With a combination of school holidays, a frantic workplace and the early start to ORFFA round 13, your erstwhile reviewer has found himself well behind the eight-ball in preparing this rundown of ORFFA Round 12.
So, before we move onto this week’s action, let us return to a quieter time, a more gentle time, a time before the Lefties had notched a win … let’s revisit the highs and lows of ORFFA Round 12 as we again hit our straps post bye and post mid-season draft.
Birdsville 1092 d Wagga 1087
BEST: Birdsville – that defensive line – Doedee (109), Cutler (102) and Witherden (86) all did their jobs, while Lewy Taylor (98) led the forwards. Wagga – Swallow (114) and Gibbs (112) were great in the middle, while Macmillan (107) continued his good form up back.
THE SKINNY: Narrow win to Birdsville keeps them in the race for a top four berth, despite the loss of Adam Treloar to injury mid last week. Wagga unlucky, playing one man short and almost stealing the win thanks to late inclusion Paul Ahern.
Nareewillock 1230 lost to Cradle Mountain 1369
BEST: Cradle Mountain – Six centuries led by Vlastuin and Nank the Tank. The Devils forwardline has also found some bite with StKilda’s improvement – Membrey and Gresham playing well. Nareewillock – JPK (140) and the wonderful Kade Simpson (139) led a vastly improved effort.
THE SKINNY: The Nuffers enjoyed a much improved effort post-bye, with trades, drafting and selection bonuses doing the job. Conca’s absence will see another defender required to fill the breach. The Devils’ Operation Zorklebury (or Pendle-o, or something) continues to provide hope. Brennan Cox proving to be a sneaky-good mid season pick-up as Cradle Mountain press for a finals spot.
Darraweit Guim 1194 d Lovely Banks 984
BEST: Darraweit – Lyons, Coniglio and Savage scored tons. BJ played ruck, Walters and Edwards did Walters and Edwards things. Lovely Banks – Westhoff, Duncan, Stewart and MSD pick-up Thomas hit three figures, Sinclair kept on keeping on.
THE SKINNY: The Blimps remain third with a hard-fought win over a 14-man Lilacs squad. Returning players and depth may yet help Darraweit, while Lovely Banks are looking to regain 6-8 first 15 players in coming weeks … in such circumstances a score nearing 1000 is fair going. The Household Cup stays in the, um, household, and that’s good for football.
Foul Bay 1273 lost to Iron Knob 1320
BEST: Iron Knob – Riewoldt (135) put on a forwardline clinic, with Breust, Shuey and Ablett also prominent. Rhys Stanley also tonned up, much to this reviewer’s chagrin ( ) . Foul Bay – Dangerwood did their bit, while Brad Sheppard continued what has become close to a career year up back. Goldstein scored 111 off the bench.
THE SKINNY: The Codpieces win a classic eight-point game and move a game clear inside the eight. However both teams look dangerous as we enter the final few rounds with depth and savvy MSD work helping their causes.
Gundagai 1396 d Marble Bar 1363
BEST: Gundagai – Seven centuries, capped by Man Bun Grundy (136) and a quartet of 100s in the midfield. Blake Hardwick’s 108 in defence somewhat unexpected. Marble Bar – Six tons, with Lloyd (136), Ward (134) Murphy (124) playing well. Orazio continued his run into good form too.
THE SKINNY: Another eight-point game and an important win to the Hoppers in a high-scoring match-up. Gundagai starting to really serve notice that they are likely to be on hand when the whips are cracking, or cracking whips when the hands are on … something, or whatever. Marble Bar can feel hard done by given their great score didn’t get them a win – but will look to bounce back against the high-flying Cockies (see what I did there) this week.
Larrikin Lagoon 1051 d Mt Beauty 1005
BEST: Lefties – Gus Brayshaw (104) and Jarrod Berry (114) led the way. Mt Beauty – Cotch (109), Gawn (145) and Viney (101) tonned up.
The SKINNY: The Lefties won. Yep, the Lefties won, much to the surprise and shock of coach Jelly Guy, who was readying himself to line-up another Ross Lyon-style Owen joke. But the kids are starting to look all right (especially Billy Gowers). For the Uglies, the personnel struggles continued – particularly in defence – while Dusty had a down day (or night). Schache is starting to show a bit however, and Spargo looks set to return this week.
Gariwerd 1409 d Whitsunday 1073
BEST: Gariwerd – everyone really. Lambert (126) the pick of the bunch alongside M Crouch (126) and the Chad (122). Whitsunday – Harmes (122) top scored, with Smith, JJ and Douglas next best all scoring 90+.
THE SKINNY: Gariwerd put the frights into a number of finals contenders with a massive 1400+ score from only 14 players. Lambert ran amok in his first game for the Cockies, ironically against his former team. The other half of the trade – Jared Polec (60) didn’t quite reach similar heights for the Warriors, but will clearly improve for the run. Unfortunately with word that Suckling and Patton face stints on the sideline through injury, Whitsunday’s depth may well be tested.
Waikikamoocow Mitchell 1320 d Charlie’s Opening 1080
BEST: Waikiks – Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell and Mitchell (181). Some guy named Jacobs was good too (145) while the return of Prestia has somewhat offset the loss of Nat Fyfe through injury. Charlie’s Opening – Tiger youngsters Short and Higgins did the job, while Zerrett did Zerrett things in the middle.
THE SKINNY: Hard to beat the Mitchells with Mitchell getting 50 touches. Plenty of depth at Cow-kicker land too, given the bench players in reserve … and those reserves may come in handy with Fyfe out and McVeigh going down in Round 13 (I can see through time and space and into the future). The Spelunkers have employed Jack Higgins for a half-time stand-up routine for this week’s match against the Packers … but probably enjoyed his 109 a bit more. Coming along nicely is the lad.
Venus Bay 1458 d Wineglass Bay 939
BEST: Venus Bay – Everyone? Anyone? All of the above? Eight 100+ scores led by Stef Martin (142) and all manner of tons in the midfield. Three 90s in defence helped too. Wineglass Bay – McGrath (91) was a rock in defence, while Sloane’s return (89) was welcomed. Nathan Wilson and George Hewitt did their bit too.
THE SKINNY: In the Battle of the Bays it was the Venus variety that kept on rolling, remaining two games clear atop the ORFFA ladder and casually knocking together 1450+. Yep, that’s going to be tough to beat on a consistent basis. Wineglass Bay’s youth provide hope, but at the moment they look a little outmatched … hopefully coach Tracey can keep the Packers plugging away for the remainder of season 2018.