Point Gellibrand Oval — Williamstown. Home of the round one VFL clash between long-standing rivals Williamstown Seagulls and Port Melbourne Boroughs. Australian rules football is loved nationally. But at a local level, there is much fervour when suburban teams meet at the small grounds.
Plenty on offer during the night ahead.
Port Melbourne Boroughs completing warm-up exercises.
Excerpt from Ken Linnett’s biography about ex-Port champion Tom Lahiff, ‘Game for Anything’:
"Port Melbourne (then known as Sandridge) had won municipal independence and the status of a borough in 1860. In 1893 Port Melbourne had been upgraded from a borough to a town. In 1919 there had been another upgrading, this time from a town to a city. Outside the town hall, these municipal upgradings were seen as little more than the pretentious minority's attempts at civic self-aggrandisement. As far as the bulk of the local population were concerned, they weren't living in a town or a city: they were living in the Borough."
Game gets underway, Saturday night under lights.
Ben Jolley. 217 games for Williamstown with 6 years as the captain of the side. Won the club's Best and Fairest Award (MVP) 4 times and was selected in the VFL team of the year 7 times. He retired from the the club at the end of last year. And then signed to rivals Port, for whom he can be seen here taking an intercept mark.
No Records on offer this year. Just a sheet of paper with the squad names. Filled with team sheets, articles and stats, the Record was always the second thing you bought after a raffle ticket entering the ground. It was a good place for young players and journalists alike to get noticed. Some suggest the people in charge are not producing them as they are trying to kill off the league. Others think it is so supporters cannot find out the umpire's names, to single them out with a piece of their mind. But it could just be a waste of paper, most of the info is available online.
Williamstown's mascot Speccie.
Melee. Rivals doing what rivals do. It was after the siren as the crowd were heading onto the ground for a kick of the footy themselves.
Boundary umpire throwing the ball back into play.
Goal umpire signals a behind, which is a minor score worth 1 point.
Three quarter time address from coach Gary Ayres.
"Make sure you raise and lower your vision".
Scores are close in the last quarter.
Final Score. Williamstown win.
It will be a sad drive back over the West Gate Bridge for the Borough faithful.