The crushing blow of a knee injury on AFLW debut that sidelined Daria Bannister for close to a year has been long forgotten a winter later in a remarkable turnaround.
Bannister's monster win in the TSLW best-and-fairest award on Saturday night was a first step for the courageous Launceston utility to tackle a new AFLW season better.
The 20-year-old, who was drafted at pick 19 in the 2017 AFLW draft, appeared in the next year's season opener for the Western Bulldogs only to rupture an anterior crucerior ligament in the final minutes.
Bannister switched to the North Melbourne-Tasmania Kangaroos the next year, but tentatively had to wait until late in the 2019 campaign to play a second AFLW game.
"Going through my injury, I lost all that confidence," she admitted at the awards night.
"So now being able to pull a full season of TSLW under my belt going into the next AFLW season is really good for my confidence and I'm now looking forward to it."
A fresh TSLW season had proved an ideal platform for the netball convert to find ways to reinvent a bullocking game sides struggled to stop.
She tore through and past opponents to poll 27 votes to claim the medal by a record 12 after also kicking 33 goals.
But Bannister was taken aback by the size of the win.
"Considering the amount of talent that there is in the competition and the competition is growing, I was very surprised, but I'm absolutely honoured to be receiving the award," she said.
The night went some way towards wiping away tears on grand final day after amassing 16 straight wins came to little in the three-point loss.
But Bannister was keen to pay credit to coach Angela Dickson, who also rounded off the top five in the count.
"I'm very stoked to have Ange on board and I'm very proud of all the hard work she's put in with all the girls," Bannister said.
"We have a lot of talent, but a lot of those girls probably don't know what to do with that talent, and she has been able to help with that."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
The gun North Launceston midfielder had to constantly fight off contenders amid an always stacked leaderboard.
But the 25-year-old just edged two votes ahead of Launceston onball rival Jobi Harper and top Tiger Kieran Lovell to claim back-to-back Alastair Lynch medals.
"Look, I would be lying if I wasn't saying I was nervous obviously seeing my name up there," Ponting said.
The anxious words was a far cry to the intention of the night for the Bombers stars.
Just awarded the Darrel Baldock Medal after another North Launceston premiership win, Ponting expected Bombers teammate Brad Cox-Goodyer to walk away with the honours again.
The 2017 winner already accepted the media plaudits for the TSL Player of the Year soon after the regular season.
"I rolled into the night saying Brad would win it to be honest," he said. "He had a fantastic year - he was my tip. Honestly it was a massive achievement for me to win it.
"But as I say, it's not something that I go into the night thinking about. I came here to have a few beers with my mates to have a bit of a joke."
After coming out of the shadows in recent years from Cox-Goodyer - who finished 10 votes behind in eighth spot - and Taylor Whitford, Ponting deflected much of the credit that typifies the selfless attitude behind the Bombers' recent five flags.
"There is a lot of people behind the scenes that don't get what they deserve," he said.
"Your blokes like Alex Lee, Jack Avent, Connor Young, Arion Richter-Salter, Jack Rush and Dakota Bannister.
"You have blokes in that team that don't get the accolades they deserve. They play good footy, week in, week out."
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