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Bulldogs get starts in order and beat Royals for fifth straight

Monday, July 24, 2017 - 11:16 AM by Chris Pike
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SOUTH Fremantle started better and finished strongly to make it five straight WAFL wins beating East Perth by 30 points on Saturday in Busselton.
 
South Fremantle might have started slowly the past three weeks and had to come from behind to win, but the Bulldogs were the ones starting strongly at Sir Stewart Bovell Park in Busselton on Saturday.
 
The Bulldogs led by as much as 31 points during the second term but the Royals fought back strongly and hit the front three minutes into the last term. But South Fremantle wouldn’t be denied and went on to kick five goals in 11 minutes to secure the 18.13 (121) to 14.7 (91) victory.
 
That makes it five wins in-a-row for South Fremantle who improves to a 12-4 record on the season to remain clear in second position on the ladder.
 
East Perth missed a chance to remain right in touch with fifth position slipping to 6-9 and two games back from the fifth placed West Perth.
 
South Fremantle once again had plenty of potency in attack led by five goals from Blaine Johnson with four of them coming in the second half.
 
Ben Saunders also kicked four goals from eight kicks, five marks and five tackles for the Bulldogs with Cory Dell'Olio and Mason Shaw chipping in with two apiece.
 
Tim Kelly's disposal numbers might have been a little down but his impact on the contest was significant with the South Fremantle on-baller finishing with 21 possessions, six tackles, six inside-50 entries and three goals.
 
Shane Hockey thrived in the conditions to continue his season-best form in recent weeks with another 30 disposals and eight tackles while Steve Verrier had 23 touches, Haiden Schloithe 22, Jacob Dragovich 22 and Steven Edwards 20. 
 
Ruckman Brock Higgins rose to the challenge against former side and up against both Jonathan Giles and Scott Jones to be the best ruckman in the game with 17 possessions and 31 hit outs.
 
Another former Royal albeit not by choice while he was listed with West Coast, Blayne Wilson, was terrific at centre half-back with 21 possessions and eight marks.
 
Following three straight weeks of slow starts that saw South Fremantle had to come back from being 29 points down against Perth, 25 points back from Claremont and trailing by 41 points against Swan Districts to win, the Bulldogs made a much brighter start in Busselton on Saturday.
 
It took just six minutes for South Fremantle to have two goals on the board thanks to Dell'Olio and Saunders. By the 15-minute mark, captain Ryan Cook got in on the action and the Bulldogs had solved their slow start problem at least for this week.
 
A couple of quick goals to East Perth co-captain Patrick McGinnity were much-needed to say the least, but the Bulldogs still answered thanks to Kelly and the 19-point quarter-time could have been much greater with some straighter kicking on goal.
 
Two quick goals to start the second term from Saunders saw South Fremantle take further control to lead by 31 points before again McGinnity responded for the Royals. Stan Wright then kicked truly also as did Giles to make the margin just 12 points.
 
South Fremantle answered through Dragovich but just a minute later McGinnity kicked his fourth of the half for the Royals. The Bulldogs did have the last say of the half with a goal to Johnson and that saw them 17 points up at the long break in Busselton.
 
East Perth did kick the first goal of the second half to stay in touch when Tom Lamb kicked truly. 
 
Even though Dell'Olio answered with his second of the game for the Bulldogs, the Royals had picked up some momentum and Partington kicked two goals in three minutes, and when Malcolm Karpany kicked truly all of a sudden they were in front and had all the momentum.
 
However, South Fremantle was able to respond firstly through Johnson and then Kelly. Shaw then kicked his first of the game to make the margin 16 points again but it was back to 10 on three quarter-time with a late major for East Perth from Snadden.
 
The game was right on the line still at three quarter-time and even more so with an early goal in the last quarter for East Perth to McGinnity, his fifth, to bring the Royals within three points.
 
That's as close as they would get, though, with South Fremantle putting the game out of reach over the next 15 minutes with a tremendous run with goals to Saunders, Johnson, Kelly, Shaw and then another two to Johnson to give him five for the day.
 
That saw South Fremantle's lead out to as much as 41 points before a couple of late East Perth goals to Lamb and Hill cut the final margin to 30.
 
The colts contest between East Perth and South Fremantle took place at Leederville Oval with the league teams in Busselton. It was a thriller with the Royals ending up beating the Bulldogs 10.8 (68) to 9.13 (67).
 
Luke Moore kicked three goals for the Bulldogs while Regan Spooner gathered 32 possessions, Glenn Byron 24, Matthew Ward 23, Ryan Burrows 21, Bruno Faulkner 20, Jonathon Frampton 18 and Jacob Warne 16 to go with seven marks and 22 hit outs.
 
The reserves clash on Saturday also took place at Leederville Oval between East Perth and South Fremantle, and this time it was the Bulldogs getting the three-point win, beating the Royals 12.7 (79) to 10.16 (76).
 
Mitch Dzelebdzic had three kicks and kicked three goals for South Fremantle with Brandon Donaldson and Jesse Musika also kicking two majors.
 
Jake Florenca responded to his demotion racking up 36 possessions for the Bulldogs with Jarrod Parry gathering 28 disposals, Kyle Russell 20, Daniel Cabassi 19, Jarrod Garlett 18, Josh Collard 18, Musika 18 and Caleb Datson 17.
 
South Fremantle is back to Fremantle Community Bank Oval this Saturday to take on West Perth looking for a fifth straight win this season, and a sixth in-a-row against the Falcons.
 
SOUTH FREMANTLE 4.7 8.9 12.10 18.13 (121)
EAST PERTH 2.0 6.4 11.6 14.7 (91)
 
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Johnson 5; Saunders 4; Kelly 3; Dell'Olio, Shaw 2; Cook, Dragovich.
Best: Hockey, Kelly, Johnson, S Verrier, Higgins, Wilson, Dragovich, Schloithe.
EAST PERTH – Goals: McGinnity 5; Lamb, Partington 2; Karpany, Wright, Hill, Giles, Snadden.
Best: Partington, McGinnity, Snadden, Mutimer, Watson, Masten.