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VFL R10 | Experience and accuracy come to the fore

The return of some favourite sons and a deadly-accurate day in front of goals has put Footscray back on the winners list.

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The return of some favourite sons and a deadly-accurate day in front of goals has put Footscray back on the winners list, with an emphatic 66-point win against Williamstown at Downer Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The red, white, and blue opened the game up after an evenly-contested start, before a seven-goal third quarter gave the Dogs an insurmountable lead as they ran away 8.7 (55) to 19.7 (121) victors.

Surprisingly footy-friendly conditions by the beach in Williamstown made for an open and entertaining first quarter, with two strong marks and conversions from Jamarra Ugle-Hagan giving the Dogs an early advantage.

Williamstown fought back to keep the contest tight, before Ugle-Hagan’s third goal after the siren gave Footscray a six-point lead at the first change - a lead they would only extend.

Footscray started to control more of the possession in the second quarter and really applied the squeeze with their pressure in their defensive half, not allowing Williamstown to kick unimpeded into the corridor as they did in the first.

Rebounding from defensive 50 was also much cleaner and more efficient, as the Dogs managed to quickly gain good field position from deep Williamstown entries, instantly putting pressure back on the Seagulls’ defence as they extended the lead to 22 points at the main change.

There were shades of the Essendon game in round six as the Dogs piled on seven goals to one in a dominant third quarter that highlighted a well-rounded team performance, with Bulldogs’ young and old contributing to the 59-point margin at the final change.

Mitch Wallis quietly went about his business and showed his class with ball in hand, while Jason Johannisen was equally as silky in his first game in the red, white, and blue this year.

The lead was extended immediately at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Ugle-Hagan kicked his sixth and final goal.

Ugle-Hagan caused headaches for Williamstown defenders, getting space on hard leads, while also drawing a pair of free kicks around goal.

Wallis collected 24 disposals to go with a goal, Johannisen showed his class distributing the ball and kicking at goal with two goals from his 13 touches, while Zaine Cordy (two goals, 11 hit outs) added another dimension to Bulldogs line-up.

Lachie Sullivan (27 disposals, 10 tackles, five clearances) and Joel Garner (20 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances) enjoyed big days out, as did Josh Schache who kicked three goals and managed seven marks through a strong work rate and intensity at the contest.

Sam Darcy was challenged early with a Joel Ottavi matchup but responded well, taking five marks and looking comfortable exiting the defensive 50.

Dom Bedendo (15 disposals, eight marks, one goal) did it at both ends, taking a strong goal-saving contested mark before dazzling with fancy footwork in traffic to finish wonderfully up the other end.

Contributors were plentiful as Footscray will be looking to carry this form into their clash with Geelong at VU Whitten Oval on Friday 3 June at 4:05pm.


Williamstown 4.1 5.3 6.5 8.7 (55)

Footscray 5.1 9.1 16.4 19.7 (121)

Goals: Ugle-Hagan 6, Schache 3, Cordy 2, Johannisen 2, Bedendo, Craig-Peters, Garner, Gilbee, Macpherson, Wallis.

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