Seagulls finish year with optimism
Williamstown's VFLW team may be young on paper, however the growth that all have achieved despite undesirable results has been showcased weekly.
The Round 16 and final home-and-away match for the Gulls was once again going to be a steep learning curve, as the eager Essendon Bombers were coming off a big win against the top side in the competition, Collingwood.
Win or lose the team would remain on the bottom of the ladder, although the girls went out once again in high spirits.
Loud voices and encouragement were high in another losing affair, yet the team had its fair share of stand out performers.
Leading goal-kicker for the club Sharnie Whiting has had to be pushed further to the back of the field as her long and accurate kicking ability aided the defence. She flourished in this new environment and was able to find her target on several occasions at Windy Hill.
Emily Crawford has now cemented her spot in the line-up and had arguably her greatest performance yet. The modern football side has a small forward who can become a tackling machine, to force turnovers and give our tall forwards more opportunities. This is something that Crawford accomplished against the Bombers.
Young tall Sophie Barbas showed resilience and determination. An injury scare early in the third quarter occurred and it looked as though Barbas would sit out the rest of the match. From the moment she regained her footing on the bench, Barbas within minutes was able to sprint back on to the field.
In the final stages of the final quarter, Jaimi Paten continued to apply the pressure deep in the back line. When others looked tired and awaiting the final siren the ball found it's way on the goal line with a Bomber looming. Paten saved a certain goal tackling the ball and player away and through for only a point.
The match became an onslaught, with the Bombers able to use their experience to get past our young up-and-comers. Yet, the support the Gulls got as they left the field was encouraging and everybody was smiling once again.
Co-captain Nikki Wallace after the game stated how proud she was of the team.
"We are a young side but so many of us have showed consistent progress like Ruby (Tripodi) and Megan (Williamson)," she said.
The Seagulls have earned a well deserved rest and are determined to make an impact in 2020.
Williamstown Seagulls 0.1 (1)
Essendon Bombers 11.12 (78)