Seagulls secure double chance
(Jubilation after Sam Martyn kicks one of his three majors. Photo by Martin Keep).
A five goal to one final quarter on Saturday has secured Williamstown a top four finish on the VFL ladder with two home-and-away matches remaining.
A wet and sluggish Melbourne day set the backdrop for the Round 19 clash at Downer Oval between the red hot Seagulls and the Coburg Lions, with the home side running away 38-point winners.
The wind coming off the bay may have been ice cold for the spectators, but the fire between the teams was at boiling point early in the 13.13 (91) to 7.11 (53) result.
The first quarter saw early dominance from the Lions who were benefited from the breeze, however the Seagulls perked up late thanks to three straight goals from Jake Greiser, Nick Ebinger and Sam Martyn.
Williamstown’s first goal of the second term was hard to come by, after two behinds each to Joel Ottavi and Jack Dorgan.
Nick Meese absolutely dominated in the ruck, finishing the match with a game-high 60 hit outs alongside 11 tackles.
When the rain started in the third, play was severely slowed down.
Coburg was its own enemy up forward, losing the quarter despite registering 21 to 7 inside 50s.
Jason Pongracic made the most of Willi’s seven inside 50s, kicking two of the side’s three goals for the quarter.
The final term saw the Seagulls break away, scoring 5.5 to Coburg’s 1.0 in an impressive team display.
Usual suspects Willie Wheeler (26 touches, seven tackles) and Jake Greiser (22 touches, one goal) were out in force through the middle.
The inclusion of second-gamer Jesse Tardio paid dividends for the coaching staff, with the 24-year-old rounding out the game with 22 touches and five tackles.
Jack Charleston - who was stand-in captain due to Adam Marcon’s absence - lead from the front in defence, as well as Nick Mellington (17 touches, seven tackles) and Dorgan (19 touches, five tackles and a goal).
The win has guaranteed the Seagulls a double chance in the finals, with their sights now set on a top-two finish and home final.
The team’s focus will now shift to next Sunday, where the boys will face an in-form Geelong at Downer Oval.