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‘Scray storm home, sink Dolphins late

VFL: Watch Footscray's epic comeback Watch last quarter highlights of Footscray's come-from-behind win against Frankston in the VFL on Sunday.
Clay Smith celebrates a third quarter goal in the Bulldogs' win over Frankston.

A stunning eight-goal to two final term, has the seen the Footscray Bulldogs storm home to a 10-point win over Frankston on Sunday afternoon.

After trailing all day, the Bulldogs came from 36-points down at the two minute mark of the final term, to snatch an unlikely victory and leap into fourth place on the VFL ladder.

Lukas Webb landed the killer blow, a long-left footed goal from beyond the arc, to put the Bulldogs ahead for the first time all day at the 27-minute mark of the final term.

Joel Hamling also became an unlikely forward option, swung forward by coach Ashley Hansen to kick three second-half goals.

Mitch Hannan was another of the Bulldogs’ multiple goal kickers, slotting two vital final quarter goals.

The first of Hannan’s majors put the Bulldogs within a kick for the first time since the opening term, and his second put the result beyond doubt in the final minutes of the match.

Frankston out hunted the ‘Scray through the opening three quarters of the match at Frankston City Oval, before the visitors turned up the intensity around the ball.

Will Minson got on top in the ruck after breaking even with the Dolphin’s Michael Sikora across the opening three quarters, while Clay Smith, and Webb got going around the stoppages.

Power forward Tom Boyd was one of Footscray’s sole shining lights in the first half, hitting up at the football and presenting strongly around the ground.

Boyd kicked three goals, one in each of the opening three quarters, to help his side hang in a contest that seemed to be slipping from their grasp.

Smith was another whose endeavour couldn’t be faulted through the first half, where there weren’t many in the red, white and blue winning their position on the ground.

“I think we were a little off our game the first three quarters, but credit to Frankston, we knew they were going to bring a strong effort, and they certainly did,” captain Jordan Russell told Casey Radio after the game.

“It took a really special effort for us to get over the line,” Russell said.

“We’ve had injuries at the AFL level, which has seen changes in our line-up week-to-week and brought some inconsistency in our performances, but we’re finding ways to win games of footy.

“We’ve got some great depth of VFL players, and it’s a credit to the coaching staff to bringing us together.”

Frankston won the hunt for the football early, denying Footscray their outside ball and space.

In front of their home crowd in near still conditions, the Dolphins poured on the first four goals of the game, before Tom Boyd marked on the lead late, and converted the set shot to peg back the margin to 19-points at the first change.

An arm-wrestle ensued to start the second term, with neither side able to register a major through the first 15 minutes of the quarter.

Clay Smith had the first scoring opportunity after earning a free kick for holding the ball inside 50m, but his set shot was touched off the boot despite flying straight.

Despite surging on numerous occasions, Footscray couldn’t make inroads on the scoreboard, while Frankston added two goals late in the term.

Tom Boyd made the most of limited opportunity, taking a strong contested mark deep in the forward pocket, then converting the set shot for his second major of the half with the siren immanent.

Boyd’s late goal ensured the margin would only be 21-points at the main break.

While the Bulldogs commanded the majority of play in the second term, they couldn’t convert that to scoreboard pressure.

Frankston jumped out of the blocks in the third quarter, kicking two goals in the opening minutes of the term, and extending the margin to a then game high 33-points.

Boyd responded shortly after with his third major of the game, crashing the pack to pull down an important contested mark.

Clay Smith soccered a goal off the ground to give Footscray consecutive goals for the first time in the match, before Frankston kicked two straight of their own

Hamling was swung forward, and had an immediate impact with a goal late in the third term, to reduce the margin to 31-points approaching the final change.

Jordan Treloar of Frankston got the Dolphins on the board first in the final term, before Bailey Dale responded with a drilling drop punt streaming forward on the counter attack.

After Frankston kicked the opening goal of the final term through Jordan Treloar, the Bulldogs kicked eight of the next nine goals of the game to secure the four points and sour the afternoon of the local fans.

Potential father-son Michael Romero, son of José, got his first taste of open age football, running out as Footscray’s 23rd man in the win.

With a bye next weekend, Footscray will next return to the field playing away to Coburg at Piranha Park on Saturday July 2.

Frankston Dolphins  4.3       6.3       11.3    13.3  (81)

Footscray Bulldogs    1.2       2.5       5.9       13.13 (91)


GOALS: Tom Boyd 3, Joel Hamling 3, Mitch Hannan 2, Clay Smith, Bailey Dale, Lukas Webb, Will Hayes, Shaun Wyatt.

BEST: Lukas Webb, Clay Smith, Jordan Russell, Tom Boyd, Jed Adcock, Joel Hamling.

VENUE: Frankston City Oval.