Williamstown remain on top of the Peter Jackson VFL ladder after a solid 33-point win over Port Melbourne at a soggy North Port Oval in round sixteen. The Seagulls booted the first five goals of the match and were never really troubled after that winning 14.12.96 to 10.3.63.
The loss for the Borough, ending their five game winning streak and making it tough for them to break into the top four with a hard run home. Williamstown are now one game clear in top spot and well placed to defend their title as reigning premiers and a possible top two finish.
Rain fell for the majority of the match which made conditions slippery and ball handling difficult.On a tough day for forwards, Seagull’s Leigh Masters booted a game-high four goals while Jordan Lisle and Leigh Osborne kicked two each for the losers.
A good crowd braved the chilly and wet conditions to witness another chapter in the longest rivalry in the VFL. It was the visitors who began best, silencing the Borough faithful before they could settle in their seats. A breeze towards the Williamstown road end of the ground aided the Seagulls in the opening term and they made the most of it shooting out to 22 point lead at the first change.
Jack Dorgan and Anthony Anastasio were busy across half-forward for Williamstown while Willie Wheeler (30 disposals) and skipper Ben Jolley (28) provided plenty of grunt around the middle. Port Melbourne looked more dangerous in the second quarter but failed to reduce the margin by half-time, trailing 5.1.31 to 8.6.54.
Williamstown continued their pressure in the third quarter, holding the Borough goalless and when Masters kicked truly from the boundary line with the siren approaching, the margin was out to a game-high 49 points. Borough's skipper, Toby Pinwel (31 disposals), tried hard to lift his side, working hard around the packs and he was well supported by Shannen Lange (27) and Matt Arnott (24).
Port midfielder, Nathan Batsanis, suffered a heavy knock during the term and was stretchered from the field. Borough coach, Gary Ayres, would have been pleased with his side's efforts in the last term to fight the game out.
They outscored Williamstown five goals to two but the damage had been done early by the visitors. Williamstown’s best included Masters with his four goals, Wheeler, Jolley and Michael Gibbons, while for Port Melbourne, Pinwell, Lange, Arnot and Thomas O’Sullivan all figured in their sides better players.
Williamstown face Sandringham away in round seventeen in what should be a tight tussle with the Zebras trying to hang onto fourth spot. Port Melbourne is at home to last placed North Ballarat and will be looking for a big win to lift themselves into the top four as the Peter Jackson VFL season hots up.
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