The regular season is at the halfway mark, although the ladder is slightly distorted, given some teams have played each other twice already in the Ovens and Murray Football League.
And the great news for fans is that every round has at least one game, and often more, where the result could decide a top three or five finish.
Today's round is the standout of the first nine with the top six teams meeting and that could be replicated on the final Saturday.
The prospect of Yarrawonga travelling away to Wangaratta or Albury hosting Wangaratta Rovers for the double chance is something the league could only have dreamed of.
Top five players: Joe Richards, Jackson Clarke, Daniel Sharrock, Callum Moore, Chris Knowles
Surprise packet: Fraser Ellis
Best recruit: Jackson Clarke
Summary: Great side with a great coach. The Pies use a typical AFL mentality, always moving forward from defence, so there's always pressure, whether it be real or perceived.
Top five: Leigh Masters, Nick Fothergill, Harry Wheeler, Lach Howe, Leigh Williams
SP: Caleb Mitchell
BR: Nick Fothergill
Summary: When you combine the best defender of his generation in Leigh Masters with a forward who can, at the very least, match part of the Pies' firepower, with a top midfield, you should be focused on a grand final.
Top five: Fletcher Carroll, Jacob Conlan, Lucas Conlan, Riley Bice, Anthony Miles
SP: Isaac McGrath
BR: Brydan Hodgson
Summary: They're a long way, name wise, from the team which won seven of 10 grand finals, but just like those star-studded sides, ie Chris Hyde, Dean Polo, Joel Mackie et cetera, showed against Yarrawonga that they can still find a way to win, even when the favourites stormed home.
Top five: Sam Martyn, Matt Munro, Matt Dussin, Murray Waite, Simon Curtis
SP: Austin Wickes
BR: Sam Martyn
Summary: Hard to get a read. Had six missing against Yarrawonga and lost by six goals, then beat Albury the next week with a few back in. The gap between their best and worst is too large.
Top five: Cam Wilson, Damien Wilson, Cody Howard, Kaelan Bradtke, Jy Lane
SP: Cody Howard
BR: Jy Lane
Summary: Outstanding. Don't have the big names, but they're even across the ground and coach Peter German has them playing superbly.
Top five: Sam Murray, Raven Jolliffe, Jace McQuade, Jake McQueen, Dylan Stone
SP: Jace McQuade
BR: Jake McQueen
Summary: A little like Myrtleford. At full strength can finish top three, but lost to Wodonga.
Top five: Billy Glanvill, Tim Hanna, Tom Hargreave, Jake O'Brien, Ben Ashley-Cooper
SP: Billy Glanvill
BR: Billy Glanvill
Summary: In one game this year had only four players left from 2019 grand final side, so given the exodus it's a great effort to be in finals running with coach Adam Schneider excelling.
Top five: Angus Baker, Josh Mathey, Josh Clayton, Charlie Morrison, Jacob Barber
SP: Gus Jones
BR: Angus Baker
Summary: Just like Rovers from 2019. Was coming from the wooden spoon and improved, but can't win the tight games.
Top five: Sam Azzi, Julian Hayes, George Godde, Clay Moscher-Thomas, Archie Gardiner
SP: Archie Gardiner
BR: Tim Broomhead
Summary: 10-12 goals better than two months ago.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Top five: Max Beattie, Isaac Muller, Jarrod Hodgkin, Brad St John, Cooper Daly
SP: Ned Twycross
BR: Alex Daly
Summary: The positives have been the development of youth and Isaac Muller.
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