On a day where Essendon recorded its first Anzac Day win since 2017, one player entered rare air.
Midfielder Darcy Parish had a field day at the MCG, claiming his first Anzac Medal with a stunning performance in only 75 per cent game time, setting career-highs for disposals (42), effective disposals (30) and metres gained (619).
Not only did Parish stamp his authority over the Pies on the most revered day of the home and away calendar, he also registered statistics which no player has ever achieved in an AFL match.
The 23-year-old became the first player in history to record more than 40 disposals, 15 contested possessions and 600 metres gained, kick two goals and have less than five turnovers in a game.
Parish also joined Collingwood great Dane Swan (2012) as just the second player to record a 40-plus disposal game on Anzac Day.
To put Sunday’s performance in even rarer air, Parish also became the fifth Essendon player in history to record 40-plus disposals and two goals in a game, a feat only achieved by Barry Davis (1969), Michael Thompson (1983), Michael Long (1995) and Joe Misiti (2000).
It’s a superb effort from the 99-gamer, given Parish started the season playing predominantly as a half-forward; only being presented a full-time midfield opportunity following round two, when the Bombers lost duo Dylan Shiel and Jye Caldwell to injuries.
From round three, Parish has grasped his chance at playing on-ball, averaging a career-high 31.8 disposals, 13.3 contested possessions and 7.8 clearances from his past four games.
Ahead of his 100th game against Carlton on Sunday, Bombers fans will be hoping Parish can continue to develop into the accumulative inside midfielder which he has shown he can do extremely well.