VAFA: Watts brothers endure fluctuating fortunes

By Paul Daffey

Fergus Watts, the Collegians forward who recently put aside a debilitating foot injury to come out of retirement, yesterday cursed his foot when he missed an opportunity to bring his team level with A-section rival De La Salle late in their match at Elsternwick Park.

De La took advantage of the miss to hold on by five points, confirming its position in second place and leaving Collegians a game and percentage behind fourth-placed University Blues.

Watts was ineffective as a half-forward roaming upfield but inspired a Collegians fightback when shifted to full-forward in the last quarter. The former Adelaide and St Kilda player kicked a goal from 40 metres out on a slight angle before taking another mark in the same spot just before time-on, with Collegians a goal behind.

The 24-year-old reportedly rushed his kick before ending up with a point. The match went for another five minutes, with both teams scrambling for the ball in the Collegians forward line. There was no addition to the score.

Watts’s brother Jack made his return to A-section on Saturday when he played in the ruck and in defence for University Blues. The 2008 Woodrow medallist for the best and fairest in A-section has just returned from a backpacking trip in Europe.

His presence helped Blues keep Marcellin out by five goals. Blues captain Andrew Lowcock followed up his tough and canny performance on a wing for the Victorian Amateur team in last week’s narrow loss to Victorian Country with a match-winning performance at half-forward for the Blues.

Old Essendon centre half-back Daniel Cooper was also tough and courageous for the Victorian Amateur team last week. But on Saturday, perhaps deflated after such a sapping match, he was held goalless while playing as a key forward at home against Old Ivanhoe.

Fellow tall forward Daniel Flaherty stepped into the breach by kicking five goals in a best-on-ground performance as Old Essendon moved clear in the final 10 minutes to win by 21 points. Old Ivanhoe’s loss leaves it in last place, two games behind Old Essendon and almost assured of relegation with five games to go.

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