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Seagulls crush West Perth in Foxtel Cup Grand Final

Williamstown players celebrate a goal during the Foxtel Cup Grand Final. Picture: AFL Media

WILLIAMSTOWN has become the first multiple winner of the Foxtel Cup after crushing West Perth by 63 points in the Grand Final at Simonds Stadium.

The 10.11 (71) to 1.2 (8) victory added another trophy to the Seagulls' cabinet to sit alongside their 2011 triumph, the inaugural Foxtel Cup season. The win also boosted the club’s coffers by $100,000 to help with their 150th anniversary celebrations.

Watch a full match replay of the Foxtel Cup Grand Final
First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter

It was a significant achievement for Williamstown in its first year back as a standalone club in the VFL since 2000, following alignments with AFL clubs Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs - the latter ending last season.

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It was also the second Foxtel Cup triumph for Williamstown coach Andy Collins, who led West Adelaide to last year’s title over Claremont.

Former Collingwood and North Melbourne onballer Ben Davies was named winner of the Coles Medal as the best-on-ground.

In his first year back at the Seagulls after two seasons playing in the powerful Ovens and Murray League in country Victoria, Davies played a key role in the Grand Final with 12 first-half disposals.

Unfortunately for West Perth, its total score of eight points created an unwanted piece of history as the lowest in the Foxtel Cup (the previous lowest was set by Queensland side Mount Gravatt, booting 2.1 (13) against Claremont in 2012).

The Seagulls had a staggering 35 more inside 50s than West Perth (51-16) and Scott Clouston, who was the best forward on the ground with 13 possessions, seven marks and two goals, praised the defensive pressure of his teammates up the field.

“That’s something we’ve been really working on, having that ruthless mentality and we did that tonight,” Clouston said.

“Keeping them to one goal [was] not a bad effort by the defensive crew. It was a really good win for the boys. We really wanted to win the Foxtel Cup and it’s a very good privilege.”

A five-goal opening term set up the Seagulls' victory as the Falcons, the reigning WAFL premiers, struggled in the slippery and very cold conditions - where the temperature dropped to as low as two degrees.

The opening quarter was predominantly played in Williamstown’s half of the ground as the Seagulls kept West Perth goalless and raced to a 32-point lead at the first break.

The Seagulls took the ball inside their forward 50m 14 times and looked dangerous each time with their tall targets Jake Owen and Clouston hitting the scoreboard early and also creating opportunities for their small forwards.

On the rare occasions the Falcons went forward, their attacks were quickly repelled by the Williamstown defence, led by former Sydney Swan and Fremantle player Peter Faulks.

Former Pie and Roo Ben Davies receives the best-on-ground medal from Barry Hall. Picture: Michael Wilson

The Falcons cause wasn’t helped by a shoulder injury to key playmaker Shane Nelson, who’s averaging around 30 possessions a match in the WAFL this season. He left the field for treatment and, while he played out the match and finished with 12 disposals, he had little influence.

Williamstown continued to dominate the second term, led by its midfield brigade of Davies and Kane Lambert, but couldn’t make West Perth pay on the scoreboard.

Despite holding West Perth scoreless, the Seagulls only extended their quarter time lead by five points, despite having 42 more disposals and 18 more inside 50s (26-8) in the first half.

The Seagulls sealed the result early in the third term with unanswered goals to ruckman Sean Tighe, from a clever snap, and Charlie Nastasi.  

Captain Ben Jolley had 17 disposals, 11 of them contested, while Lambert finished the night with 20 touches.

Corey Chalmers finally broke West Perth’s goal drought early in the last term but the Falcons forwards were virtually non-existent.

Former Carlton-listed midfielder Rohan Kerr and West Coast’s Andrew Strijk, who had a game high 23 disposals, were the best for West Perth on a disappointing night.

Williamstown’s focus now turns to the remainder of the VFL season. The Seagulls are fifth on the ladder and appear certain to play finals. 

WILLIAMSTOWN         5.4    5.9    7.11    10.11 (71)

WEST PERTH              0.2    0.2    0.2      1.2 (8)

Williamstown: Nastasi 2, Johnstone 2, Clouston 2, Owen, Dorgan, Lambert, Tighe
West Perth: Chalmers

Williamstown:  Lambert, Davies, Tighe, Sing, Fahey, McKenzie, Clouston
West Perth: Strijk, Kerr, Tedesco

Below: Williamstown players celebrate their big win at Simonds. Picture: Michael Willson


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs