In a contest that was thrilling until the final siren, the Seagulls surrounded the Saints - who ultimately fell by four points at WSTBBO on Saturday afternoon.
Photography by Anthony Vella
All four seasons were bestowed upon Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach oval on Saturday as the Southern Saints faced-off against the Seagulls.
Ali Hynes (10 disposals, five clearances) was immense with eighteen tackles whilst fellow Co-Captain Tayla Kearns (one goal, five tackles) managed eleven kicks from eleven disposals.
Despite remaining solid all day, the captains lifted in the final quarter, setting about a spirited comeback that didn't quite receive its fairytale ending.
Tessa Boyd (16 disposals, three marks, six tackles) - who was once again the Southern Saints' leading ball-winner - and Winnie Laing (one goal, 11 disposals, five tackles) were also instrumental across all four quarters.
New goal avenues were explored following leading goal-kicker Lucy Burke's departure to North Melbourne's AFLW side, with Mel Bertuna's (one goal, seven disposals, three tackles) crafty snap proving one for the highlight reel.
The Saints' pressure and endeavour was present from the first bounce, with Hynes foreshadowing her dominant ruck performance as she won the first clearance. Only one minute later, Nicki Cormack (10 disposals, three tackles, three clearances) joined in, demonstrating her strength as she laid the tackle of the day.
Maighan Fogas (eight disposals, five tackles, three clearances) began to work her way into the game, presenting powerfully at the contest.
In the fourteenth minute, Gaby De Angelis (12 disposals, three tackles) and Madi Capsalis (14 disposals, five tackles, six clearances) too began to impose themselves on the game, showing off their class with an intuitive one-two handball chain - complete with evasive power - propelling the ball into our forward fifty.
Despite a powerful around-the-ground display and strong defensive efforts by Boyd and returning-Saint Georgia Foran (14 disposals, two marks), they were unable to hit the scoreboard in the first term.
Michelle Podnecky (14 disposals, two tackles, six clearances) amassed seven first-quarter disposals to go along with three clearances in a dominant display.
The second quarter saw us kicking to the Sautner Goal end - the source of the majority of scores throughout the VFL match earlier in the day.
With the wind in our favour, we got to work, with our ability to create inside fifty entries improving from the game's recommencement.
An early entry off the boot of De Angelis saw our first score of the day in the form of a rushed behind. Moments later, strong contested work from Bella Enno saw the ball retained in our forward half - reflecting the Saints' increased intensity since the first break.
Capsalis began to impose herself at stoppages whilst Boyd continued demonstrating her strong intercept ability. Jemima Wrigley (six tackles, two clearances) brought the tackle pressure, whilst Podnecky assisted her with an epic smother in the third minute.
The Saints gained momentum after the sixth minute, which saw our increased number of inside fifty opportunities begin to become more effective. A darting kick off the boot of Laing opened up an opportunity for Kershaw, who registered our second minor score of the day.
Six minutes later, strong use of the corridor enabled Kearns to lower her eyes and hit an open Laing - whose set shot sailed straight over the goal umpire's head.
Following Laing's major, the Saints' pressure continued to get the better of the Seagulls as a smother from Charlotte Ryan retained the ball inside our forward fifty. The sound of the siren ultimately reeled in the Saints' momentum which saw us keep Williamstown scoreless across the quarter.
After winning the inside fifty count at the half, the Saints headed out to face a territory battle against the wind once again. Capsalis brought the heat from the first minute, whilst Kearns continued to pressure the Seagulls into making forced errors.
As the rain began to fall, Hynes continued to lay tackle-after-tackle whilst Bertuna followed up her work with immense second efforts.
The sixteenth minute mark saw a dominant display from Foran down back as she continued to absorb the relentless Williamstown pressure.
Boyd continued to win crucial one-on-one battles, whilst Georgia McLean saved a certain goal on the line.
The Southern Saints ended the term unable to convert a score, with a late goal from Williamstown leaving us with a seventeen-point mountain to climb.
The sun re-emerged for the final quarter as we began to find some momentum off the back of Kearns and Hynes' leadership.
Within the first minute, Kearns found herself with an opportunity to score. Her crafty snap bent its way through for brilliant a team-lifting goal.
The Saints' intensity around the ball remained high as De Angelis and Laing's slick hands propelled the ball inside fifty. It was Capsalis, though, that provided our next look. Rewarded with a free kick for her relentless effort, Capsalis launched the ball into the Saints' forward half.
Trapping the ball in our forward fifty, we created a stoppage opportunity which saw Bertuna crumb, snap and score a spectacular goal that saw the margin slowly reduce.
Capsalis, Fogas and Kearns were all able to win a free kick in the following five minutes, providing frantic opportunities for both Laing and Bertuna as time became a factor.
The seventeenth minute left Southern Saints fans on the edge of their seats as we created a stoppage inside fifty, however, nothing eventuated of the opportunity.
Our spirited fightback did not go unnoticed by those in the stands, though, who congratulated the side as the final siren sounded.
We ultimately fell by four points in the rain, wind and sun at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.
Final Score: Southern Saints 3.3 (21) defeated by Williamstown Seagulls 3.7 (25)
Goals: T. Kearns, W. Laing, M. Bertuna
Written by Chloe Williams – Sandringham Football Club Media