Gum wins Mail Medal as Bruce and Sargent tie for netball's best

Wirrulla’s Mitchell Gum celebrated as he won the 2018 Mail Medal, while there was a tie for netball’s best and fairest between Abbey Bruce and Karli Sargent as the Mid West Football League and Mid West Netball Association named their best players for the season.

Both A grade medal counts proved to be thrillers as Minnipa hosted the football awards following the first semi finals on Saturday and Warramboo hosted the senior netball count on Sunday, with the day’s theme of a ‘Warramboo winter wonderland’.

Gum secured the Mail Medal as he polled 43 votes to finish only two ahead of Central Eyre’s Jesse Stringer on 41.

Finishing in third position was Mark Dolling from West Coast with 37 votes.

As expected, the top two sides accrued the most team votes overall, as the Hawks claimed 142 and Elliston finished with 132.

Gum returned home to Wirrulla this year after completing studies at Rostrevor College and was a key reason for the Bombers rise up the ladder in 2018.

Playing in the ruck or in key forward and back roles, Gum was not only pivotal for Wirrulla but also enjoyed a great Mortlock Shield campaign for Mid West and in the State Country Championship with the Western Zone side.

Gum also took out the JV Day Medal as the league’s best under 21 player.

Stringer secured the President’s Medal as runner-up to cap a fine year at club and representative level.

Stringer brought his Central Eyre form to the Mortlock Shield stage with Mid West and then with Western Zone at the State Country Championships, in addition to representing SA Country against WA Country in July.

Wirrulla player Simon Webb was the JH McKenna Trophy winner as leading goalkicker with 48 goals in 14 matches.

The Reserves Montgomerie Medal was taken out by Western Districts player Matthew Carey in another close finish as he polled 25 votes to win by three ahead of Craig Johnson from Wirrulla, who claims the Bob Whetstone Medal.

Both players have been representative level A grade players in past years and stayed in the game to help their respective clubs develop younger talent.

Carey was a dangerous midfielder with an eye for goal throughout the season, while Johnson has bagged more than 50 goals this season.

The Colts’ Lockwood Medal was jointly won by Jonti Brice of West Coast and Wirrulla’s Darci Best on 42 votes, giving Jacob Baldock from West Coast the Doug Fox Medal with 31 votes.

It was a tie in the netball as Central Eyre player Bruce and West Coast’s Sargent were awarded the A grade best and fairest award, with Wirrulla’s Sarah Evans the runner-up.

For Bruce it showed she is a player of great potential as she was also crowned the best under 21 player.

Meika Tomney of Wudinna took out the B grade award, ahead of Elliston’s Tannille Fleming.

The C grade best and fairest award went to Nelly Grocke of Central Eyre with Mardi Schumann from West Coast the runner-up.

Wudinna player Cherie Kammermann took out the honours in the D grade vote and Janeen Jericho from Western Districts was named runner-up.

It was all Central Eyre in the Junior A award as Jessica Sampson got home ahead of teammate Natasha Waters. 

Ella Loades-Stokes from Wudinna was the Junior B winner ahead of dual runners-up Jasmine Gunn from Western Districts and Regan O’Brien of Central Eyre.

West Coast were named the Bank SA shield winner.

Annie Williams and Karen Paul were recognised for their contributions to the Mid West Netball Association by being named life members.