Fine musings from @chris88
While the big league celebrated Sir Douglas Nicholls Round to recognise and celebrate the great Indigenous players that have blessed our great game with their presence (and brilliance), ORFFA Round 10 was a celebration of fantasy football messiahs - and, to butcher a rather famous quote, saw many teams also field their share of very naughty boys.
Now that I've tested the goodwill of all FA coaches with exceedingly drawn out introduction, on with the review.
Whitsunday Warriors 1306 d Nowhere Else Wanderers 1289
Arguably the match of the round saw the Warriors sneak home to record win number 7 for the season and further solidify their top 8 spot with a narrow win over the Wanderers.
A back-and-forth game came down to the final few players, with standout performances from Rory Lobb (127) and Harris Andrews' fist (118 points and about that many spoils) enough to hold out the Wanderers final players - Messers Walters (110) and Lyons (109).
Gunston, Edwards and Byrne-Jones led the scoring for the Wanderers, who have been unlucky of late but are clearly enjoying having a full team and playing ruck on the park. The Warriors got a ton out of JJ up back and a series of consistent performances elsewhere - Brown, Holman, Polec and Harmes amongst them.
Fantasy messiah - Brown or Holman for the Warriors, Byrne-Jones or Gunston for the Wanderers. Naughty boys - Gray and Motlop for the Warriors, Hoskin-Elliot for the Wanderers.
Marble Bar 1462 d Nareewillock 1124
The Misfits top the ladder as we close in on the mid-season break, recording a comfortable win over the Nuffers.
Seven centuries headlined by midfielders Kelly (148), Sloane (140) and Taranto (132) laid a formidable foundation for a big Misfits' score. Lloyd and Whitfield continue to do a power of work in defence as well.
The Nuffers got a belter of a game out of Brad Hill, who put on his fantasy messiah cape to score 127. Hore and Broadbent were the best of the rest up back, while CCJ's debut in the ruck bodes very well for Nareewillock's future big man stocks.
Messiahs - Duursma for Marble Bar, Hill for the Nuffers. Naughty boys - Jamie Macmillan and perhaps Sam Powell Pepper.
Wagga Wagga 1114 d by Birdsville 1190
The Battlers battled to an important win to help them stay in touch with the top 8, sneaking home over the Wombats by 76 points.
Birdsville enjoyed Luke Ryan's hairdo going for a lovely 131 points, backed by centuries to Witts, Sheed and Acres. Adam Treloar's ball butchery was offset by the sheer volume of possessions he picked up, allowing him to score 93 as part of a consistent midfield effort.
Curnow, Miles and Swallow tonned up for Wagga, who were hurt by an untimely injury to gun midfielder Dylan Shiel (68). Brett Bewley's ball use a highlight in his encouraging debut (49) for Wagga.
Messiahs - Acres for the Battlers, Miles or Curnow for the Wombats. Naughty boys - Witherden or Thurlow for Birdsville, Roughead or Smith for Wagga.
Iron Knob 1272 d Waikikamoocow 1139
The Codpieces emerge victorious in a real 8-point game, overcoming an undermanned Waikiks team by 133 points.
The Codpieces' midfield enjoyed a day out, Shuey (136), Greenwood (112) and Macrae (105) starring, while Ablett (93) again got punchy. Darling's 104 in attack, Henderson's ton on the bench and Kelly's 107 in defence rounded things off nicely.
The Waikiks' Josh Dunkley (130) continued his fine form, while Fyfe and Prestia through the midfield again shone. A shout-out to Brandan Parfitt as well, who tallied 97 from the bench.
Messiahs - Darling for the Codpieces, probably Prestia for Waikiks. Naughty boys - Harbrow or Stanley for Iron Knob, Robbo or Papley for the Incorrigibles.
Lovely Banks 1217 d Mt Beauty 1055
The Purples regain their spot in the eight with a solid win over the Uglies.
Four tons for the Lilacs, led by the unlikely figure of Darcy Parish (137). Mitch Duncan just keeps on keeping on, while Sam Lloyd (108) and Dane Rampe (104) did their bit. Tom Jonas' return in defence was welcomed given the absences of Langdon, Moore and Jones.
Max Gawn continues to be a tower of strength for Mt Beauty, leading all comers with 149 and taking the lead in the Les W Award voting with 33 points. Fellow big man Nathan Vardy played a pearler (92), while youngsters Walsh and Balta joined Dustin Martin as the best of the rest.
Messiahs - Parish, clearly, and probably Vardy for the Uglies. Naughty boys - Trengove for the Lilacs, Sidebottom for Mt Beauty.
Cradle Mountain 1364 d Charlies Opening 1021
The Devils join a trio of teams on 9-1 at the pointy end of the ORFFA ladder after a more-than solid win over Charlies Opening.
It was pretty much a case of all hands on deck for Cradle Mountain, with 13 scores over 70. Pendles (146), Zorko, Gresham and the ever-reliable Vlastuin led the scoring. Tim English's return to the ruck was handy, while Heppell and Zaharakis has the luxury of coming off the bench.
The Spelunkers got plenty out of the Bont (118) and Zerrett (104), while Higgins returned to form with an even 100. Again though the youngsters can be very up and down from week to week - though there is plenty to like from war cry specialist Sydney Stack, young Ollie Florent and Tarryn Thomas.
Messiahs - Gresham for the Devils, Higgins for Charlies Opening. Naughty boys - Hurley for Cradle Mountain, the missing defender for the Spelunkers.
Foul Bay 1438 d Wineglass Bay 1181
The Battle of the Bays (TM pending) saw the more tempestuous of the two inlets emerging triumphant.
Goldstein (140) wound back the clock and joined Foul Bay's Corio Bay-focussed forwardline (Kelly, Hawkins, Dahlhaus) in notching up big scores. Libba and CEY (110 and 134) joined in the fun from the bench in what was a impressive showcase of Foul Bay's depth (player depth, though the water might be deep too).
Foul Bay sit comfortably in fourth, eyeing off the three ladder leaders.
Nathan Wilson (121) and Luke Dunstan (122) swam against the tide for Wineglass Bay, while Sam Reid walked on all sorts of water for 151 high class points.
Messiahs - CEY and Reid, most definitely. Naughty boys - Ziebell for Foul Bay, Hewitt for Wineglass Bay.
Gundagai 1213 def by Venus Bay 1267
The ORFFA's third Bay emerged victorious in a tight contest against the Hoppers, despite a colossal performance from Gundagai's Brodie Grundy.
Venus Bay's consistency across the field helped overcome a couple of down days from key forwards Franklin and Hogan. Yeo, Gaff and Parker tonned up, while a number of others scored 85 or more.
Gundagai's Grundy (165) almost carried his team to victory singlehandedly. Cripps and Callum Mills scored centuries, but an injury to Jake Stringer hurt, while the usual contribution from Les W Award fancy Lachie Neale wasn't there this week.
Messiahs - Grundy, clearly, and Parker. Naughty boys - The Vultures' Hogan and Franklin, while (perhaps a touch unfairly), Lachie Neale for the Hoppers.
Gariwerd 1110 d Larrikin Lagoon 972
The Cockies' up and down season enjoyed an upswing this week, overcoming a lack of playing stocks to record a low-scoring win over the Lefties.
Down to only two forwards, Gariwerd clearly decided defence was the path to victory - and Hurn and Houli obliged, notching 112 and 142 respectively. Bachar even scored a lovely boomerang trophy for his best-afield efforts. Big Tom Bellchambers chimed in with 124 in the ruck.
The Lagooners were down one player as well, with youngstersLangford, Worpel, McKenzie and Allen leading the scoring.
Messiahs - Houli for Gariwerd, McKenzie and Langford for the Lefties. Naughty boys - probably the three missing players the teams experienced between them!