Around The Grounds: Watkins Returns

Tough teenage ball-winner Jack Watkins made his long-awaited return at local level on the weekend after almost three months on the sidelines.

The 18-year-old Western Jets product was enjoying a stellar start to the season with Avondale Heights in the Essendon District Football League before suffering a stress fracture in his foot that has kept him out since early May.

Watkins returned via Avondale’s reserves on Saturday and successfully got through a half, and impressed enough to be named in his side’s best.

GEELONG FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Five Werribee-listed players featured in Geelong FL action on the weekend. Ben McNamara continued his strong form at local level, helping St Joseph’s easily account for North Shore at Windsor Park. McNamara was named Werribee’s Player of the Week in Monday’s Werribee Local League review for his impressive defensive performance.

Aiden Domic returned to Bell Park after another dominant display in last week’s AFL Victoria Young Guns Game closer, and brought that form to the Dragons in their nine-point win over South Barwon.

Developing forward Hudson Garoni kicked a goal and marked strongly in Grovedale’s thrilling one-point triumph over St Albans, but it was his pressure at ground level that impressed Werribee’s development coaches most.

Ruckman Jack Berry and Darcy Bennett experienced polar opposite days, with Berry’s Leopold trouncing Geelong West Giants by 104 points, and Bennett’s Lara on the wrong end of a 180-point hiding at the hands of Newtown & Chilwell. Bennett fought valiantly for the Cats, with is athleticism a feature, however Berry succumbed to injury after a promising start.

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Aiden Domic in action for Bell Park on Saturday in the Geelong FL. Photo: Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens

ESSENDON DISTRCIT FL, WESTERN REGION FL & GOULBURN VALLEY FL

Skilful utility Hamish Murphy returned from a minor neck injury in Avondale Heights’ 30-point loss to Keilor in the Essendon District FL. The 18-year-old was strong defensively, used the ball well and floated forward to kick a goal.

Over to the Goulburn Valley FL, and Tom Boyd took his season goal tally to 18 from 11 matches with three majors in Shepparton’s 72-point victory over the Swans.

Baxter Norton played alongside 2008 Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney in Spotswood’s one-kick heartbreaker against Werribee Districts in the Western Region FL. Norton did his chances of a senior recall no harm, contributing to half a dozen scores and excelling at the contest.

AARON FETTER

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