Local Footy: CYs end season in perfect fashion, with flags in firsts and seconds


WILLIAMSTOWN 6.4    8.5    12.5      15.9-99

PENINSULA 2.2    6.5      9.10    9.18-72


Goal Kickers: W. Cooper 3, B. Gray 2, C. Elliott 2, T. Wheeler, M. Cini, J. Wong, F. Adamson, B. Lethborg, J. Tranter, J. Reid, C. Richards
Best Players: B. Gray, S. McGuinness, T. Wheeler, J. Wong, J. Tranter, W. Cooper


Goal Kickers: J. Rombotis 5, M. Jackson 2, T. Coghlan, T. Scarpella
Best Players: J. Rombotis, R. Stainforth, S. Barbour, N. Fisher, T. Coghlan, C. Coyle

Williamstown CYMS marked their elevation to Section D1 in some style on Sunday when they won both the VAFA Sect D2 Senior and Reserve grade Grand Finals against flag favourites Peninsula Old Boys.

Without the fierce winds of the previous two weeks, both games were played in the most football friendly conditions experienced during the finals series. As a result the large crowd in attendance at Central Reserve was treated to two very entertaining and closely fought encounters.

In the main game the CYs got away to a good start against the ‘Pirates’, when after a tight first 10 minutes, they were able to rattle on four quick goals to go into the quarter time break with a significant 26 point lead. The CYs had been first in for the contested ball and had put a lot of pressure on the Peninsula ball carriers during the opening stanza and this trend continued well into the second quarter as the CYs restricted the opposition to just two goals whilst being able to snag two of their own into the wind. Just as Williamstown supporters were contemplating a healthy half time lead, disaster struck in the form of injuries to key players Will Cooper and Fin Adamson. In the space of 60 seconds both players were on the bench with significant injuries and in the time it took to swing the changes Peninsula managed to sneak a couple of late goals to come to the half time interval trailing by only 12 points.

The third quarter shaped as the game defining period. All year Peninsula had blown the opposition away with powerful third terms and had well and truly put paid to the CYs chances in their last two meetings by comprehensively out playing them into the wind straight after half time. Things didn’t look to be too different on Sunday when, after making courageous returns after half time to kick a goal each, Will Cooper (dislocated shoulder) and Fin Adamson (ankle) found themselves back on the bench and out of the game. The CYs suffered further injuries to Julian Hatfield (ribs), Christian Elliott (hip) and Julian Hynes (groin) during the quarter. Peninsula had upped its work rate, wresting the ascendancy away from the CYs at the clearances and had managed to kick three goals into the wind to trail by only 13 points at the last break.

It was a seemingly tired and undermanned CYs outfit that made it to the ¾ time huddle and CYs supporters could have been excused for wondering just how their team could defend such a slender lead. In a masterful piece of tactical psychology, CYs coach Alan “Oopy” Elliott at first outlined what would be the team’s final quarter strategies in defence and attack. He had asked the team to be seated, close together around him and then he asked the surrounding throng of supporters to close in around the team. “In closer” he called until the supporters were in so close that they almost merged with the players. He then proceeded to address the entire group as if they were all players. He implored the group to give every last ounce of energy to the contest ahead, to constantly direct the ball to the dead flank and to run hard forward when the opportunity presented. He made the call that the adrenalin of the moment and roar of the supporters would carry them past the point of pain and on to victory. The energy of the moment was irresistible to all in the huddle and the players and supporters alike broke from the huddle with palpable conviction and belief.

The last quarter saw an epic battle between a Williamstown side determined to hold on to its lead and a Peninsula combination fiercely determined to overtake them and erase the bitter memories of recent Grand Final defeats. Both sides flew at one another for the first minutes of the quarter without any change to the score, but it was the CYs who broke the deadlock with a confidence boosting goal to Tim Wheeler at the 5 minute mark of the term after some individual brilliance and four efforts in a row saw him win a free kick for “too high” inside 25m. The CYs were then able to bottle Peninsula up on the defensive side of the ground and, aided by some wayward shots at goal by the Pirate forwards, still led by three goals with 10 minutes to play. With the pressure mounting, mistakes started to come from the normally fluent Peninsula onballers and with their extra defenders intercepting regularly and the half back and center line players running harder than their immediate opponents, the CYs began to break the lines regularly to set up many forward moves. They attacked relentlessly with little reward on the scoreboard until Michael Cini was able to gain possession at half forward, dance around a couple of defenders and then, to the roar of the large CYs crowd,  run in to kick the game breaking goal with 5 minutes to go on the clock. The game was in the CYs keeping when from the next centre bounce, the CYs again outrun the opposition to get the ball forward for Zach Read to take a spectacular mark and handball off to Callum Richards, who ran into an open goal to seal the game. The siren sounded shortly thereafter leaving the CYs 27 points to the good of an obviously frustrated and disappointed Peninsula combination.

The CYs had many good contributors over the course of the day, but there were none better than veteran half back Shaun McGuinness, who as well as completely blanketing Peninsula’s leading goal kicker James Coghlan, was also able to turn defence into attack with his pace and long kicking. Ben Gray did a power of work all over the ground in a number of roles and capped off his good work with a 65m ‘bomb’ to goal early in the match. Tim Wheeler played a major role in the win by consistently winning possession or holding the ball in across half forward and his goal early in the last quarter set the scene for what followed. James Wong was good early up forward and again later in the game and consistently broke through the middle of the ground with pace and strength to set up many of the CYs last quarter scoring opportunities. Jarrod Tranter was another member of the CYs defence who was able to lock out his immediate opponent and set attacks with hard running and accurate disposal. Will Cooper must also receive a mention for his courage and commitment. Early in the game he was on fire and was ripping the opposition to shreds with his pace and anticipation, but just prior to half time he dislocated his shoulder, left the ground and had his shoulder put back in during the interval. Resuming after half time he bravely held his ground in front of a huge pack to mark strongly and goal to give the CYs some breathing space. Later in the quarter he took the ruck in the forward line and it was his tap that found Fin Adamson for a goal but also led to a second dislocation. His shoulder went in again and he was brave enough to want to start on the ground in the last quarter. His courage and determination was simply outstanding and no doubt served as an inspiration to the rest of the side during the tough last quarter.


WILLIAMSTOWN 4.0    6.1    9.1    10.2-62

PENINSULA 1.3    3.7    3.9    5.11-41


Goal Kickers: G. Burgess 5, C. Mathews 2, M. Sultana 2, S. Barlow
Best Players: J. Munro, C. Winks, B. McColl, B. Moore, G. Burgess, M. Sultana

The Williamstown CYMS Reserves won the early game and their second consecutive flag when they held off a determined Peninsula to win by 21 points. Flag favourites, the CYs got off to a good start and led by 15 points at the first break. It was a lead they never relinquished, gradually extending it to 28 points at the last break and then holding on grimly to the final siren.

Williamstown’s best player was James Munro, who, particularly early when the game was still to be won, put his head over the ball to win many vital contests. Chris “Squinny” Winks was solid and reliable all day at full back where he consistently frustrated the Pirate forwards with great defensive spoils. Young Ben McColl was equally effective across half back with his desperate defence and, together with Brenton Moore at centre half back, played a key role in a CYs back line that held sway all day. Matthew Sultana was strong on ball and was instrumental in a number of successful forward moves, kicking two himself and setting up others. Veteran full forward Greg Burgess, who had struggled for form coming into the match, repaid the selectors’ faith in him with an excellent game kicking 5 goals, having a hand in another and generally setting a great example to the younger players around him.

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