North Melbourne outgun Bulldogs by 20 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

North Melbourne outgun Bulldogs by 20

By Guy Hand 10/08/2008 04:04:20 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne will challenge Sydney for fourth spot in the AFL finals after beating the second-placed Western Bulldogs by 20 points at Telstra Dome.

With midfielder Brent Harvey outstanding, the Kangaroos ambushed the Dogs early and held off a third quarter revival and another late final quarter charge for a 21.10 (136) to 18.8 (116) win.

North were too good all over the ground early for a sluggish Bulldogs side, who looked listless from the first bounce and struggled to penetrate their opponents' blanket zone defence.

The Kangaroos led by 26 points at quarter-time, then upped their intensity in the second term as their smaller players, led by Harvey, ran riot.

Harvey had 27 touches and kicked three goals to surely earn another three Brownlow Medal votes in a stellar season, while the busy Campbell, Leigh Harding and Shannon Grant also booted three goals apiece.

Bulldogs skipper Brad Johnson was easily his side's best, booting five goals.

The Kangaroos led by as much as 50 points early in the third term and, while challenged twice in the second half, always appeared in control.

The Bulldogs, inspired by forwards Johnson and Robert Murphy, first lifted in the third term by kicking six goals to four to whittle the deficit back to 18 points.

An after-the-siren goal to Kangaroos forward Nathan Thompson on three-quarter time eased the pressure somewhat, though Murphy cut the margin back to 18 points with the opening goal of the final term.

Successive goals to North's Scott McMahon and Lindsay Thomas gave the Kangaroos breathing space, before Harvey's third goal appeared to snuff out the Dogs' hopes.

Yet the Bulldogs rallied again in time-on, with three final term goals to Daniel Giansiracusa followed by a Mitch Hahn major which cut the margin to 14 points.

But as they had throughout the previous three quarters, the Kangaroos found an answer - Grant's second and third goals putting the issue beyond doubt.

The win lifted the Kangaroos to equal fourth with Sydney.

But the Swans, who beat Fremantle by four points, are ahead on percentage with three rounds left.

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