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Footscray fall to fast-finishing Port Melbourne

Mitch Wallis gathered 29 disposals in Saturday afternoon's loss to Port Melbourne. (Photo: Liz Vagg)

The undefeated Port Melbourne have proven too strong for the Footscray Bulldogs at North Port Oval, on Saturday afternoon.

While scores were level through the halfway stage of the final term, the home side kicked away to defeat Footscray 17.10 (112) to 12.9 (81).

It was an even contest for most of the game, with the visitors leading by less than a kick at every change, before Port evened the scores early in the final term at 80 points each.

From there, the league leading Port Melbourne found another gear, kicking five goals in the last 10 minutes to dominate the remainder of proceedings.

Ruckman Jordan Roughead had his first game back since being sidelined by a hamstring injury during the JLT Community Series. Roughead started the game at full back and got his first touch early, before finding his way onto the ball and delivering a goal in the second term.

Mitch Wallis continued his strong form since returning from injury, amassing 29 touches in his third game at VFL level. Wallis has averaged 30 disposals over his past three games.

Several Footscray players had the first game for the season, including Andrew Panayi and Jamison Shea, who both kicked two goals for the game.

The first quarter saw both teams off to a solid start. The play seemed to shift from one forward arc to the other, with neither team able to break free.

Wallis, Jamieson and Russell all had an impact in the first term with 14 kicks, 11 handballs and seven marks between them.

Port Melbourne had five more inside 50’s then the Dogs, but were unable to convert. Footscray took a four point lead into quarter time.

In the second term it was a similar story, with both sides working hard to make sure the opposing team didn’t get a run on.

Shea, Mullenger-McHugh, Roughhead and Honeychurch contributed goals for Footscray, whilst Port Melbourne also managed to kick four for the term. As a result, the quarter-time margin of four points remained at the main break.

Panayi started off the third quarter with a bang, delivering a goal within the first minute. However once again Port Melbourne responded, kicking two quick ones of their own shortly after.

Port kicked four goals to three for the term, reducing the margin to three points at the final change. 

With the game on the line, Port Melbourne came out in the final term with a new sense of determination.

The ‘Borough kicked seven goals for the final quarter, including the last five of the game.

Footscray’s Mullenger-McHugh and Panayi both kicked their second goals for the game in the fina term, but it was not enough to overcome the barnstorming homeside.

Footscray will look to return to the winners list next week when they face Geelong on Saturday at 2.10pm at Victoria University Whitten Oval.

 

Footscray Bulldogs              3.1 (19)                  7.5 (47)                  10.8 (68)           12.9 (81)

Port Melbourne                    2.2 (14)                  6.3 (39)                  10.5 (65)            17.10 (112)


Best: A. Tashevski-Beckwith, J. Russell, M. Honeychurch, B. Gowers, M. Wallis, N. Jamieson

Goalkickers:  J. Shea 2, A. Panayi 2, B. Gowers, K, Collins, T. Campbell, W. Hayes, M. Honeychurch, N. Jamieson, N. Mullenger-McHugh, J. Roughead

Disposals: N. Jamieson 30, M. Wallis 29, S. Biggs 27, A. Tashevski-Beckwith 26, J. Russell 26, M. Honeychurch 24, M. Goodyear 24