The VFLW Western Bulldogs concluded their 2023 season with a 13-point defeat to Essendon on Saturday.
It was a tense contest with both teams alternating the lead at each interchange, although three unanswered goals in the final quarter by the Bombers saw the Bulldogs out-run in the 6.5 (41) to 4.4 (28) affair.
A late goal by Mary Sandral in the opening term put the Dogs on the board and in front by one point.
Into the second term, the tough contest continued as Sandral delivered her second major through the sticks, but the Bombers managed the upper hand heading into the main break.
The Bulldogs picked up momentum as debutant, Molly Althouse, kicked her first VFLW goal early in the third quarter.
Making it back-to-back majors on the scoreboard by courtesy of Eleanor Bishop, the Bulldogs were in front by five points.
The red, white, and blue persisted in their efforts but the home side were too strong, kicking away with three unanswered goals.
Sarah Skinner (22 disposals, nine tackles) and Dominique Carbone (19 disposals, three marks, five clearances) concluded their stellar seasons, while Jorja Borg did not waiver with her defensive efforts totalling 22 hit outs, 11 touches and five tackles.
Ashleigh Snow collected 19 touches and Tahlia Meier was next in line recording 16.
Despite the result, the VFLW Bulldogs come away with a 2023 campaign to be proud of.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.1 2.1 4.2 4.4 (28)
ESSENDON 1.0 3.0 3.3 6.5 (41)
Goals: Sandral 2, Bishop, Althouse
Image provided by Nigel Barrie Photography.