The Williamstown Seagulls won a thrilling local derby against Wyndham Tigers in the opening round of the FIDA season at Warringa Cres Reserve on Sunday April 6.
The game proved to be a classic match-up between the up and comers, Division 2 2013 premiers Wyndham promoted to Division 1, and the Division 1 runners-up, Williamstown.
After a tight first half the Seagulls broke the game open with a four goal third quarter and were 16 points up at the last break. The home team, kicking to the pavilion/IGA end, were full of running and snatched a one-point lead with just seconds to go.
The Seagulls’ Kelvin O’Connor then took the ball from the centre bounce, ran his full measure and cleared the pack to goal just moments before the final siren.
Williamstown 9.12 (66) Wyndham 9.7 (61)
Williamstown best: Kelvin O’Connor, Ibby Nasser, Ray Causon, Luke Barker, Patrick Edsall
Wyndham best: Damien Parry, Bradley Hunter, Alex Skinner, Jamie Mifsud
In the reserves Wyndham got off to a flying start and were never headed, running out winners by 67 points: 12.16 (88) to 3.3 (21). Aaron Watts snagged two goals in a great debut for the Tigers while Williamstown’s Brandon Micallef’s two quick goals in the final term were just reward for making the trip all the way from Stawell.
Wyndham best: Chris Quinn (5 goals), Luke Barrett, Aaron Watts
Williamstown best: Kaleb Halley, Yaser Shubeilat,Sam Belden, Brandon Micallef, Lyndal Van Es
“For Wyndham it was a great way to start our first season in Division 1,” said coach Paul Barrett. “Both sides should be proud of their efforts.”
“Williamstown’s limited pre-season didn’t prevent a strong showing,” noted Seagulls coach Rob Klemm. “Match fitness will undoubtedly improve over the journey.”
Round 2 is on Sunday 27 April, with Williamstown playing North Ballarat at Fearon Reserve, Williamstown, and Wyndham playing Kananook at Kananook Reserve, Seaford.
FIDA, the Football Integration Development Association, is a league for footballers with intellectual disabilities.