Bulldogs lose a heart stopper at home to Falcons

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 4:02 PM

SOUTH Fremantle fell agonisingly short of a first win of the 2013 WAFL season losing a thriller to West Perth at Fremantle Oval on Friday night by just three points.

After falling 32 points down by early in the second quarter, South Fremantle showed terrific fight and spirit to get back into the contest with five of the last seven goals of the first half, and then three goals to nil in the third quarter to suddenly be in front by three quarter-time.

However, the Bulldogs couldn’t quite hold on in the last quarter with West Perth ending up winning 13.8 (86) to 13.5 (83).

Without question, it was South Fremantle's best performance of the 2013 season to date, though, and an effort like that against most other opposition would likely bring about plenty of wins this year, so it's all about being able to now maintain it.

West Perth got off to a fast start kicking the first three goals of the game and despite late goals in the term to Jarrad Winter and Dylan Ross, the Bulldogs were still 19 points down at quarter-time.

The Falcons then got as far as 32 points up early in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs rallied with five of the last seven goals leading into half-time, with Adam Guglielmana booted two of those and Haiden Schloithe another at the 32-minute mark, to have the half-time margin just 14 points.

South Fremantle then came out and put on a tremendous third quarter kicking the only three goals of the term through Winter, Guglielmana and third-gamer Kingsley Smith to hold a six-point advantage at three quarter-time.

The Bulldogs had all the momentum heading into the last change, but two early goals to West Perth saw the Falcons regain the lead and be up by 13 points when Rohan Kerr goaled at the 12 and-a-half minute mark.

South Fremantle managed to get back to within three points after a late snap from Alistair Gillespie with over 30 minutes elapsed on the clock, but time just ran out before the Bulldogs could press forward to look for the match-winning six pointer.

Guglielmana finished with four clever goals for South Fremantle with Winter adding three.

Veteran midfielder Kris Miller continued his outstanding start to the 2013 season racking up another 26 possessions in the midfield with Schloithe playing a terrific game with 22 disposals and Toby Bairstow also had it 22 times.

Captain Ryan Cook worked tirelessly and didn’t stop running all night finishing with 21 possessions.

Ruckman Sean Tighe had an intriguing battle all night long with Chris Keunen. Tighe finished with 20 possessions, four marks and 42 hit outs for South Fremantle, and Keunen had 19 disposals, four marks and 42 hit outs for West Perth.

South Fremantle back-line worked hard all night led by Brendon Gulley, Craig White, Mitch Carter, Adam McIntosh and Jason Maskos. Adam Doughty also worked hard and had 17 possessions after overcoming an injury from last week to take his place in the side.

Saturday saw the reserves and colts return to Fremantle Oval and both South Fremantle sides recorded impressive victories.

It started in the morning with the colts cruising to an 18.7 (115) to 5.11 (41) victory. Matthew Ah Siu kicked three goals for South Fremantle with Blaine Johnson also kicking three go with his 22 possessions. William Frampton booted three majors from three kicks and 12 hit outs.

Tim Stewart was terrific with 21 disposals and two goals while Jermaine Lewis and Ben Horsman kicked two apiece. Jacob Dragovich picked up 22 possessions and Ben Sokol 20.

Meanwhile, the reserves beat West Perth as well running out 14.14 (98) to 12.7 (79) victors.

Zachary Strom and James Laurino kicked three goals each for the Bulldogs with Willy Rioli and Sean Lynch adding two apiece. Brendan Verrier racked up 27 possessions, Nick Borovac 21 and Sam Lowrie 20.

SOUTH FREMANTLE                                        2.0          7.1          10.5        13.5        (83)

WEST PERTH                                                      5.1          9.3          9.5          13.8        (86)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Guglielmana 4; Winter 3; Schloithe, Sgherza, Adams, Gillespie, Ross, Smith.

Best: Tighe, Miller, Guglielmana, Schloithe, Winter, Cook, Bairstow.

WEST PERTH – Goals: Johnson 3; Kerr, Crisp, Tsalikis 2; Hutchings, Guadagnin, Mellington, Rodda.

Best: Browne, Hutchings, Black, Kerr, Jones, Rasmussen, Keunen.

By Chris Pike