Dogs switch off Power

June 29, 2019 10:40 pm in by

REJUVENATED forward Josh Schache slotted three goals as the unfancied Western Bulldogs upset Port Adelaide by 25 points in Saturday night’s AFL game.

The Bulldogs revived their finals hopes with a tenacious 10.6 (66) to 5.11 (41) triumph on a rain-soaked Adelaide Oval.

Schache defied the slippery conditions to help the Dogs sneak within a win of the top eight.

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The 21-year-old also kicked three goals in last week’s loss to Collingwood after spending two months in state league ranks.

His scoring return against Port was crucial for the Dogs, who were superbly served by Marcus Bontempelli (27 disposals) and Jack Macrae (35 touches).

Defenders Jason Johannisen (24 possessions) and Caleb Daniel were influential, Tory Dickson booted two goals while Josh Dunkley (30 disposals) and 14-gamer Roarke Smith (25 touches, one goal) impressed.

The Power, a week after downing ladder-leaders Geelong, blew a chance to consolidate their finals claims – they slip from seventh to eighth spot.

Port spearhead Charlie Dixon kicked two goals, ex-captain Travis Boak collected 32 disposals and backmen Darcy Byrne-Jones (28 touches) and Hamish Hartlett (29 possessions) were standouts.

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But after Dixon scored the opening goal of the game, the Power soon fell behind and never bridged the gap before 25,623 spectators.

Following Dixon’s early strike, the Bulldogs, sparked by Bontempelli, kicked three consecutive goals.

Bontempelli produced a dynamic first term – a dozen disposals, six clearances, four inside 50s and four tackles – and the Bulldogs led 3.2 to 1.2 at quarter- time.

Port’s Robbie Gray reduced the deficit to six points early in the second term before the Dogs regained their ascendancy.

Schache booted his second goal after a sticky-fingered overhead mark and Smith added another with a curling 45m snap as the visitors crafted a 15-point halftime lead.

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Port rallied to come within two points in the third term before the Dogs responded superbly.

They kicked three consecutive goals in five minutes, including a third major to the influential Schache, and held a 13-point buffer at three quarter-time.

After a tense quarter-hour in the final term when neither side could score a goal, Bulldog Patrick Lipinski soccered a major and teammate Dickson soon booted his second to seal victory.

© AAP 2019

WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.2 5.2 8.3 10.6 (66)

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PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 2.5 5.8 5.11 (41)

Goals: Western Bulldogs: J Schache 3 P Lipinski 2 T Dickson 2 J Macrae M Suckling R Smith. Port Adelaide: C Dixon 2 C Rozee P Ladhams R Gray.

Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Andrew Mitchell, Craig Fleer.

Official Crowd: 25,623 at Adelaide Oval.