By Lance Jenkinson
Werribee Districts is the last Wyndham team standing in the Western Region Football League division 1 after it poleaxed local rivals Hoppers Crossing by 68 points in a one-sided elimination final at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday.
The Tigers set up their victory in the sunshine in the first half before running riot in the wet in the second half to kick-start their finals campaign in a brutal fashion that even their coach Chris Gilham did not see coming.
“It was a brilliant day for us,” Gilham said.
“I couldn’t have dreamt it would go any better.”
Whether the ground was bathed in sunshine or once the heavens opened up, one constant for Werribee Districts was its dominance at the stoppages.
The key factor to the Tigers getting first use was ruckman Will Sullivan.
The former West Coast Eagles-listed big man has made his tap work an art form this season and the midfielders are lapping it up.
“He’s definitely the key to our success, that’s for sure,” Gilham said.
“He was unbelievable in the ruck and our ground level blokes fed off that.
“He rucks 90 per cent of the game and teams throw two or three at him at times and he keeps standing up.
“His follow-up work is really good as well.”
Nayef Hamad, Bailey Siwek and Dillon Viojo-Rainbow were superb in the midfield for Werribee Districts.
Gavin Donnon also had a big role to play for the Tigers as an extra rotation following a concerning foot injury to Trent Lee.
Hamad arguably had the biggest influence on the game.
“Nayef was really good at the clearances,” Gilham said.
“He just gave us that really strong body in the middle.
“All our midfielders were great, we could’ve thrown any of them in our best to be honest, but we’re not the biggest team in the world, so Nayef’s physicality was important.”
Oscar Junker and Chris Molivas were the focal points of the Werribee Districts attack.
Junker finished with a game-high four goals and Molivas added three.
Werribee Districts will face Spotswood in a cut-throat semi-final at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday. The Woodsmen are licking their wounds after a 30-point loss to Deer Park.
Deer Park will meet minor premiers Altona in the other semi-final for the right to be the first team through to the grand final.
In division 2, Wyndhamvale will be forced to take the long route to the grand final after losing its semi-final to Yarraville Seddon by 25 points at JR Parsons Reserve.
The Falcons will meet Parkside, who pipped Point Cook Centrals by four points, in the preliminary final at Pennell Reserve on Saturday.
In division 3, Glen Orden was too strong for Tarneit in its do-or-die semi-final, winning by 41 points. The Hawks have set up a preliminary final showdown with Sunshine Heights at Pennell Reserve on Sunday.
The Heights went down by 10 points to Albanvale in the second semi-final.