Hockey: Chaffey recognised as best and fairest

Best and fairest: Emily Chaffey's strong season for Olympians saw her named the first grade best and fairest for the year.

Best and fairest: Emily Chaffey's strong season for Olympians saw her named the first grade best and fairest for the year.

Olympians’ Emily Chaffey was rewarded for her consistent season on Sunday when named the first grade best and fairest.

The state rep polled 27 points and was also named the Rep Player of the Year.

This year was a bit of a rebuilding season for Olympians and saw Chaffey take on more of a leadership role, not only as captain but as one of the senior and most experienced players.

“It was a bit of a surprise but was good,” Chaffey said about the best and fairest award.

She was one of only a few remaining from the side that went down in last year’s grand final to Waratahs, having won the title the previous year.

“It’s good to have a couple of new girls in the team,” she said.

“They stepped up a lot.” 

The improvement they made over the year was huge and should auger well for next year.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” she said.

“Hopefully some of the young girls will have got a lot more confidence.” 

For her the focus now shifts to the indoor season, which is about to kick-off.

Olympians goalkeeper Heidi Schimman also figured in the individual awards picking up the goalie encouragement award while Alex Taggart won the umpire encouragement award.

Flames Kate Ferguson was second behind Chaffey with 25 points with Tudors keeper Em Jarrett third on 21.

Ferguson was one of Flames best in their 3-nil grand final loss to Waratahs.

She worked hard in the midfield, coach Barrie Pritchard said. Kim Resch also had a lot of strong runs, but they weren’t finishing those off with good passes.

Their passing game was one of the things that let them down the most, and is usually one of the strong part of their game.

“We started well but we had nothing to show for it,” Pritchard said.

And then on 10 minutes they found themselves trailing 1-nil. It could have been more but for some good defence with Waratahs having three short corners in 10 minutes.

“After that first 15 minutes they were getting to the ball before we were and creating chances,” he said.

They had a chance to level in the last couple of minutes before half-time after Resch made an intercept and beat the defenders and the goalkeeper, but somehow she pushed it wide, he said.

“If we’d have gone to half-time 1-all we would have had some momentum,” Pritchard said.

But they didn’t, and then fell behind 2-nil early in the second half.

The win gave Waratahs back to back titles, after breaking through for their maiden premiership last year. They also won the club championship.

Kellie Mills was the second grade best and fairest with 28 points ahead of Katrina Wakely (23), and Jacki Richards, Tanisha Donnelly, Lori Edgar and Allison Billinghurst who all finished on 20.

Georgia Achurch (23) won the third grade best and fairest from Sarah Vella (20) and Samantha Burton (18) while Kate Dubois (22) edged out Mel Thompson (21) and Gemini Woods (18) in fourth grade.

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