up with a jaw-dropping encore in Saturday’s extra-time win against a gallant Gisborne.
The humble Dragons midcourter and A-grade captain appeared genuinely shocked to earn the nod this time round and felt for sure the honour would go to her defensive team-mate Imogen Sexton.
“She played amazing … she honestly saved us in that defensive end,” Williams said.
“I can’t begin to count the amount of turnovers she created.
“She has had a ripper season and I’m so proud of her and happy for her to come back from all her injuries and produce a game like that.”
Williams’ own thoughts proved just how difficult a choice it was for those casting the votes, Nicole Donnellan and Carol Bingham.
Donnellon revealed the pair were split at one-apiece on Williams and Sexton, with the task of separating the two then falling to the umpiring panel.
“Meg’s work rate throughout that entire game, but especially in overtime, was just phenomenal,” she said.
“She was obviously a bit of a target for Gisborne, but she just stood up and kept going.
“Her vision into the ring, she never looks flustered or worried, she’s so composed.
“She obviously plays very high level netball in VNL, but she was a step above, especially in extra time.”
Not surprised at all by Williams’ best on court achievement was one of those closest to her, the dynamic midcourter’s coach Tamara Gilchrist, who has watched and marvelled at the attention she receives each week from her rivals.
“Meg was super … you can never ever fault her. She gets a hard task every week,” the dual premiership coach said.
“She has a real target on her back every week, because if you can shut down Meg, she’s such a key playmaker down our attacking end and other teams focus on that.
“To her credit, she stands up week-in, week-out and that’s obviously what the judges’ saw.”
There’s little Williams did not tick-off in netball this season.
Her premiership and best-on-court medal wins were complemented by Williams captaining her VNL team DC North East Blaze into an under-19 grand final and selection in the state league’s team of the year.
She also represented the BFNL at the Netball Victoria Association Championships with distinction in June.
In spite of all the success, she has remained grounded.
It was refreshing to hear Williams speak of her genuine affection for her club and the BFNL, which she hailed as ‘probably the best in country Victoria’ for netball.
She has stamped herself as a fine ambassador for both organisations.
In the minutes after the game, Williams said she was still in ‘disbelief’ at how Saturday’s game unfolded, after the Dragons gave up a nine goal lead at three quarter time ad were forced into extra time, only to steady and eke out a six goal win.
“Coming off a semi-final which we lost by 12 goals to Gisborne and to play the way we did and going into overtime, I am so proud of the girls,” she said.
“I love this team so much,” she said.
“It’s even better winning a premiership with your best friends.”