|Brownlow Medal||3 Josh Jenkins (ADEL)||2 Marcus Bontempelli (WBULL)||1 Jake Stringer (WBULL)|
The Western Bulldogs have prevailed over Adelaide in a thrilling shoot-out at Docklands Stadium on Saturday night. The match was strongly reminiscent of last year's Elimination Final at the MCG between the two sides, with the Bulldogs getting an early break that was gradually pegged back by the Crows and both sides ultimately registering three-figure scores. But the script on Saturday night deviated from last year's right at the climax, with the Dogs - rather than the Crows - showing the greater composure this time around, as they held on to win by 15 points.
A fast start to the match was in order, with the sides scoring four goals between them in the first nine minutes. Crow Josh Jenkins kicked off what was to be a memorable night for him with a mark and goal at the two-minute mark, but a free kick and goal to Tory Dickson at the other end levelled the scores soon after. A running goal to Tom Liberatore put the Dogs ahead by five after seven minutes but Tom Lynch's first goal had Adelaide a point in front after nine. Thereafter, though, the Bulldogs got on top, and majors to Jake Stringer, Caleb Daniel, Jack Redpath - playing his first game of 2016 - and Dickson saw them jump away to a four-goal quarter-time lead.
When Mitch Wallis and Stringer added goals in the first three minutes of the second quarter, it looked as though the Dogs would run away with the game as they stretched the margin to a game-high 36 points, but the Crows hit back hard after that and majors to Charlie Cameron, Jenkins, Lynch and Jenkins again over the next 15 minutes had them back within 14 points before Redpath marked and kicked his second extended the lead back to 20 points at the long break.
The Bulldogs opened up a 26-point lead with a goal to Daniel within the first 30 seconds of the second half resuming, but Adelaide then took complete control over the next eight minutes, slamming on four goals, with Jenkins getting his fourth and fifth. That onslaught cut the margin to just two points but the Bulldogs steadied once more, and goals to Stringer, Bailey Dale and Marcus Bontempelli and them back out to a 23-point lead at the 20-minute mark. Further goals to Crows Atkins and Jenkins narrowed the gap to 12 but the last goal of the third term went to the Bulldogs via Redpath and they took a three-goal buffer into the final term.
Stringer's fourth extended the margin to 24 points early in the last quarter, but Adelaide would not lie down, and kicked four of the next five goals to narrow the margin to six points at the 15-minute mark. The Bulldogs had chances to settle the result but three behinds in a row left the Crows with a chance. The last of those behinds saw Adelaide go coast to coast from the kick-out, with Jenkins' eighth goal putting the Crows within three points. But a precision pass from Dale to Bontempelli settled Bulldog nerves and they held on to win, a post-siren major to Dale making the final margin of points look more comfortable than the game itself would have suggested.
Bontempelli played his best match yet for the Dogs with 30 possessions and two goals, while Jenkins was simply brilliant with his eight goals.
The Dogs remain in the top four with a 5-2 record and will be looking to make it 6-2 against Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday. The Crows lost no admirers in defeat, but they are now vulnerably placed, eighth on the ladder with tough match against Geelong (second) to come at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Western Bulldogs: Stringer 4; Dickson, Redpath 3; Daniel, Dale, Bontempelli 2; Liberatore, Wallis
Adelaide: Jenkins 8; Lynch 3; Cameron 2; Jacobs, Atkins, Sloane, Walker
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Liberatore, Stringer, Dahlhaus, Wallis, Morris
Adelaide: Jenkins, Crouch, Henderson, Smith
Western Bulldogs: Stringer (corked quad)
Adelaide: Walker (knee)
UMPIRES: Donlon, Bannister, Pannell
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Brian Taylor, Luke Darcy, Matthew Richardson, Cameron Ling
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of the Adelaide Football Club.
|Western Bulldogs||Match Stats||Career|
|33||Adams, Marcus||9||3||11||20||0||0||0||1||0||1||22y 312d||7||0|
|44||Adcock, Jed||6||1||6||12||0||0||0||0||2||2||30y 174d||210||60|
|24||Biggs, Shane||7||1||6||13||0||0||0||2||0||2||24y 276d||23||5|
|4||Bontempelli, Marcus||13||5||17||30||2||1||1||5||0||0||20y 165d||44||42|
|5||Boyd, Matthew||18||4||9||27||0||0||0||4||1||0||33y 254d||265||83|
|15||Campbell, Tom||8||5||6||14||0||3||23||2||1||0||24y 187d||29||17|
|6||Dahlhaus, Luke||14||2||17||31||0||0||0||5||3||1||23y 260d||101||91|
|31||Dale, Bailey||7||4||5||12||2||2||0||2||2||0||19y 290d||13||8|
|35||Daniel, Caleb||8||1||12||20||2||1||0||3||0||1||19y 305d||15||11|
|29||Dickson, Tory||7||4||4||11||3||1||0||2||2||0||28y 224d||60||104|
|7||Hunter, Lachie||11||4||14||25||0||0||0||2||1||3||21y 146d||43||18|
|21||Liberatore, Tom||8||2||17||25||1||1||0||7||5||0||23y 357d||84||24|
|11||Macrae, Jack||12||5||15||27||0||0||0||3||3||1||21y 278d||62||18|
|16||McLean, Toby||9||6||4||13||0||2||0||2||2||0||20y 97d||11||10|
|38||Morris, Dale||4||2||13||17||0||0||0||3||1||0||33y 130d||214||3|
|42||Picken, Liam||7||4||15||22||0||1||0||1||2||0||29y 280d||157||48|
|43||Redpath, Jack||8||6||3||11||3||1||0||4||1||0||25y 146d||16||24|
|18||Roberts, Fletcher||6||3||6||12||0||0||0||2||0||1||22y 339d||21||0|
|23||Roughead, Jordan||7||5||10||17||0||0||13||4||1||0||25y 186d||95||19|
|9||Stringer, Jake||7||5||9||16||4||0||0||1||0||0||22y 12d||57||109|
|3||Wallis, Mitch||11||2||15||26||1||1||1||3||1||0||23y 196d||83||35|
|10||Wood, Easton||11||11||10||21||0||0||0||1||0||0||26y 246d||92||12|
|21||Atkins, Rory||8||3||8||16||1||1||0||0||0||1||21y 300d||15||7|
|18||Betts, Eddie||4||2||8||12||0||1||0||3||1||0||29y 163d||236||424|
|16||Brown, Luke||12||3||7||19||0||0||0||1||1||0||23y 228d||76||4|
|23||Cameron, Charlie||7||1||5||12||2||0||0||9||0||1||21y 307d||32||41|
|25||Cheney, Kyle||10||8||4||14||0||0||0||0||0||1||26y 256d||60||2|
|2||Crouch, Brad||6||2||8||14||0||0||0||4||0||0||22y 114d||28||10|
|44||Crouch, Matt||13||3||11||24||0||0||0||4||1||2||21y 16d||32||6|
|26||Douglas, Richard||8||3||1||9||0||1||0||4||1||3||29y 91d||178||120|
|15||Hartigan, Kyle||6||3||9||15||0||0||0||3||0||3||24y 182d||34||0|
|45||Henderson, Ricky||10||6||11||21||0||0||0||0||0||1||27y 239d||82||42|
|24||Jacobs, Sam||6||3||8||14||1||0||27||3||0||2||28y 27d||134||30|
|4||Jenkins, Josh||9||7||4||13||8||0||3||1||1||1||27y 89d||76||144|
|6||Lever, Jake||8||3||8||16||0||0||0||1||0||1||20y 63d||19||0|
|27||Lynch, Tom||13||4||11||24||3||1||0||1||3||0||25y 235d||66||100|
|14||Mackay, David||5||1||6||11||0||0||0||3||0||1||27y 287d||151||45|
|41||McGovern, Mitch||5||3||3||8||0||1||0||2||0||0||21y 209d||7||8|
|11||Seedsman, Paul||10||5||7||17||0||0||0||2||2||0||24y 106d||56||21|
|9||Sloane, Rory||10||4||9||19||1||0||0||4||1||3||26y 51d||125||78|
|33||Smith, Brodie||12||2||8||20||0||0||0||0||0||1||24y 114d||104||31|
|12||Talia, Daniel||9||6||7||16||0||0||0||1||0||1||24y 218d||105||5|
|5||Thompson, Scott||7||2||9||16||0||0||0||9||0||6||33y 54d||292||160|
|13||Walker, Taylor||9||4||3||12||1||0||0||1||1||0||26y 12d||114||268|