Bulldogs can't quite hold on against Royals

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 2:22 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle couldn’t quite hold on to a seemingly match-winning lead against East Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.

South Fremantle looked on track for its seventh win of the season and to bounce back from a loss to Subiaco a week earlier having kicked the only three goals of the third quarter and then leading by 22 points when Cory Dell'Olio booted his third to start the last term.

But East Perth showed terrific fighting spirit and ended up kicking the last four goals of the game, and then scored the winning point when a Drew Petrie shot was rushed through.

That was enough for the Royals to come away with a 10.11 (71) to 10.10 (70) victory.

South Fremantle has lost consecutive matches for the first time since last year's second semi-final and preliminary final. The Bulldogs remain in second position at 6-3 but two games now behind Subiaco and only percentage ahead of West Perth.

Haiden Schloithe was again outstanding for South Fremantle not only with his ball-winning ability, but his fierce attack on the contest and the opposition when they had the ball. He finished the day with 31 possessions and 10 tackles.

Tim Kelly was also a tireless worker in the middle for the Bulldogs with 25 possessions and six inside-50 entries while Shane Hockey racked up 27 disposals.

Brock Higgins worked hard in the ruck for 50 hit outs opposed to all of Jonathan Giles, Scott Jones and Drew Petrie.

Captain Ryan Cook also had it 21 times for the Bulldogs, Jacob Dragovich 18, Adam McIntosh 18 and Dylan Main 17.

Debutant Chad Pearson showed some good signs in his eight disposals despite a tight hamstring.

Despite Ben Saunders, Mason Shaw and Blaine Johnson being held goalless for South Fremantle, Zac Strom at times looked a match-winner kicking four goals from six strong marks. Cory Dell'Olio was also lively with three majors.

South Fremantle began the game strongly with three of the opening four goals to Strom, Dell'Olio and Hams only intercepted by one to Ameduri for East Perth.

Then a good goal on the run for the Royals to Jackson Nelson, another to Tom Lamb and then one to big man Scott Jones after a strong mark in the goal square saw the visitors lead by a goal at quarter-time.

Two quick goals to Strom saw him threaten to blow the game open for South Fremantle at the start of the second quarter before East Perth got a steadier from Will Schofield.

Dell'Olio's second again put the Bulldogs up but a second also for Jones for East Perth but South Fremantle's half-time advantage to a point.

The rain began to pour down in the third quarter but South Fremantle adjusted the better. Quick goals to start the quarter from Main and Strom saw the Bulldogs open a 13-point lead, and that grew to 17 when Jarrod Garlett kicked one of the goals of the season just before the siren.

South Fremantle then looked on track to win with Dell'Olio third goal to start the final term and the lead was 22 points.

The margin was still 17 points heading into time-on but Lamb's second goal revived hopes for the Royals. When he marked and kicked truly again at the 24-minute mark, suddenly the margin was just five points.

Mark Hutchings had one chance to put East Perth in front but couldn’t make the distance from 50, but he got another soon after from much closer and made no mistake.

That only drew scores level. But Drew Petrie had a shot from just outside 50 and while it just fell short, the Royals forced it through for a point and that was enough for the win.

South Fremantle's colts began the day at Fremantle Community Bank Oval defeating East Perth 12.12 (84) to 8.11 (59).

Brodee Knight was outstanding for the Bulldogs with 30 possessions and three goals with Bruno Faulkner also finishing with 27 disposals, seven tackles and two goals.

Regan Spooner also gathered 23 disposals for South Fremantle, Michael Redman 21 and Tere Teio-Yarran 20. Thomas Weston booted three goals.

South Fremantle's reserves went down to East Perth as well at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the Royals winning 12.5 (77) to 8.9 (57). Despite the loss, the Bulldogs remain a game clear on top of the ladder.

Mitch Dzelebdzic kicked two goals for South Fremantle to go with 19 possessions.

Brendan Verrier amassed 30 disposals for the Bulldogs, Jake Florenca 30 and Steve Verrier 21.

There is now the general bye for the state game this weekend with the WAFL taking on the VFL at Melbourne's North Port Oval. 

It's then time for the WA Day Foundation Derby with South Fremantle facing East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval.

SOUTH FREMANTLE        3.3    6.6    9.8    10.10    (70)
EAST PERTH            4.3    6.5    6.9    10.11    (71)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Strom 4; Dell'Olio 3; Garlett, Main, Hams.
Best: Schloithe, Kelly, Hockey, Strom, Dell'Olio, Hams.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Lamb 3; Jones 2; Wright, Ameduri, Schofield, Nelson, Hutchings.
Best: Partington, Ameduri, Hutchings, Lamb, Schofield, Anderson, Blee.