From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article - http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/vfl-williamstown-into-first-grand-...
Williamstown won through to their first grand final since 2011 after withstanding a gritty Essendon by 12 points in a pulsating preliminary final at North Port Oval on Sunday.
It sets up a tantalising grand final at Etihad Stadium on Sunday against the Box Hill Hawks; the team they lost to in last year's preliminary final — their seventh of the last nine prelimin finals — by seven points.
Certainly, the mental demons from that final had returned at three-quarter-time after the Seagulls gave up a 27-point lead from mid-way through the third term to trail the Bomber by five-points.
Seagulls coach Andy Collins, who said the win "means everything to the footy club", told his charges at the last change: "You've got to get the ball control back."
He threw opportunist goalkicker Sam Dunell and Cameron Lockwood behind the ball and - along with Ben Jolley, who had 14 of his 28 disposals in the final term, and defender Peter Faulks, who controlled the dangerous Kyle Hardingham – the Seagulls, with the week's break, outran the Bombers, winning 15.12 (102) to 12.18 (90).
Leigh Masters, a former Bendigo Bomber, kicked the opening two goals of the last term, before goals to Mitch Banner and Sam Critchley sealed the result.
Dunell said the week's break — after upsetting Sandringham in the qualifying final — was the difference with their part-time players needing extra time to recuperate.
"We knew we had the legs with a week's break, it's just great to see us run over the top," Dunell said..
"We've been planning for it [making a grand final] since October-November... all that hard work. It's just a great feeling," he said.
Williamstown, with seven players in this year's VFL team of the year, are the first stand-alone team to make a grand final since Port Melbourne, who beat the Seagulls, in 2011. They will be out to win their first flag since 2003 as Collins coaches against Box Hill, a team he is familiar with, having taken the club to finals in 2004-05 and being a former Hawthorn premiership player.