An intriguing round of ORFFA action has seen the race for the final eight tighten considerably. Meanwhile, two games with direct relevance to domestic bliss – or otherwise - were decided.
Mt Beauty 1402 d Gundagai 1227
A stunning game from Dustin Martin helped guide Mt Beauty to win number 10 for season 2015, and saw the Uglies consolidate their position in the top 4.
Martin’s 155 led four other centurions for coach Bama, with Gawn, Cotchin, Rioli and Viney all tonning up. Ultimately, Mt Beauty’s across the field consistency proved the difference, with all bar two players scoring 70 or more.
Gundagai have clearly improved, with Rocky, Cripps, Grundy and Adams all topping 100. However the Hoppers’ backline still remains a work in progress, despite some savvy recent drafting in the area.
Foul Bay 1240 d Nunawading 1053
Foul Bay’s Dangerwood show rolls on, with the Geelong pair combining for nearly 270 points in a comfortable win over the Nuffers.
The Chickens remain atop the ladder, though their depth is being severely tested – something which will continue to occur with another injury (Gwilt) over the weekend. Bernie Vince’s 118 was welcome, as was a timely 83 in defence from Shane Biggs.
For Nunawading, some great defensive scoring from Simpson, Wood, Hunt, and Broadbent was not matched across the field.
JPK’s 140 was the only other century apart from Kade Simpson (115). The lack of a ruckman and a disappointing forwardline put paid to any chances of an upset.
Waikikamoocow 1270 d Wagga Wagga 1174
In a match-up with major finals ramifications, the ‘Cows stormed into sixth position with a narrow win over Wagga Wagga.
A standout game from the helmeted high-flyer Ben Griffiths helped Waikikamoocow over the line. His 132 up forward was accompanied by good performances from Mitchell (116), Crouch (112), Jacobs (110) and McGovern (105).
Wagga will be ruing a misfiring defence, with four sub-70 point scores proving decisive.
Cripps’ 119 on the bench, along with 107s from Gibbs and Picken, led the Wombats’ scoring. Shiel, Lycett and Thomas also contributed well.
The ‘Cows move to sixth, while Wagga drop out of the eight and face a vital match-up against the Spelunkers next week.
Charlies Opening 1291 d Venus Bay 1248
Speaking of the Spelunkers, Charlie’s Opening notched up a massive win to keep its finals hopes alive, overcoming Venus Bay in a close game by 43 points.
Gunston (111), LeCras (123) and Zac Merrett (138) benefitted from the midfield efforts of Hill (141), and the Bont (121), propelling the Opening to win number six for season 2016.
Venus Bay can perhaps consider themselves unlucky, the loss of Deledio to injury compounding a down day for its forwards. With Lids out for a number of weeks, the Vultures will have to find a replacement.
It of course wasn’t all bad news for Venus Bay – Docherty, Gaff, Greene, Parker and Crisp all tonning up. And one would think Hogan and Malceski won’t score this poorly too often.
Venus Bay now sits fifth, but is far from safe in the eight. Charlie’s Opening sit 11th, but only two points and a slab of points for out of eighth spot.
Iron Knob 1175 d Cradle Mountain 1117
Iron Knob keep losing players, but are still just doing enough to win, squeaking home over the Devils by 56 points.
Shaun Burgoyne provided the decisive performance in this game, his masterful 159 providing enough of an early buffer for the Codpieces to withstand a withering late Devils’ charge.
Robbie Gray (111), Hanley (97) and Shuey (94) were next best for Iron Knob.
Cradle Mountain’s late charge was led by recruit Tim Membrey (116) and Zorko the Magician (116), as well as youngsters Jade Gresham and Jack Steele, and veteran Steve Johnson. Stalwart Scott Pendlebury’s 108 led the Devils’ midfield.
Gariwerd 1247 d Whitsunday 1178
Ant’s Cockatoos climb into the eight - and look like staying there given their kind run home – with a hard-fought win over the Warriors.
Gariwerd enjoyed a relatively even effort across the field, though Jezza Cameron’s 128 stood out.
Wingard, Wallis and the much improved Hickey all topped 100, while four 80+ scores in defence indicates some pleasing consistency there. The depth is there for Ant, and finals beckon.
For the Warriors, Boak and Wines (128 and 115 respectively) led the way in the middle, but a forward line already short of players saw Kennedy (39) well held and Barlow (64) injured.
Lobb’s work in the ruck was noteworthy, while Birchall, Suckling and Tarrant all played well up back.
Darraweit Guim 1236 d Lovely Banks 1118
A Stephen Coniglio special has helped the Dirigibles take out the 2016 Household Cup, notching a 118 point win over the Lilacs.
Coniglio’s late game 139 proved the difference in the game allowing Darraweit to sneak home with the points and overcome a shocking defensive effort (four sub-70 scores) and selection issues caused by an inattentive coach.
Old Man Harvey (123), Sideshow Brown (120) and Lyons (101) played well, while Hill’s 92 was unwittingly left on the bench.
Blimp-turned-Lilac Justin Westhoff flew high for 136 points, and even without Josh Caddy the Lovely Banks midfield of Duncan, Armitage, Thompson and Bird rattled on 350+ points.
But while the drafting of Trengove (92) up back could prove to be very savvy indeed, the Lilacs young forwards in Moore, Langford and Wright were unable to replicate their previous good form.
Marble Bar 1253 d Wineglass Bay 1118
A tide of orange brilliance – and an intriguing double act in the ruck – saw the Misfits win the NSW Household Cup over Wineglass Bay.
Late game brilliance from Callan Ward (143), as well as 90+ scores from Williams, Kelly and Smith, was just what the Misfits ordered.
Phillips and Hampson (both 99) teamed brilliantly in the ruck, while Fantasia continued his great form.
Wineglass Bay were led by young Tom Lynch (118) and Mundy (117), with Sloane, Kerridge and Miles all tonning up.
But issues in defence (less than 200 from four players) for coach Tracey proved an obstacle too difficult to overcome.
Larrikin Lagoon 1269 d Birdsville 1131
The Lefties consolidated second spot on the ladder with a comfortable win over Birdsville.
The Lagoon’s senior cohort of Priddis, Mitchell, Lewis and Montagna all scored 100+ to help get their team home. The other Tom Lynch (95) and Goldstein (93) were solid, while Schulz’s return up forward has been welcomed.
Birdsville defenders Enright (128) and Mcdonald (111) excelled, with Treloar (108) solid in the midfield. Sam Lloyd’s good form continued as well (96 up forward)
Unfortunately McEvoy was humbled in the ruck, while Mayne, Lonergan, Green and Dea were unable to muster enough points in response to the Lefties’ challenge.
The loss leaves Birdsville clinging to seventh, just ahead of a group of challenges looking to steal a finals berth.
The race for places fifth through eighth has tightened, with any of around seven or so teams in with a chance.
Next week –
Round 15 (AFL 18) … Muso Round
Each team can nominate the Australian (or Kiwi) muso or group they groove to and that inspires them; and hopefully have them perform for pre-match or half time entertainment.
Gundagai Grasshoppers v Waikikamoocow Incorrigibles
Whitsunday Warriors v Nunawading Nuffas
Darraweit Guim Dirigibles v Mt Beauty Uglies
Wineglass Bay Packers v Foul Bay Chickens
Charlies Opening Spelunkers v Wagga Wagga Wombats
Birdsville Battlers v Gariwerd Cockatoos
Cradle Mountain Devils v Lovely Banks Lilacs
Iron Knob Codpieces v Marble Bar Misfits
Larrikin Lagoon Lefties v Venus Bay Vultures