The Western Bulldogs have fallen to a 20-point defeat against Melbourne at VU Whitten Oval on Friday night. 

In wet conditions, the Demons were too strong, leading from start to finish on their way to a 4.8 (32) to 2.0 (12) win.

The result leaves the Bulldogs with a 1-1 record after their opening two matches in 2020.

More than 3,000 fans braved the rain to watch the Bulldogs’ first home match for the year, but it was the Demons who started the better.

Melbourne held a nine-point quarter time lead, despite an early major to Deanna Berry after a 50-metre penalty.

The Bulldogs were competitive throughout around the ball, but struggled to find avenues to goal.

But the scoring dried up from there for the Bulldogs through the middle of the game, as the Demons narrowly extended their lead to 12 points at the major break and 26 points at three quarter time.

Bonnie Toogood snared the only goal of the final term to cut the final margin to 20 points.

The Bulldogs’ leading ball-winner was Aisling McCarthy, who impressed with 15 disposals and six tackles.

Skipper Ellie Blackburn (14 disposals, five tackles), Naomi Ferres (12 disposals), Kirsty Lamb (11 disposals, five tackles) and Gabby Newton (11 disposals, six disposals) all played important roles around the ball, while Angelica Gogos combined 11 disposals and four tackles in defence.

The Bulldogs will look to rebound next Saturday, when they host Carlton at VU Whitten Oval in the two clubs’ annual Pride Game.

WESTERN BULLDOGS     1.0     1.0     1.0     2.0     (12)
MELBOURNE     2.3     2.6     4.8     4.8    (32)

Western Bulldogs: Berry, Toogood
Melbourne: Emonson, Paxman, Sherriff, Gay

Western Bulldogs: McCarthy, Blackburn, Lamb, Spark, Ferres
Melbourne: Paxman, Scott, Pearce, Hore, Gay, Heath 

Western Bulldogs: McLeod (head knock)
Melbourne: Kemp (knee) 

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 3133 at VU Whitten Oval