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Port finish Footscray's season in the semi

Lukas Webb marks in Footscray's semi final loss to Port Melbourne. - Western Bulldogs
Lukas Webb marks in Footscray's semi final loss to Port Melbourne.

In an enthralling see-sawing contest at Fortburn Stadium, Footscray have been denied a place in their third preliminary final in four seasons by Port Melbourne.

With seven lead changes throughout the afternoon, Footscray inevitably fell 20-points short of Port Melbourne, going down 12.15 (87) to 16.11 (107).

It was a tight contest from the get go, with Port Melbourne holding the lead at every change except quarter time.

The opportunities were there for the Dogs but inaccuracy hurt them on the scoreboard, kicking 15 points, six of those in the third quarter through a period of ascendancy.

It wasn’t until the final quarter that Port Melbourne cemented their lead, kicking five goals to Footscray’s three.

Patrick Lipinski was prominent for Footscray kicking two goals and finishing with 25 disposals, with Lukas Webb and Bailey Williams also named among the ‘Scray’s best.

Footscray had the edge early in the first with goals from Billy Gowers, Tate Short and Bailey Williams to skip away to a 16-point lead.

Port settled to kick three of the last four goals of the opening term to narrow Footscray’s advantage to three points at quarter time.

Clay Smith started the second quarter for the Dogs with an early goal to stretch the visitors lead, but that’s where the goals stopped for Footscray.

The Dogs had asserted their authority on the clearance and inside 50m count, but only had five behinds to show for it.

Port kicked four majors in response to move into the lead and hold a seven point margin at the main break.

An early goal from Lukas Webb got the momentum going for the Dogs in the third term, backed-up by a strong contested grab and goal from Patrick Lipinski, to put the ‘Scray back in the lead.

Port once again finished the quarter in strong fashion, kicking three late goals to set them up with a 10-point lead at the final change.

The ‘Borough got the jump on Footscray in the final term with a goal straight from the first bounce.

Nick Jamieson and Liam Nash replied in kind for Footscray but Port would not yield.

Port went on to score another three goals to see them head into a preliminary final against minor premiers Williamstown next weekend.

Footscray Bulldogs     5.2 (32)           7.7 (49)           9.11 (65)           12.15 (87)

Port Melbourne           4.5 (29)           8.8 (56)           11.9 (75)           16.11 (107)

P. Lipinski 2, N. Jamieson 2, B. Gowers, B. Williams, C. Smith, T. Short, L. Young, D. Hamilton

Disposals: P. Lipinski 25, B. Williams 23, C. Smith 22, L. Webb 22, M. Boyd 21, A. Greenwood 19, L. Dalgleish 18, W. Hayes 18, T. Short 17 

Best:  B. Williams, P. Lipinski, L. Webb, M. Boyd, W. Hayes, L. Dalgleish