Dockers outlast brave Bulldogs

March 15, 2020 6:15 pm in by

FREMANTLE has claimed top spot in AFLW Conference B by escaping the clutches of the spirited Western Bulldogs to claim a 15-point win at Whitten Oval.

In a game played behind closed doors on Sunday, the Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points in the third term before Fremantle fought back to claim a 10.6 (66) to 8.3 (51) victory.

Fremantle’s Ebony Antonio (19 touches, 10 tackles), Kiara Bowers (21 touches, 12 tackles) and forward Ashley Sharp (three goals) were superb, while Bulldogs skipper Ellie Blackburn (two goals, 18 disposals) was excellent alongside Isabel Huntington (15 touches, six marks).

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The Bulldogs started fast and Blackburn drew first blood, drilling a fine goal on the run.

Hannah Munyard followed suit from a set shot before Dockers skipper Kara Antonio responded with a clutch contested mark, converting on the siren.

The Bulldogs struck first in the second term through Blackburn, who slotted her second goal on the run.

Fremantle’s Hayley Miller quickly responded from a set shot with the emptiness of Whitten Oval accentuated by the audible thump of the ball hitting the advertising boards behind the goal.

Kirsten McLeod regained the lead for the Dogs before Sharp handed Fremantle a two-point half time lead.

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The Bulldogs seized the ascendancy in the third term through consecutive goals to Aisling McCarthy, McLeod and Deanna Berry.

But as the quarter went on Mia-Rae Clifford and Sharp struck to keep the Dockers in the game at the final change.

There were several lead changes in the final term before three consecutive goals to Fremantle – capped off by Sharp running into an open goal – sealed the deal.

The Dogs were forced into two late changes with Lauren Spark (illness) and Brooke Lochland (managed) replaced by Nicole Callinan and Britney Gutknecht, while Fremantle called up Sarah Garstone for Janelle Cuthbertson (soreness).

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FREMANTLE 1.2 4.3 6.5 10.6 (66)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.0 4.1 7.3 8.3 (51)

Goals: Fremantle: A Sharp 3 M Clifford 2 E Antonio H Miller K Antonio K Flood L Pugh. Western Bulldogs: E Blackburn 2 K McLeod 2 A McCarthy D Berry D Marshall H Munyard.

Venue: Whitten Oval.