Williamstown remain at the top of the Peter Jackson VFL ladder following their 39 point win over reigning premier Footscray in round eight at a windswept VU Whitten Oval. An inaccurate Seagulls handled the gale like conditions far better than their opponents, kicking away in the final quarter with four goals to two, winning 9.22.76 to 5.7.37, and celebrating Cameron Lockwood's (above) 100th game in style.
With goals hard to come by in the conditions Williamstown trio, Mitch Banner with three and Andrew Gallucci and Lockwood with two each, were the only multiple goal kickers on the ground. Footscray opened with what seemed a five goal advantage with a howling wind blowing to the Geelong road end. However they failed to capitalise, missing targets forward with poor delivery as Williamstown defenders Sam Dunnell, Peter Faulks and Brad Mangan continually got in the way.
Banner scored a valuable goal for Williamstown into the wind late in the term and a one point advantage at the break to the Dogs would not have pleased their coach Ashley Hansen. Williamstown peppered the goals in the second quarter booting 3.10 with 27 inside fifties to Footscray’s six, to lead by 20 points at half-time.
The Seagulls defence stood firm in the third term again holding Footscray to just the one goal. Big men Nick Meese and Sean Tighe worked hard up against Bulldogs counterparts Ayce Cordy and Tom Campbell while Michael Gibbons provided the Seagulls with spark around the packs.
Meryck Buchanan snapped truly for the Dogs to reduce the margin to 18 points nearing the final change but with the home side kicking into the wind in the final term, the fans on the terraces were subdued. Footscray’s ball movement was below par despite the efforts of teenage rover, Caleb Daniel (16 disposals), who tried hard, reminding Dogs fans of former Brownlow Medallist, Tony Liberatore, with his endeavour, determintion and intensity at the contest.
Sam Darley (38 disposals), Michael Talia (21) and skipper Jordan Russell (24) battled manfully in defence for Footscray while Lachie Hunter (34) and Brent Prismall (24) gathered many possessions around the ground.
The match was all over ten minutes into the final quarter with Williamstown booting three quick goals, the third of them to milestone man Lockwood who was mobbed by teammates following his goal.
Both sides will welcome the bye in round nine before Williamstown host Box Hill in possibly the match of the year in round ten. Footscray are away to Richmond in the Channel 7 match-of-the-day needing a win to stay in touch with the top four.
For full scoreboard click here