In the final round of the VFLW home-and-away season, anticipation was high for a top two spot as the VFLW Hawks faced Williamstown at Box Hill City Oval.
The last time these two teams clashed, the Hawks came away with a 49-point victory but from the first bounce this time around, they knew they were in for a big challenge.
Williamstown shocked the Hawks awake after sealing an early goal to open the scoring for the game.
It was back and forth for the remainder of the first quarter but goals from Sky Wilson and Kristy Stratton put the Hawks on the board.
The Seagulls powered through in the second quarter with another opening goal and were proving they could match the Hawks’ intensity.
Hawthorn fought hard throughout the term with a few minor scores from set shots, but aggression was at its highest point of the contest with the game still in the balance.
Half-time saw an exceptional lecture from coach Cherie O’Neill which was paramount to bringing up the morale of her troops.
“We as coaches can only do so much, you guys have got to step out there and own it,” O’Neill said.
This speech saw Meg Hutchins fire up, having a few set shots at goal in the third term.
While her attempts brought up team spirits, they couldn’t count on the scoreboard.
This saw Stratton step up for her second goal of the day before Grace McRae kicked the Hawks into the lead for the first time.
There was a final ditch effort from both teams before Mietta Kendall stood up through the crowd to seal the winning goal after a hard-fought game.
Jordan Mifsud and Emma Humphries dominated disposals for the Hawks with 20 and 19, respectively, generating much-needed run through the middle and maintaining composure throughout the four quarters to help stabilise the team after a shaky start.
Ainslie Kemp remained solid in the backline with 18 disposals and six tackles, keeping her defensive squad strong in the tantalising last minutes of the game.
The Hawks enter the finals finishing second on the ladder with a qualifying battle to come against minor premiers Essendon next Saturday at Windy Hill.
HAWTHORN: 2.0 | 2.2 | 4.3 | 5.7 (37)
WILLIAMSTOWN: 2.1 | 3.2 | 3.5 | 3.5 (23)
Goals: Stratton (2), Wilson, McRae, Kendall