Chloe and Bridget Hill’s competitiveness edged close to the boundaries of their sisterly bond on Saturday night, with younger sister Chloe nixing Bridget in the Benalla Saints A-grade best and fairest count to win the Robyn Smith medal and perpetual trophy by a single vote.
Starting the season together as a defensive pairing, Bridget, in her first season back at the Saints after a hiatus later found her groove in goal attack - with her physicality an asset - while Chloe consistently held down the major defensive posting of goal keeper.
“Everyone in the team played really well, the votes were really close. There wasn’t much in it,” Chloe said.
But on some level, it was the Hills' combination of competitiveness and fondness for one another that proved to be a hidden asset for both players, as they took their individual games to the next level this season.
“We’re competitive with each other, but we’ve always been good mates,” Chloe said.
“Our relationship is good, we’re not afraid to tell it like it is.
“There is no scare factor, I can say anything to her, and she can say anything to me.”
“And I think being at different ends has pushed us,” Bridget added.
“Now that we’re not goal defender and goal keeper, both in the circle, it’s less hectic.”
The club win also meant Chloe levelled the score against her older sister, when last month, Bridget beat Chloe to finish higher in the Goulburn Valley League best and fairest count.
Finishing equal seventh, Bridget admitted she was shocked to finish that high.
“We were watching it live online, and I said Chloe will blitz this,” Bridget said, though Chloe is quick to jump in and sing her big sister’s praises.
“She had a good season, she changed the game when she went into goals,” Chloe said.
“She got us over the line in some games.”
With several locals coming back together to play for the Saints this season, the team finished the year in 10th with five wins and 13 losses.
It was a rocky start for a team that could not often practice together because of living situations, but the squad soon pulled together and challenged several of the top teams in the back half of the season.
Despite missing out on finals, Bridget and Chloe agreed it had still been an enjoyable season, with the sisters able to play alongside each other for the first time in their lives.
“It was our first year playing together, so it’s been a really good year,” Chloe said.
“I’ve always been in the younger grades, Bridge is a bit older.
“It’s been really fun.”