1. DROUGHT BROKEN
BROCK-Burrum completed one of the fairytale stories of the year when the success-starved country club broke through for its first Hume league premiership.
While the two clubs have only been merged since 2006, neither Brocklesby or Burrumbuttock had tasted the ultimate success since 1958 and 1969 respectively.
An emotional Darryn McKimmie, the Saints’ coach, was almost lost for words as he soaked up the 30-point win over Holbrook.
“I don’t think words can describe it — it’s just truly unbelievable,” McKimmie said.
“It’s been a long time coming and the result of a lot of hard work.
“We were down near the bottom for a lot of years. The celebrations of these two small communities are going to be huge.”
And they certainly were.
2. CRAIG MANNAGH
THE Border sporting community held its breath in April when Walla coach Craig Mannagh was placed in an induced coma following an ugly clash of heads while contesting a mark.
For 12 days Mannagh lay in a hospital bed in Melbourne after he was left with a traumatic brain injury doctors likened to that of a car crash victim.
There were auctions, raffles and bucket collections that raised thousands for Mannagh and his family, with the father-of-five overwhelmed by the support.
“It’s an amazing community, the Albury community,” he said.
“You don’t realise how many people are behind you. The support I have received has been overwhelming.”
3. KING KYLIN
“NOT in my wildest dreams did I think I would kick eight goals in a grand final.”
That’s what Kylin Morey had to say after putting in one of the most dominant finals performances in Hume league history this year.
The Brock-Burrum sharpshooter stole the show at Walbundrie and was unsurprisingly awarded the Des Kennedy Medal as the best player on the ground as the Saints charged to their first flag.
Morey finished the season with 81 goals and did enough to attract the attention of Ovens and Murray club North Albury recently.
He will play with the Hoppers next season.
4. TDFL TROUNCING
THE Hume league suffered one of its dirtiest days in representative football when it was trounced by the rival Tallangatta and District league to the tune of 97 points in May.
A second rate Hume league outfit was embarrassed from the outset and left trailing by 74 points mid-way through the second term before eventually losing 23.14 (152) to 8.7 (55).
A host of big-name former Ovens and Murray players withdrew from the clash, leaving coach Daniel McAlister scratching his head.
“There is a lot to discuss at board level,” he said after the loss.
“From what I can understand Merv Wegener (Hume league president) is going to take a pretty strong stance on the commitment levels. He has copped a fair bit of backlash from the result.”
5. HANCOCK ROCKS
BIG man Peter Hancock emerged as the recruit of the year for Howlong after claiming the Azzi Medal in his first season with the Spiders.
The ruckman took out the league’s highest individual honour after crossing from Ovens and Murray heavyweight Lavington.
Despite also running out with Howlong’s best and fairest award, Hancock said he was shocked to win.
“I never knew what to expect being my first season in the Hume league,” he said.
“I just went about my business each week and tried to get a kick and really enjoyed the season.”
6. POWER TO WIN
CDHBU made history this year when the club played in its first final since joining the Hume league.
The Power, who joined the league in 2008, took on perennial powerhouse Osborne in an elimination final at Walbundrie.
It was a big occasion for the Power, with the club not only playing their first final since joining the league, but also celebrating favourite son Doug Lavis’ 300-match milestone.
However, Osborne crushed any hopes of a finals fairytale when it won the match by 15 points.
7. GRILLS RUNS HOT
TALENTED Holbrook sportsman Jim Grills attracted plenty of attention this year and his blistering finals series for the Brookers only brightened that spotlight.
Grills, who was picked up by Ovens and Murray powerhouse Albury recently, simply ran riot throughout the finals.
The youngster kicked 16 goals in four finals appearances, including four in the grand final to be one of the Brookers best in their loss to Brock-Burrum.
8. COACH COREY BACK
THE Murray Magpies made a massive statement of intent when it stunningly unveiled Ovens and Murray champion Corey Lambert as coach for next season.
Lambert, who made a surprise return to coaching mid-year as a senior assistant under Jason Akermanis at North Albury, went one step further at the end of the year and returned to full-time coaching just a year after stepping down as coach of Wodonga Raiders.
Lambert, who did it all during his time in the Ovens and Murray, said he couldn’t help but make a return.
“I still feel like I’ve got plenty to offer,” he said.
9. 300 UP FOR DOUG
DOUG Lavis achieved one of football’s most revered milestones when the burly CDHBU forward notched up 300 games.
Lavis became the first player to achieve the milestone since Coreen Daysdale United merged with Hopefield Buraja in 2006.
But after missing a match early in the season, Lavis thought he might not get there.
Luckily, the Power played a final.
“Shane Norman (club statistician) told me early in the season I needed to play every game to reach 300 this year,” Lavis said.
“But I missed our round 7 clash against Howlong with a 40th birthday in Port Douglas.
"When that happened I had to rely on making the finals to get there.
"I’m fairly proud because not many people reach it these days.”
10. PERFECT JINDERA
JINDERA clinched its fourth A-grade premiership in the space of six seasons when it ran out four-goal winners over fierce rival Murray Magpies in the netball grand final in September.
After trailing by one goal at quarter-time, the Bulldogs hit back strongly to go through the season undefeated.
Coach Bree Kirk who was voted best on court playing at wing attack, said this year’s efforts may have to be considered the Bulldogs’ best yet.
“It’s the first time we have gone through undefeated so it was a great effort,” she said.