DARLEY Football Club returned to the field – and the winners' circle – after three weeks' rest, with a solid 35-point win against Lake Wendouree at Darley Park on Saturday.
It was the fifth-placed Devils' first game since May 19, after the interleague clash and a bye in successive weeks.
While clubs have gone off the boil in similar situations, Darley's football manager Craig Baker said the 20-day break was a blessing, as captain Gerard Edwards returned to the park after a hamstring injury, while Chris McGill eased himself back into senior contention in the reserves.
Dane Grenfell kicked four goals against the lowly Lakers, while Brendan Porter (three) was a constant forward threat.
"Porter was outstanding," Baker said. "I reckon he took at least 15 marks, which was great in the conditions."
It was a solid tune-up for Darley which faces early-season premiership favourites North Ballarat this Saturday at home. The Roosters have slipped from top of the ladder to sixth after dropping the past four games.
"That will be a big test for us," Baker said.
"They will be desperate to get back on the winners' list so it's a big one for us."
In other games, Redan did it easy against Melton with a 50-point win, 4.5 (29) to 9.25 (79), while Ballarat whipped Melton South by 76 points, 27.13 (175) to 14.15 (99). Bacchus Marsh had the bye.
Click on the image below for a gallery of the Melton v Redan clash.