A cliffhanger contest between Williamstown and Port Melbourne ended in a draw in the Victorian Football League at North Port Oval on Sunday.
The Seagulls and the Borough, two fierce rivals, could not be separated at full time, with the sides finishing deadlocked on 74-apiece after a game of momentum swings played in variable conditions with patches of sunshine and rain.
Williamstown coach Andrew Collins was content to walk away from the see-sawing battle between two well-matched sides with a share of the points.
“If you said you could’ve taken two points going to Port Melbourne’s ground, you would’ve taken them,” he said.
“I said that to the boys after the game.”
Williamstown inconceivably went to half-time staring at a deficit.
In stark contrast to their efficiency in front of goal the week before, the Seagulls could barely locate the big sticks in the first half.
The Seagulls were the dominant side in the first half, but their finishing let them down.
They kicked 3.11 from 14 scoring shots with a large chunk considered gettable.
“I thought our first half was terrific, but we just couldn’t put the score on the board,” Collins said.
“It was incredibly frustrating.
“We kicked 19.9 last week and we had 3.11 to half-time this week.
“It just shows how much of a psychological game that it is.”
When the rain began to tumble, Port Melbourne started to assume control in the third quarter.
The Borough opened up a 17-point lead at three-quarter time and seemed destined to run away with the game.
While the Borough had momentum, they caught the same goalkicking yips that afflicted Williamstown in the first half, kicking 3.7 for the quarter and keeping the visitors in it.
A late goal in the third quarter to Adam Marcon gave the Seagulls a huge boost going into the huddle.
“We were over handling the ball [in the third quarter],” Collins said.
“Their pressure went up a notch and made us fumble the ball a lot.
“They started to win the stoppages, they started to win the tackle count and it put us on the back foot.”
Williamstown sensed there would be one more twist in a game that ebbed and flowed from start to finish.
The Seagulls not only got back into the contest in the fourth quarter, but they hit the front by seven points after four unanswered goals, including two from Nick Rodda and one each to Jaylon Thorpe and Joel Ottavi.
A goal to Port Melbourne’s Ethan Phillips had the game on level terms once again, before Jason Pongracic restored Williamstown’s seven-point advantage shortly after.
When it came to the crunch in the final five minutes, Port Melbourne found a way through Tom O’Sullivan.
In a bittersweet time-on for O’Sullivan, he kicked the goal to keep the Borough alive and the behind to level the scores.
Williamstown had one last crack at victory late on with the ball in its forward line, but time ran out on another memorable chapter in the Williamstown and Port Melbourne rivalry.
Williamstown takes on western suburbs rivals Werribee in a mouth-watering fifth-versus-sixth encounter at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday at 1pm.