Around the grounds: May 17

Defenders Nick Coughlan and Harry Boyd have used Werribee’s bye weekend to register some extra game time, turning out for their respective local clubs Albury and Shepparton for the first time this year on Saturday.

Sent forward for the Tigers in their 113-point demolition job of Ovens & Murray rival Corowa-Rutherglen, Coughlan highlighted his “swing man” capabilities with a three-goal return, while Boyd stood tall down back as one of the Bears’ best in their 66-point loss to reigning Goulburn Valley premiers Kyabram.

Fresh from his VFL debut against Collingwood, midfielder Joel Bennett was also back at the local level, his Geelong West Giants side coming away with a 55-point win in its Geelong Football League clash with Bayley Cockerill’s Lara outfit.

In the metropolitan leagues, Spiros Amarantidis and Luke Hitch made returns of a different kind, both successfully running out their first games of the year after injury layoffs.

Amarantidis registered a goal in Deer Park’s 62-point defeat of Albion – again led by a standout defensive performance from Nick Weightman – in the Western Region Football League, while Hitch was among the best for Keilor’s reserves side as it registered an 18-point win over Aberfeldie in the Essendon District Football League.

Meanwhile, back in the Ovens & Murray, Nathan Laracy suggested he is edging ever closer to a highly-anticipated VFL return, producing his best performance of the season for Myrtleford in a tough 97-point loss to Yarrawonga that saw fellow Alpine Saint Brady Sharp produce another sterling defensive effort.

A further 13 Werribee players were in action locally across the bye weekend:

• Back in the GFL, Brenton Rees continued to push his case for a senior recall as he and Ben McNamara starred in St Joseph’s 132-point belting of North Shore; Isaac Miller impressed in his first senior appearance for St Mary’s as it notched a 60-point win over Leopold; Charlie Francis was again a strong contributor for South Barwon in its 19-point win over Newtown & Chilwell; Keegan Gray was one of Bell Park’s best as it feel just three points short of Colac; and Cassidy Parish and Keelin Betson were both standouts for Grovedale in its 28-point win over St Albans.
• While Luke Hitch’s Keilor reserves side came up 18 points to the good against Aberfeldie, Brad Xavier’s senior outfit couldn’t quite get the job done, falling by the same margin in the corresponding fixture.
• In further WRFL action, Josh Mould was again one of Wyndhmavale’s best in its 38-point loss to Caroline Springs, while Nick Buykx’s Werribee Districts side kept its unbeaten start to the season in tact with a nail-biting one-point win over Hoppers Crossing.
• Also unbeaten this year, Hampden Football League side Camperdown was also pushed all the way in its six-point win over South Warrnambool, Jack Williams again one of the Magpies’ best with his defensive effort.
• Fabian Brancatisano kicked three of Castlemaine’s eight goals in its 39-point loss to Kangaroo Flat in the Bendigo Football League.
• Jade Cleeland lined up for Wangaratta as the remaining Ovens & Murray representative, kicking a goal among his ruck duties in the Magpies’ 185-point annihilation of Wodonga.

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