VFL Prelim Final: Williamstown v Port Melbourne

I have been to a few games of AFL, VFL  and VAFA this year but this game “took the cake”.


This was grass roots footy at its best. Two of the oldest clubs in Australia, Williamstown established 1864 and Port Melbourne 1874, were playing for a spot in next weeks grand final.


Both teams are stand alone and have beaten many of the AFL clubs during the season.  Williamstown are reigning premiers so I guess they are favoured to win today.


I arrived just after the first bounce and was greeted by a massive crowd that had filled most of the North Port Oval. I reckon the crowd was a pretty even split between the red and blue Port supporters known as “The Borough” and the blue and gold Willie camp, the Seagulls.


And what great jumpers they are, they have stood the test of time and haven’t altered one bit for this great game today.


They must have played each other about a thousand times over the years and they share no love for each other. Both teams were hard at the ball from the opening bounce and occasionally there was a “bit of biff” but nothing too serious.


There was a pretty good breeze favouring the Fred Cook End and Port got on the board early with the aid of this wind. When Willie got it into their forward line Port proved too strong and kept the goalless at quarter time, Port 4.2 to Williamstown 0.2


The Seagulls had the wind in the second quarter but Port weren’t willing to relinquish the lead. Willie kicked a couple and missed a couple of easy shots, Port also missed some gettable goals against the wind. Mind you this was a tough game of footy, neither team were “taking prisoners”.


At half time Port lead 5.7 to Williamstown 3.6.


I reckon I deserved a cleansing ale but the queue at the drinks shed meant a long, long wait, so today looks like being a dry one for me, well at least at the footy anyway.


The third quarter kicked off the same as the others, tough and relentless, but The Borough were getting the upper hand and using the breeze to their advantage kicked well ahead and at three quarter time lead The Seagulls 10.9 to 5.8.


The crowd around both teams for the three quarter huddle was huge. I was hoping to pick up some words of wisdom but to no avail. The roar from the Port huddle was deafening, no way were they going to allow the old arch enemy to get back in the game.  Williamstown’s huddle was almost as big but not as loud.


Williamstown threatened early in the last quarter with a couple of goals but Port answered with one against the wind. Williamstown missed a couple of easy shots then got a major.


It was game on until Port got another, which took the wind out of The Seagulls team and Port hung on for a memorable win to take them to next weeks Grand Final at Emptyhead.


Port Melbourne 12.10  82  Williamstown 8.11  59



Port: Haretuku 3, Cain 3, Krakauer, O’Sullivan, Viojo-Rainbow, Templeton, Conway, Wooffindin

Williamstown: Dunell 2, Siposs 2, Bramble, Gibbons, Cordy, Masters



Port: O’Sullivan, Lange, Templeton, Mascitti, Sandilands

Williamstown: Dorgan, Tippett, Schultz, Templeton, Charleston, Pongracic.


A great game at North Port Oval



  1. I too was at the game, good report Rod, except Footscray are the reigning premiers, Willi won it the year before, and nobody by the name of Templeton plays for Willi.

    Port won it out of the middle by constant pressure on our onball stars, Gibbons, Marcon, Wheeler, Jolley. Unforced turnovers & inaccuracy in front of goal didn’t help but the wind was a bit tricky.

    When Ben Jolley finally got clear in the third quarter & kicked the ball along the ground to a Port defender standing on his own & then Nick Meese fell over running backwards to take an overhead mark in the middle of the ground I knew we were doomed. Even Aaron Sipposs’ amazing goal in the second quater couldn’t lift them.

  2. A good report, Rod.
    A very disappointed Willy (always ends in ‘y’, not ‘ie’) person here, particularly given we lost two matches on the day.
    Williamstown have played in preliminary finals in 9 of the last 11 years, for a 2-7 record. Very poor, unfortunately.
    The jungle drums in Dogtown are saying that Andy Collins might be moving on?

  3. Dear Gerry, I don’t know how Templeton became a Willy player, sorry about that, he was meant to only be in the Port best players. And another apology, I did know that Footscray won it last year, I have been telling people all year what a triumph it was for the club to win AFL/VFL in the same year.

    Dear Smokie, Sorry about the spelling, it’s Y from now on.

  4. Good day. Didn’t think it was much of a game. We’ve had 3 successive Sundays at North Port. Great venue.

  5. Good onya Rod. It would be nice to see the Burra salute in 2017, though i won’t be there.

    I still yearn for the halcyon days of the 1970′ and 80’s, with Port winning six flags in eight years. 1974, 1976, 1977, then the trifecta of 1980, 1981 and 1982. The first three i watched on TV, the last three i was there.

    That era is over, but what great memories it instilled. Names like Cook, Allender, Swan, Allen, live on.

    Hope the Burras can salute in 2017. Rod, next time i see you walking your dogs i’ll get some more feedback from you.

    Go Burras !!!!!


  6. Glen, did you know Fred Cook recently had a stroke & is now in a wheelchair & in a hospital in Bendigo? Saw a story about him recently getting back his Liston Medal, he didn’t look real flash.


  7. Thanks Rod good luck to all state league teams against bloody afl reserves sides in the gfs
    What was the crowd ?

  8. Ta Gerry. Sad case Fred’s fall from grace. He was an amazing goal kicker in his career with the Burra. His post football trila snad tribulations are only too well known.

    Tony Ebeyer was part of that great Burra team of the early 1980’s.

    Carn the Burras !!!


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