It seems like there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and a Williamstown appearance in the Victorian Football League preliminary finals.
The Seagulls have qualified for their 10th consecutive preliminary final, a run that goes all the way back to 2010.
The Andrew Collins-coached Seagulls produced a stirring 13-point win on the road over Footscray in a brutal qualifying final at the VU Whitten Oval on Saturday.
It made it a memorable 150th game milestone for Seagulls captain Adam Marcon.
“It’s a pretty emotional day,” Marcon said.
“Finals are hard enough as it is and then you add the 150th in there.
“I’m super proud to get to 150 and proud of the boys to get over the line in such a tough one.”
Kicking to the Geelong Road end with the aid of a strong breeze, Footscray opened up a 28-point lead at quarter-time.
The Bulldogs wastefulness in front of goal meant they could not totally shut the door on the visitors.
Williamstown took full advantage, banging on six goals in the second term, but the Bulldogs ability to kick two into the breeze meant scores were dead-locked at half-time.
The third quarter was the key to victory for Williamstown.
The Seagulls somehow managed to dry up Footscray’s scoring with the wind.
The Bulldogs managed just 1.4 for the quarter, while Mitch Hibberd kicked one against the flow of play.
What became evident in that period was how disciplined and deliberate Williamstown was with its play and how much of an influence Andrew Collins and his coaches had on the outcome.
“One of the great strengths of this team is our discipline,” Marcon said.
“We follow tasks and we stick to them.
“If that’s not good enough then we’re happy enough with what we’ve put out.”
Conversely, Footscray was a little more cavalier in its approach.
The Bulldogs were attack dogs with their appetite to move the ball on fast.
It posed its problems for Williamstown’s defence, but they were largely equal to the task and were able to push ahead.
“It’s hard to play against because they just take the game on,” Marcon said.
“The game never stops, it’s so taxing, so when the final siren went, I was so happy.
“I thought we did a great job negating some of their run.”
While Williamstown has a great record in making preliminary finals, it will go in with a hint of trepidation as it holds a 2-7 record on the penultimate weekend of the finals.
The Seagulls have lost their past three prelims, including a shattering one-point loss to Box Hill Hawks last season.
Williamstown will play the winner of the semi-final between Essendon and Werribee.
Footscray will take the long route through the finals, facing Port Melbourne in a cut-throat semi-final at Adcon Stadium on Saturday at 11.40am.