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'Scray surge tames Tigers

Three goals in the final term to Lauchlan Dalgleish has helped the Footscray Bulldogs to a come from behind victory over Richmond, and solidify their standing in the top eight.

After trailing at every change, the ‘Scray piled on five goals to two in the final term to run out victors in front of a vocal home crowd at Victoria University Whitten Oval.

It took until the 21-minute mark of the last quarter for the Bulldogs to take the ascendancy, after Dalgleisch was walked up to within scoring range courtesy of a 50m penalty, to slot his second goal of the final term.

Liam Nash and second-gamer Nathan Ryan were the other Bulldogs to get amongst the final quarter goals.

Ryan was Footscray's 23rd man for the match, called up recently from local WRFL club Spotswood.

Mitch Honeychurch was a standout for the ‘Scray through the midfield, finding plenty of the football himself, but also setting the standard for pressure around the ball which helped will his side back into the contest.

The Tigers would be disappointed not to have emerged from VU Whitten Oval without the four points, unable to capitalize on their territory dominance in the opening half.

Kicking to the Geelong Road end, the Tigers had the bulk of the first quarter play in their forward half, but couldn’t capitalise on their 12 scoring shots to four to drive home the advantage, kicking 4.8 in the opening quarter.

It took the Bulldogs until the 10 minute mark of the first term to land their opening goal, coming the way of Shaun Wyatt.

 The small forward pounced on the loose ball inside 50m, and slotted the kick on the burst from 30m.

Tom Boyd opened his account for the day with a booming set shot from the arc at the 22 minute mark of the first quarter, after running back to space to receive an inbound kick from Mitch Honeychurch following a turnover. 

Greenwood goaled from a set shot on the back of some slick-handballs from half-back, the link-up finding the midfielder unmanned 30m out to score in the final minutes to ensure a 13-point deficit at quarter time.

The ‘Scray were again slow to start, with Richmond kicking back-to-back goals to open the term after again dominating the territory battle.

It took the Bulldogs until the 21-minute mark of the second term to hit the scoreboard, again it was Greenwood who split the middle.

A clever tap from Brad Lynch to space found Greenwood who snapped off a step.

It would be the Bulldogs’ only major of the second quarter, which would see them enter half time three goals behind Richmond.

Emerging from the main break, there was a distinct lift in the Bulldogs’ intensity around the football and it resulted in early scoring opportunities.

Mitch Honeychurch continued his industrious work around the stoppages, while Will Hayes and Liam Nash started to find plenty of the ball through the middle.

A Will Minson goal and three successive behinds from as many entries cut the margin to 10-points, before Todd Elton goaled for the Tigers against the tide halfway through the quarter.

Minson replied with his second from the goaline, reducing the margin back to single digits at the final change.

The Bulldogs defensive work stepped up a notch in the premiership quarter, turning the screws and limiting the visitors to just the one scoring shot.

After conceding six goals and 15 scoring shots in the opening half, the back six allowed just the three majors and five scoring shots in the second half.

Following the home win, the Bulldogs sit in sixth place on the Peter Jackson VFL ladder with a 7-5 record.

Footscray will now host top-of-the-table Casey Scorpions next Sunday at Victoria University Whitten Oval. 

Footscray Bulldogs      3.1       4.3       6.7         11.8   (74)

Richmond                     4.8       6.9       7.9         9.11   (65)


GOALS:  L. Dalgleish 3, A. Greenwood 2, W. Minson 2, T. Boyd, N. Ryan, L. Nash, S. Wyatt

BEST: M. Honeychurch, B. Dale, K. Collins, J. Dunkley, L. Dalgleish, W. Hayes