CARLTON and Williamstown were unable to be separated after four quarters in unfavourable conditions for football.
The windy weather caused difficulties for both sides in front of goal, as each side laboured to 18 points apiece.
The Blues were leading by seven points late in the last quarter, but the Seagulls went on a late charge, aided by the wind, to snatch two points from the away side.
The early stages of the match was played in front of the interchanges as both teams tried to adapt to the windy conditions. A quick snap out of the contest almost provided a magical moment for debutant Ella Smallacombe, but the rushed effort drifted left with the wind. Carlton began to get their transition game going, with some direct play leading to repeat forward 50 entries. Steph Lawrence was provided with two set shots from 25 metres out, however she was unable to adjust her kicking in the difficult conditions. The Seagulls struggled to create too many opportunities for themselves with the wind slightly favouring the away side, but some poor discipline from the Blues meant they weren’t able to capitalise.
The second term started as a scrappy affair, with tackling pressure high from both sides. Some good intercept running play from Jen Lew gave Lawrence her third chance of the match, however against the breeze the shot fell just short. Williamstown almost garnered the first goal of the contest when a dribbler hit the inside of the post. The Seagulls began to gain the upper hand, as they controlled the territory with the Blues unable to escape their defensive 50. Williamstown followed Carlton’s lead in the first quarter, with inaccurate shots at goal resulting in spurned chances for the home side. The Blues were able to wrestle back momentum, but they weren’t able to create chances close to goal, partly due to the Seagull’s solid rear-guard action.
It was a fast start for the Blues who came out aggressively. Their strong tackling translated into a goalscoring opportunity when Eliza Wood won a free kick and finished precisely to give Carlton the lead. Williamstown lifted their tempo in response, but further inaccuracy meant their strong ball movement went unrewarded. The intensity of the match was rising with every contest, as the teams became increasingly desperate in the contest as the clock wound down.
Both sides picked up where they left off to start the final term with not a single inch of room given. It was Carlton who threatened to score first, but Williamstown defended with aplomb and were dangerous on the counterattack. Brooke Plummer continued to show her class in just her second game, providing a slingshot for Carlton deep in defence, allowing for multiple deep forward 50 entries. It was on her third attempt that Mia Cowan managed to kick Carlton’s second, after she was held in the contest at the top of the square. Williamstown quickly responded with a goal of their own, after Nadia Moore turned possession over for running too far without bouncing the ball. As the game entered the final five minutes, the Seagulls were able to scrounge another behind, leveling the scores. The Carlton defence were able to move the ball up to the wing, where it stayed until the final siren eventually sounded, meaning the sides would share the points.
Carlton 0.3.3 0.5.5 1.6.12 2.6.18
Williamstown 0.0.0 1.3.9 1.5.11 2.6.18
Goals: Wood, Cowan.
Best: Di Cosmo, Plummer, Lawrence, Goss, Gurr, Madden.
“As we prepared for, it was tough conditions out here in Williamstown. Steph Lawrence was a real positive today, playing her best game of the season. We just need to be better as a team, a bit smarter, for longer periods of time.”