Rockbank’s rise up the netball ladder was recognised at the Riddell District Football Netball League’s night of nights.
The Rams, the fairytale story of the netball competition and possibly the league, had a couple more firsts to add to their tale.
Co-captain Rianne Vining finished second in the top netball honour, the Ryan Medal.
Vining was second in the counting for most of the night behind eventual winner, Macedon’s Chloe Wilson.
Wilson finished on 29 votes, with Vining eight votes behind.
Vining was shocked with the result.
“I did not expect it at all,” she said. “I’m pretty stoked and speechless. I was like ‘what the?’
“I got invited and I just assumed that it was the top-10 that came. I was thinking I had made the top 10 and that was fantastic and I was ecstatic.”
Vining admitted she did not think she’d had her best season, describing it as average.
“I have no idea. I’m very blessed to be chosen as the second best player in the league and there’s so many amazing netballers I’ve been playing against.”
Vining’s second place followed that of Rebecca Hicks who was named the Western Water player of the year.
That award is voted on by the coaches.
Hicks, who is in her first season with the Rams, was also named goal shooter in the team of the year.
It is the first time a Rams’ player has won the award and the first time a player has been named in team of the year.
Isabella Macguire finished fourth in the B-grade best and fairest award and Star Fetu Rizzo finished equal third in the under-19 best and fairest.
Those achievements backed up the team’s success on the court, with three sides making finals.
The A-grade side made finals for the first time and made it through to the preliminary final. Vining said it was an exciting time for the club.
“It’s amazing that we’ve done so well, with the awards and on court as well,” she said.
“I’m extremely blessed to be a part of the club and I’m so excited for the club.”
Wallan’s Jesse Davies won the Bowen Medal for the league’s best footballer, finishing on 27 votes, three votes clear of Rupertswood’s Brent Swallow.
Davies also won the Ontime Delivery Solutions Player of the Year. Riddell’s Jamie Elliott was named coach of the year.
Diggers Rest trio Taylor Hine, Cam McCabe and Mathew Medcraft were named in the team of the year, along with Melton Centrals’ Dylan Weir.
For more on the RDFNL’s awards night: