Western Bulldogs down Bombers 147-125 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Western Bulldogs down Bombers 147-125

By Sam Lienert 01/09/2006 10:50:56 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs veteran midfielder Scott West enhanced his Brownlow Medal chances with another tireless ball-winning performance in a 22.15 (147) to 18.17 (125) AFL victory over Essendon at Telstra Dome.

But despite winning, the 'Dogs would not rate their chances of progressing far in the finals highly based on the performance, in a low-intensity match in which both sides were allowed plenty of time and space to run.

After dominating the first quarter 8.2 to 2.3, and stretching their lead to 46 points in the second quarter, the 'Dogs allowed Essendon to kick eight of nine goals either side of the halftime break to briefly take the lead in the third term.

While the Bulldogs were able to pull away again, with five of the last six goals of the third quarter to ensure a comfortable victory, their inconsistent performance would not have provided too many fears for the other seven finalists.

The good news is they made it through the match without any notable injuries, ahead of what will be the club's first finals series in six seasons.

West, who picked up 36 disposals, dominated in the midfield from the start of the match helping his team win enough of the ball to kick 10 of the first 12 goals.

He had good support from midfielder-forward Adam Cooney, while running defenders Lindsay Gilbee and Ryan Griffen also had strong games.

Up forward, Brad Johnson showed plenty of pace and skill to kick five goals, although he took the gloss of his performance by also kicking five behinds.

But, after the Bulldogs looked set to cruise to a huge victory, the Bombers stormed back into the match late in the second quarter.

Scott Lucas and Jason Johnson kicked three goals each for the quarter, with Lucas finishing with 8.2 for the match in a standout performance to give him 67 goals for the season.

The Bombers were able to cut the margin to 13 points at the main break, then James Hird turned on some magic to quickly cut the gap even further.

He rolled through a clever snap under pressure, then goaled with a set shot from outside 50 metres on an angle to make it a two-point game.

When Lucas snapped truly a few minutes later, the Bombers were remarkably in the lead.

But it did not last long.

A clever one-handed mark and goal by Brad Johnson put the Bulldogs back in front less than two minutes later, and they were not headed again, adding the next three to ensure they retained a buffer for the rest of the match.

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