The Western Bulldogs have gone down by 24 points in their opening round clash against Melbourne at VU Whitten Oval.

The young Dogs were forced to play catch-up from the get-go, finishing 3.4 (22) to 6.10 (46) in the 12th instalment of the Hampson-Hardeman Cup.

The experienced Dees dominated most of the match, and led at every break.

Recording just the one behind heading into the first break, Izzy Huntington opened the Bulldogs’ scoring account for 2022 with a goal against the wind.


Unfortunately her day was done not long after that however, leaving the field clutching her knee.

A lift in intensity at the start of the third saw Bonnie Toogood and skipper Ellie Blackburn combine for back-to-back goals, showing glimpses of potential while cutting the deficit to single digits.

But that was as close as the Dogs would get, with Melbourne slotting two more while keeping the hosts scoreless in the last.

Blackburn finished atop of the stats sheet with 21 disposals and seven tackles, while Naomi Ferres (16, three marks) and Elisabeth Georgostathis (14, five tackles) followed suit.


Elle Bennetts (12 touches, six tackles) impressed in her first outing in the red, white and blue, while Kirsty Lamb (13, three marks) and Brooke Lochland (13, five marks) were impactful.

The Bulldogs will look to reset with a trip down the highway next Saturday night to face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.

WESTERN BULLDOGS     0.1     1.1     3.4     3.4     (22)
MELBOURNE     3.0     4.6     5.8     6.10     (46) 

Western Bulldogs:
 Huntington, Toogood, Blackburn
Melbourne: Hore 2, Sherriff, Gay, Zanker, Harris 

Western Bulldogs:
 Blackburn, Bennetts, Fitzgerald, Lamb, Lochland
Melbourne: Zanker, Hanks, Birch, Lampard, Hore, Mithen