Victoria University Whitten came alive on Sunday with a huge finals crowd of over 5,000 that saw Footscray hold on against the breeze in the final term to claim a 20-point win over Williamstown.
The Bulldogs booked a spot in the Preliminary final kicking three goals to two in the final term to earn the week off.
The breeze at Whitten Oval dictated the game for three quarters, with the Bulldogs wayward in the first term but were still able to hold a 28 point lead at quarter time with Lin Jong and Goodes the key players in the middle.
A seven goal second term got Williamstown back into the game with the breeze. The Seagulls kickd the first four goals of the term to get back within four points – Sam Critchley kicking two – before Jack Redpath kicked a steadier for the Bulldogs.
Mitch Banner gave Williamstown the lead in a run of three goals to end the first half, as Williamstown led by 10 points at half time.
The visitors run continued in the third term, as Ferguson kicked his second against the breeze. This however sparked a six goal unanswered run by Footscray, with Ayce Cordy kicking two for the term and putting the home side in front at the 24 minute mark – a lead they would not give up for the remainder of the game.
With 17 goals kicked with the breeze, Williamstown had the advantage in the final term, but inaccuracy cost them kicking 2.7 for the final term.
Anthony Anastasio provided the Seagulls with the perfect start to get the visitors to within 16 points but Goodes answered with his third. A run of behinds was finally broken by Kane Lambert, which saw the margin under two goals 14 minutes into the final term.
But when Tory Dickson kicked two in a row, the Bulldogs were back out to a 22-point lead at 23 minute mark. Williamstown had late chances, but in the end it was Footscray by 20 points.
Footscray Bulldogs 14. 11. (95) defeat Williamstown Seagulls 10. 15. (75)
Goal Kickers: T. Dickson 3, A. Cordy 3, B. Goodes 2, J. Redpath , M. Fogarty , L. Hunter , J. Tutt , J. Grant , M. Honeychurch
Best Players: A. Cordy , L. Jong , B. Goodes, J. Tutt , L. Jones