Up Next Determined Dogs overcome Eagles in a thriller
Marcus Bontempelli has done it again.
Leading by a golden point against the West Coast Eagles late on Sunday afternoon, a captain’s goal – making it his third of the day – couldn’t have come at a better time in the Western Bulldogs' 14.16 (100) to 14.9 (93) triumph.
Playing in front of fans at Marvel Stadium for the first time in nearly 600 days, the Bulldogs turned around a 12-point deficit at the final break to record the gutsy come-from-behind win.
The hosts had majority of possession early but struggled to convert on the scoreboard, leading by the slimmest of margins at the first break.
Inaccuracy plagued the Bulldogs in the second, kicking 3.7 for the term, but managed to hold off a fast-finishing Eagles outfit in the second half.
Scores were level twice late in the final term - with neither side willing to accept defeat just yet.
The skipper was prolific, finishing the day with 30 touches, six marks and seven inside-50s to go with his three goals, while ball magnet Jack Macrae (41) and reigning Club champion Caleb Daniel (26) found plenty of the footy.
Josh Bruce and Aaron Naughton both finished with a trio of goals each, while a late major from Laith Vandermeer helped the hosts stay within arm’s reach.
In defence, Bailey Williams was crucial to the Dogs holding on late, and Adam Treloar stepped up in the final quarter with nine disposals from more time inside the centre square.
150-gamer Tom Liberatore (26, five tackles) was impactful early, while 50-gamer Alex Keath stood tall.
The Western Bulldogs will have a five-day break before returning to Marvel Stadium on Friday afternoon, for the Good Friday Appeal 'Kick for the Kids' match against North Melbourne.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 6.10 9.12 14.16 (100)WEST COAST 3.2 6.3 12.6 14.9 (93)
GOALSWestern Bulldogs: Bruce 3, Bontempelli 3, Naughton 3, Daniel, Dunkley, English, Smith, VandermeerWest Coast: Kennedy 4, Darling 3, Jones 3, Allen 2, Ryan 2
BESTWestern Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Daniel, Dunkley, Treloar, NaughtonWest Coast: Naitanui, Sheed, Kelly, Kennedy, Hurn, Darling
INJURIESWestern Bulldogs: NilWest Coast: Allen (shoulder), Naitanui (eye)