Port Melbourne fell short against Williamstown by two points in a thrilling contest at ETU Stadium on Sunday.

Spurred on by a big reunion crowd at ETU Stadium for their 150th birthday celebration, the Borough slammed on four unanswered goals in the first quarter, reprising their premiership-winning form from last year and leaving a team chasing 7½ wins from their past eight matches shellshocked.

But the Seagulls turned the contest around in the second quarter, with only terrible kicking for goal stopping them taking the lead by half-time.

That included Rohenna Young Medal leader Sharnie Whiting kicked 2.1 in a five-minute patch but the visitors ended with 2.7 for the term to trail by five points at the main break.

Port again found scoring hard to come by in the third, with a solitary rushed behind as Emily Eaves gave Williamstown the lead and a wonderful snap from veteran first-year ruck Cat O’Bryan almost made the comeback win secure for the Seagulls.

Kaitlyn O’Keefe’s second goal for Port Melbourne with nine minutes left set up an epic finish that was battled out with no further addition to the board either way.

The Borough had 56 more disposals – Willy won despite having only 146 possessions for the day – but lost the clearance (38-30) and inside-50 (28-26) counts as the Seagulls took the more direct route home.

Eaves (14 disposals, six clearances, 10 tackles, one goal) was critical and Ash Thorneycroft (13 disposals, nine tackles), Megan Williamson (12 disposals, eight tackles), Whiting (nine disposals, two goals) and O’Bryan (nine disposals, 32 hitouts, five clearances, one goal) were all vital to the win.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper starred for the reigning premiers with a game-high 18 touches, eight tackles and a goal, with Emily Harley (15 disposals, five clearances), Georgia Booth (14 disposals, seven tackles) and ruck Beth Wilson (nine disposals, 11 hitouts, eight tackles until injured in the third quarter) all being important.

PORT MELBOURNE  4.2        4.2        4.3        5.4 (34)
WILLIAMSTOWN       0.2        2.9        3.11     4.12 (36)