The best opening nine weeks in modern Farrer League history has laid the platform for an exciting run home into finals.
Eight of the nine teams go into the second half of the season with genuine finals chances on the back of an eventful first half of the season.
Upsets, thrillers - including three draws - and big improvers all made for a surprising and ever-changing Farrer League ladder.
While the top three teams eventually revealed themselves, eight clubs remain in the hunt for finals and from this season has suggested so far, anyone would be a chance from there.
Only six points separates third to eighth, setting up a highly-anticipated second half of the year.
Here is a look at how each team has fared so far, and how we see the run home eventuating.
Position: First (26 points, 163.09 per cent)
Pre-season prediction: Fourth
The season so far: After a somewhat shaky start, the Bombers were able to find their rhythm, posting five straight wins to find top spot at the half-way mark. They certainly haven't been as dominant as last season and the reason for that is relatively simple, James Lawton. The star forward hasn't played to date and appears set to miss the entire season. It has forced the Bombers to find alternate avenues to goal and their ability to kick a winning score is probably the biggest query heading into the business end of the season.
Player they can't afford to lose: Zach Walgers - Electric both through the midfield and up forward. Has stood tall in a forward line that lacks a strong presence.
Verdict: There's little doubt Marrar will be thereabouts at the pointy end of the season. Their consistency across the season makes them virtually a top three certainty. Whether their best will be as good as a couple of their key rivals remains to be seen with some of their early-season lapses somewhat concerning.
Mid-season prediction: Third
Position: Second (26, 148.81)
Pre-season prediction: Premiers
The season so far: Only percentage separates the Hawks from top spot and that's been a big effort given the players East Wagga have had missing over the first half of the season. The Hawks have won their last five in a row and have done it the hard way on a few occasions, mastering the art of winning ugly, or overcoming adversity to get the job done.
Player they can't afford to lose: Jarrad Boumann - They've done it without him on a couple of occasions but the key forward is enjoying a fine season and makes them a far more dangerous side.
Verdict: If the Hawks can win a couple of important games over the next month and continue to get players back over the back half of the season they will be very well-placed for a tilt at the premiership. If Nico Sedgwick gets back and Boumann is up and about late in the year, they certainly possess a side capable of going all the way.
Mid-season prediction: Second
Position: Third (18, 121.78)
Pre-season prediction: Second
The season so far: The Magpies have picked up where they left off last season, climbing to third at the halfway mark and stamping themselves as one of the best teams in the competitions. TRYC's best is as good as any in the competition, it's just a couple of surprise losses early put them a bit further back than they would have liked. The win over Marrar was a statement, and they showed more than enough in the loss to EWK and draw against North Wagga.
Player they can't afford to lose: Riley Budd - Has stamped himself as one of the competition's elite and done so in a number of roles and positions for the Magpies.
Verdict: If the Magpies can eradicate the shock losses, and costly lapses, they will finish top three and poised to strike come finals. When they play at their best, their football is hard to stop and they have the necessary weapons in attack to kick winning scores. Keeping their key players on the park is crucial, but if they do, they can go all the way.
Mid-season prediction: Premiers
Position: Fourth (18, 91.45)
Pre-season prediction: Ninth
The season so far: Barellan were the fairytale story of the Farrer League early, sitting undefeated on top of the ladder after five rounds. Losses to Marrar, EWK and North Wagga over the last month brought them back to earth but it's still been a super start from the Two Blues. The injection of some youth and speed, to accompany Barellan's typical toughness over the ball, has them a dangerous propect to opposition teams.
Player they can't afford to lose: Sean Ellis - He's still got it. He's produced some match-winning displays through the midfield and going forward.
Verdict: Barellan are starting down the club's first finals appearance since their return to the Farrer League. The bye came at a good time, allowing the Two Blues to regroup for an important month ahead. Three wins out of their next four games and finals would virtually be a lock. Rediscovering that early season form is key though.
Mid-season prediction: Sixth
Position: Fifth (16, 92.95)
Pre-season prediction: Eighth
The season so far: It's been an up and down start to the year from the Jets, as could be expected with such a young group. Wins over North Wagga, Coleambally, CSU and Temora were impressive, while they gave both Marrar and EWK a scare away from home. The signs are really positive for the Jets, who are developing a number of talented young players for the future, while still having made their way to fifth spot.
Player they can't afford to lose: Jack Fisher - Some may be more important to structure but he has been brilliant as the general of the Jets' engine room.
Verdict: The Jets have given themselves every chance to play finals with a strong start to the year. They were set for their first finals appearance in five years last season until COVID intervened. All the talk of the off-season, externally at least, was the loss of the match-winning Mitch Haddrill but no one told the Jets players, who have gone to work to ensure they remain a finals contender. They only have to keep up their current efforts and they should be there.
Mid-season prediction: Fifth
Position: Sixth (14, 112.92)
Pre-season prediction: Third
The season so far: Technically still the Farrer League reigning premiers, North Wagga endured a shaky start to the season when only one win from their opening five games had them well back. The positive for the Saints during that period was that they were still showing strong signs, but only in patches. Converting their opportunities was also an issue. They appeared to turn the corner in the last round with a 43-point win over Barellan and are now set for a big second half of the year.
Player they can't afford to lose: Nathan Dennis - The star of a small and unheralded forward line. Dennis leads the league goalkicking with 32 goals from eight games.
Verdict: The Saints have set themselves a task but are certainly good enough to be playing finals. The unpredictable nature of this year's Farrer League competition has helped them, in a sense, as they find themselves only two points outside the top five, a game off third, despite the inconsistent start. They'll certainly have to improve to challenge for the flag, but their best is right up there with the top teams.
Mid-season prediction: Fourth
Position: Seventh (12, 92.23)
Pre-season prediction: Sixth
The season so far: It has been a slightly disappointing start to the year from the Bushpigs. They've certainly been competitive throughout but have only been able to secure the three wins, over Coleambally, Temora and North Wagga.
Player they can't afford to lose: Andrew Dickins - A giant presence in the middle of the ground for CSU with his contested-marking ability and ruckwork among the best in the league.
Verdict: The positive for the Bushpigs is they're only a game off fifth and they will have identified a couple of results they will be looking to reverse on the stretch home. If they can beat the sides below them again, and down two, maybe three, teams above them then that would secure them a return to finals. It's a big 'if' but certainly not out of the question.
Mid-season prediction: Seventh
Position: Eighth (12, 77.03)
Pre-season prediction: Fifth
The season so far: It was a bright start for Temora, who found themselves in the top three early on the back of wins over North Wagga, TRYC and Coleambally. It all came crashing down soon enough with four straight losses leading into the halfway mark. Injuries and player unavailability certainly didn't help them in recent weeks and they have certainly improved from last year.
Player they can't afford to lose: Dan Leary - Has been a model of consistency, performing a number of different roles in his first year back at the club.
Verdict: Temora have another week's bye up their sleeve but they need to get players back. They desperately need the likes of Sam Jensen and Rob Grant back on the paddock to lead the second half of the year revival. They're mathematically still a chance of finals, but more importantly need to get back to being competitive and winning games to stop the downward spiral.
Mid-season prediction: Eighth
Position: Ninth (2, 50.42)
Pre-season prediction: Seventh
The season so far: It's been a disappointing one for Coleambally after welcoming some key recruits over the off-season. The Blues showed early promise with a draw against Barellan but that was as good as it got for the first eight rounds. They showed their best is certainly competitive with honorable losses against Marrar and TRYC, and they're certainly better than your average 'bottom' team.
Player they can't afford to lose: Luke Hillier - The Coleambally coach continues to shine in the role and has been the Blues best player throughout the first half of the year.
Verdict: It's hard to see Coleambally climbing off the bottom, giving away two and a half games to the nearest team but they certainly are good enough to win a game and would be a good chance of an upset at home over the second half of the year.
Mid-season prediction: Ninth
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