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Monday, July 27, 2020 - 12:21 PM by Chris Pike

GOALS might have been tough to come by on Saturday afternoon, but ultimately South Fremantle continued its good history recently against West Perth and at the Joondalup venue to come away with the hard-earned eight-point victory.

The Bulldogs made it two-from-two to start the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season with the eventual 5.9 (39) to 4.7 (31) victory on Saturday against the Falcons at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval.

South Fremantle kicked the only goal of the final quarter to come away with the eight-point win to back up the previous Saturday's 95-point victory against East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval to open the season.

The win means that the Bulldogs continued their strong recent record against the Falcons going having now won 12 of the past 13 clashes between the two teams.

And South Fremantle continues to enjoy the trip up to Joondalup too having now won on their past five visits to the venue, and 20 of the 28 matches ever at the ground since West Perth started calling it home in 1994.

Then to make the win even more impressive from a South Fremantle point of view was the fact that key players in captain Dylan Main (ribs) and Haiden Schloithe (upper leg) missed the game but the Bulldogs still managed to prevail.

Jake Florenca continued his stunning start to the new season for the Bulldogs in the midfield, going to another level from where he left off in 2019. He racked up 32 possessions and laid nine tackles.

Jacob Dragovich also gathered 22 disposals for the Bulldogs to go with six marks and five tackles while Steve Verrier came into the side to produce 20 possessions, six marks and four tackles.

Kade Stewart shook off the tag from West Perth's Dean Munns to still have 18 possessions while Brock Higgins had another 16 disposals, six tackles and 33 hit outs to be clearly the most effective ruckman on the ground.

Zac Strom continued his hard-working start to the season too with 19 possessions, four marks and four inside 50s while Jimmy Miller impressed in his second game for the Bulldogs with 16 touches, 12 hit outs and two goals playing both as a key forward and back up ruckman.

The South Fremantle back-line was once again rock solid and conceded just the four goals for the game after only giving up three last week against East Fremantle.

Chris Luff and Noah Strom combined to ensure dangerous West Perth forwards Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott had no impact on the game while Jason Maskos gathered 19 possessions, Zac Dent 18, Blayne Wilson 14, Ben Rioli 13 and Chad Pearson 12.

South Fremantle peppered the goals to open the contest but missed on their three attempts with West Perth making them pay up the other end with the game's first goal courtesy of Keegan Knott.

South Fremantle did soon respond courtesy of their own small forward, Brandon Donaldson, but West Perth again took a rare chance through Connor West with scores level at quarter-time despite the Bulldogs having seven scoring shots to two.

Impressive South Fremantle recruit Jimmy Miller opened the second quarter with a goal to put the Bulldogs on top before a string of behinds from either side. It was Miller who broke that trend with his second just before half-time to hand his side a 10-point advantage.

It proved even harder to find goals in the second half for both teams with West Perth's Michael Lourey managing one early in the third quarter. But Caleb Datson responded for South Fremantle to steady up a 10-point lead before the Falcons got one back courtesy of Conal Lynch.

It was tough going in the final term but the only goal went the way of South Fremantle through Mason Shaw and that secured the eight-point win.

While South Fremantle's colts lost to start the day at Joondalup with West Perth prevailing 8.16 (64) to 5.6 (36), there was still plenty to like from a Bulldogs perspective.

Jaxon Bellchambers, Caden Turnbull, Corey Stanley, Darryl Anderson and Jermaine Pickett were the goal kickers for the Bulldogs colts.

Oscar Armstrong racked up 28 possessions, Toby Dodds 28, Bellchambers 27, Adam Correia 25, Ben Pears 20, Aiden Hall 18, Regan Ward 17, Riley Clayton 13 and Solomon James 13 to go with 29 hit outs in the ruck.

South Fremantle's reserves then also suffered a defeat with West Perth prevailing 13.7 (85) to 5.3 (33).

South Fremantle will now host Claremont this Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in a battle of two of the undefeated teams after two rounds of the WAFL season. 

SOUTH FREMANTLE        1.6    3.8    4.9    5.9    (39)
WEST PERTH            2.0    2.4    4.6    4.7    (31)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Miller 2; Donaldson, Shaw, Datson.
Best: Florenca, Stewart, Z Strom, Dragovich, Verrier, Miller, Luff, N Strom.
WEST PERTH – Goals: West, Knott, Lourey, Lynch.
Best: Black, Manzone, Wilhelm, Nelson, West, Lynch.