The Western Bulldogs have overcome Melbourne by just 7 points in a tough encounter at the MCG today. After winning their first three games,  the Doggies lost three in a row, but have now won their last two to stay third on the AFL ladder.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Rocket’s men, as they struggled to get their hands on the ball in the first half but managed to shut down the home side in the third term.

Despite being on the bottom the Demons showed plenty of fight, getting a jump on the Bulldogs early. Matthew Bate opened the scoring for the Demons when he ran onto the lose ball to snap from just 15 metres out. The Dogs hit back through Robert Murphy. Melbourne then booted the next three goals through Maric, Robertson and McLean to get out to a handy lead, but the Dogs kicked two of the next three goals in time one to cut the margin to 11 points at the first change.

The Demons then extended the margin in the second quarter kicking the first two goals, with Bate kicking his second and Nathan Jones kicking his first. The Bulldogs then hit back once again as Jason Akermanis turned it on kicking 3 second quarter goals. Dylan Addison put the Doggies in front at the 28 minute mark, but Matthew Bate’s  late third goal put the Demons back in front and they took a three point lead into the main break.

Despite kicking the first goal of the term once again the Demons were unable to get a run on. As the case had been in previous, turnovers hurt the young Demons and the Doggies pounced, kicking the next three goals of the game to give them a two goal lead at the final change.

Lindsay Gilbee’s early goal in the final quarter extended the Dogs lead, but Melbourne continued to show their fighting spirit kicking the next two to cut the margin once again. The Bulldogs replied almost straight away through Matthew Boyd and then again from Scott Welsh early in time on. Two late goals from the Demons weren’t enough to snatch the points, but showed signs of improvement throughout the match.

Melbourne  –      5.2, 10.3, 11.4, 15.7 (97)
Western Bulldogs –   3.3, 9.6, 12.10, 15.14 (104)

Bate 4, Robertson 3, Maric 2, McLean, Sylvia, Jones, Petterd, Davey, Valenti
Western Bulldogs: Akermanis 4, Welsh 3, Gilbee 2, Murphy, Hahn, Johnson, Cooney, Addison, Boyd

Morton, Moloney, McLean, Bate, Johnson, Davey
Western Bulldogs: Akermanis, Giansiracusa, Gilbee, Boyd, Williams, Welsh

Western Bulldogs: Hargrave (leg) out, replaced in selected side by Addison, Murphy (hamstring)

Reports: Nil

Nicholls, Hay, McInerney

Official crowd: 28,279 at the MCG