From the Star Weekly
Reported by Lance Jenkinson
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The VFL premiership defence is over for Williamstown.
And the all-west VFL grand final that footy fans in this neck of the woods had dreamed of for 24 hours is a non-starter.
The Seagulls were beaten at their own game, receiving a lesson in hard, physical and disciplined football from the Casey Scorpions in a 42-point preliminary final loss at North Port Oval on Sunday.
Williamstown was on the back foot from the outset.
The Seagulls conceded the opening four goals of the game to go into quarter-time with a 29-point deficit.
In true Seagulls fashion, they never went away and turned the game into an arm wrestle.
But they could not erode the deficit on the scoreboard, which was always comfortably in the Scorpions’ favour.
The Scorpions put a lot of work into limiting the Seagulls’ “big three” midfielders – Liston Trophy winner Michael Gibbons, captain Ben Jolley and Willie Wheeler.
Gibbons had a target on his back and was often the recipient of a bit of extra oomph from the Scorpions tackles.
Caleb Hislop was another of the Seagull midfielders to be hit with brute force on multiple occasions.
That David Fahey and Ben Bese were two of the Seagulls’ best says plenty about the dominance of the Scorpions in key areas of the ground.
Fahey and Bese never stopped trying and saved the scoreboard from being a blow out.
The grand final loss brought to an end an up and down finals series for Williamstown.
The Seagulls started their September campaign with a miserable 46-point loss to Collingwood.
They backed that up with a dominant 46-point win over Sandringham and then fizzled out with the heavy loss to the Scorpions.
Meanwhile, the Box Hill Hawks took out the AFL Victoria Development League premiership after a 105-point win over Casey Scorpions in the grand final at North Port Oval on Sunday.