A 66-point away victory over Frankston has extended Footscray’s winning streak to three, with the reigning VFL premiers prevailing over their bayside opponents in difficult conditions at Frankston Oval on Sunday.
Faced with heavy rain and kicking into a strong breeze, the Bulldogs struggled to adapt early and the Dolphins capitalised, piling on five first quarter goals to Footscray’s one.
While Frankston didn’t have it all their own way, with both sides having multiple shots at goal, it was the home side that held sway at the first change.
With Jack Redpath a late withdrawal, Footscray needed to find a different avenue to goal and they found it in Ayce Cordy who finished the day with four and was a focal point in the ‘Scray’s dominant second quarter performance.
The Bulldogs slammed on seven unanswered goals in the second term and took a 17-point lead into the main break, setting the tone for the rest of the match.
Coach Ashley Hansen said that he was particularly pleased with the work of Cordy and fellow tall Tom Campbell across the day considering the conditions were far from ideal for big men.
“Ayce was a really solid contributor for us,” Hansen said.
“It’s never easy coming back to VFL level but it’s terrific the way he applies himself amongst the group as a leader.
“He certainly took his opportunities and competed really hard for us whether in the ruck or when he went forward.”
“That’s what he and Tommy Campbell can give us. They can spend time forward – work on their craft there, but also spend time in the middle. I was really happy with how they both went.”
Frankston again took advantage of the conditions in the third, staying within range at the last change but Footscray finished off the game with a eight goals to two last quarter to move to 4-2 on the year.
Toby McLean continued his early season run of form and was Footscray’s best, Brent Prismall was again solid and Alex Greenwood played his best game for the year, but Hansen was most excited about his team’s even spread across the ground:
“13 goal kickers again is always a fantastic spread. We talk about having to share the load across the ground and I think our goal kicking tally was a sign that the boys really are being unselfish and playing for each other, which is a great sign.”
Hansen said that his team still had plenty of worked to do before they reached their full potential but he said it’s an exciting time to be a Bulldogs fan.
“We’ve certainly got a young list that is learning the game, they’re hungry to do really well and keen to keep learning to play football the right way.
“They’re all investing in getting better and I think they’re starting to see the more they invest in their footy and play for one another they’re going to get the rewards.”
Footscray are back at Victoria University Whitten Oval next Sunday to take on Williamstown.
Footscray Bulldogs 1.5 8.8 13.12 21.17 (143)
Frankston Dolphins 5.2 6.3 10.4 12.5 (77)
Goals: A. Cordy, 4, T. Campbell, W. Hayes, J. Russell, C. Daniel, M Austin 2, Prismall, Greenwood, McLean, Jamieson, Hunter, Hamilton, Buchanan.
Best: McLean, Prismall, Greenwood, A. Cordy, Hayes.