Season Summary: 1989

Williamstown started the 1989 season in dazzling form, winning its first nine games by big margins before being held to a draw at home against Box Hill. It was the first time since 1954 that the Mustangs had not left the Williamstown ground empty-handed. Losses to Springvale, Coburg and Brunswick in successive weeks were not of great concern to the Seagulls because of their fine start, although the lop-sided nature of the competition meant a club couldn't afford too many losses to stay in the top bracket. Coburg eventually headed the ladder with 17 wins and one loss - to Williamstown by 66 points - with the 'Town second on percentage to Box Hill. Both won 14 games plus the draw. Springvale and Frankston were the other finalists. 

Box Hill, sharper in attack, beat Williamstown 17.9 to 14.15 in the qualifying final. This was a setback for the Seagulls, who now had to make their quest for the flag via the first semi-final. Williamstown crushed Springvale 18.11 to 6.11 in the first semi, played at North Port oval. Centre half-forward Jack Aziz, Round in the ruck, Brett McTaggart and Brett Gould in defence, David Whillas at full-back, Swan in the middle and Tony Pastore on the half-forward line led the win. Coburg soundly beat Box Hill in the second semi-final, but the Mustangs showed better form in the preliminary final to lead the 'Town narrowly at each change. In a strong finish to a high-scoring encounter, Williamstown prevailed 19.15 to 17.12. Aziz kicked eight goals and Rickman five. Gould, Swan, Andrew Howlett, Lindsay Cahill and Round were others to stand out for the Seagulls. 

The Grand Final was again played at Essendon and Coburg was once more Williamstown's opponent. Naturally the Seagulls were anxious to reverse the result of the 1988 Grand Final, but this was never on. Williamstown struggled all day to match Coburg and was especially below par in attack. Coburg's half-back line constantly repelled the 'Town whenever they threatened to set up a scoring chance. At the finish Williamstown was 20 points in arrears, Coburg winning 10.13 to 7.11. Rickman kicked 3.5, including two posters, to give him 125 goals for the season and the honour of heading the VFA goalkicking. McTaggart, Round, Smith, Vin Dimartino, Ghazi and Murphy were others to play well in a beaten side.

Williamstown's 1989 Grand Final side was:

Backs:               Greg Minett          David Whillas         Peter Kenny

Half-Backs:       Andrew Howlett    Glen Murphy          Brett Gould

Centre:                                              Bill Swan

Half-Forwards:  Jack Aziz              Danny Del Re        Grant Smith

Forwards:          Tony Pastore        Ian Rickman          Lindsay Cahill

Followers:          Barry Round        Brett McTaggart

Rover:                 Saade Ghazi

Interchange:       Vin Dimartino      Murray Nilsson

Whilst Williamstown again failed to gain the ultimate prize for its season's work, it did have the satisfaction of providing the Liston Trophy winner for the third consecutive season. This time it was rover Saade Ghazi.

                                                                1989 playing list




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