Footscray is the first team through to the Peter Jackson VFL Legendairy Grand Final after a 32-point win over Port Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.
The Bulldogs hit the front just before three quarter time and did not look back, kicking 10 goals to five in the final term to reach their first VFL/VFA Grand Final since they left the competition in1924.
The game started at a frenetic pace With Tory Dickson on the board within the first two minutes, only to be answered by Hugh Sandilands and Chris Michaliades who gave Port Melbourne the lead.
The remainder of the term went goal for goal, as both teams saw ttheir key play makers hit the scoreboard up forward with Sandilands adding his second, Julian Rowe adding his first and Liam Jones and Jack Redpath both providing targets up forward for the Bulldogs midfield.
Despite the dominance of Tom Campbell in the ruck with Footscray leading the hitouts 10-4 in the first term, it was the Port Melbourne midfield that started to get on top in the second term as the Borough kicked the first three goals of the quarter.
Adrian Bonaddio started to make his presence felt up forward kicking his first goal, then Rowe added his second and Chris Cain his first as their lead jumped out to 22 points.
Jones kicked two goals to finish the quarter to help Footscray back within 10 points at half time.
The game was on the line in the third term, with the margin not moving beyond two goals for the entire term. Christian Howard got the Bulldogs off to the best possible start with his first, but Sam O’Sullivan was quick to reply to see Port back out to a 10-point lead.
The talls of Footscray started to have an influence, as the Bulldogs kicked three of the last four goals of the quarter to move into the lead by three points entering the final term. Redpath, Ayce Cordy and Campbell all finished with goals to end the term and set it up for a thrilling finale.
Michael Fogarty extended the Footscray lead early in the final term, and Lin Jong extended it to 15 points with a snap up forward. Port Melbourne were not going to lie down, as Tom O’Sullivan then Michaliades both goaled to cut the deficit back to just three points.
From that point on it was all Footscray as they kicked seven of the last 10 goals of the game to run away with the win. Jones kicked his fourth, Redpath his third, Jong and Goodes kicked their second and despite Rowe for Port Melbourne kicking two late, it was the Bulldogs by 32 points.
Lin Jong showed why he has been elevated to the senior list at the Western Bulldogs with a great game in the middle, supported by the experience of Footscray best and fairest winner Brett Goodes and Liam Jones up forward among the best for Footscray
Sandy Robinson in the ruck, Dan Noonan at full back and Julian Rowe up forward were the best for Port Melbourne.
Footscray Bulldogs 4.1 (25) 6.4 (40) 10.8 (68) 20.10 (130)
Port Melbourne 4.4 (28) 7.8 (50) 9.11 (65) 14.14 (98)
Footscray: L. Jones 4, J. Redpath 3, L. Jong 2, B. Goodes 2, T. Dickson , M. Fogarty , T. Campbell , W. Hayes , J. Grant , C. Howard , A. Cordy , M. Honeychurch , J. Russell
Port Melbourne: J. Rowe 4, A. Bonaddio 2, C. Cain 2, H. Sandilands 2, D. Connors , T. O''Sullivan , C. Michaliades , M. Wooffindin
Footscray: L. Jong , B. Goodes , L. Jones , M. Talia , M. Fogarty , J. Johannisen
Port Melbourne: S. Robinson , D. Noonan , J. Rowe , T. O''Sullivan , J. Magner , S. Pleming