In a team loaded with representative stars and electric attacking weapons, Kaitlyn Mason doesn’t always claim a lot of plaudits at Dubbo CYMS.
But the halfback guided her side around all season and played a major role in the Fishies reaching the grand final with just one loss to their name.
Those performances were recognised at the Group 11 presentation night on Friday when Mason was named the inaugural Margaret Kelly Trophy winner for the outstanding player in the league tag competition.
A premiership win on Sunday at Caltex Park made it a special few days for the CYMS number seven.
”It was a shock,” Mason said of her trophy win.
“I didn’t expect it and couldn’t work out why the girls wanted me to go (to the presentation night) so badly.
“I didn’t play Group this year or anything like that so it was great, unexpected and now it’s great to come away with this win.”
While Majayda Darcy was the star of the grand final, scoring two tries and showing incredible speed and skill all match, and Rikka Lamb-Lane has made headlines for her representative commitments in 2017, Mason was invariably involved in most of her side’s best moments.
Lamb-Lane and Demi Wilson were the two CYMS players who made the Group 11 side this season but it was Mason who was getting the job done at a club level week in, week out.
And she and her teammates were near-flawless in Sunday’s decider.
As it had all year, the defence was outstanding and it never really allowed the Parkes Spacecats into the grand final.
The Fishies went on to win 20-10, Mason kicked two conversions, evaporating the pain of losing last season’s decider to Parkes in extra-time.
“It’s absolutely amazing. To go so close last year, the girls were just shattered,” Mason said, before hinting Gerry ‘Chicka’ Merritt was set to finish his stint as coach.
“But we worked since November last year to get back there and got to send our coach off with a win.
“Our coach always said defence wins game and we needed to work on that. We know our attack is there and we trained hard to get fit and compete for the full 50 minutes.”
Mason also hailed the performance of Darcy in the grand final while also hailing the spirit within her side.
Lamb-Lane stated in the build-up the players considered themselves sisters and that was mentioned again as the celebrations began.
“It was good to get her (Darcy) out in open space with that speed and it’s great to get a win with these girls,” Mason said.