The AFLW Bulldogs have fought off a sluggish start to emerge 14-point victors in their practice match against Richmond at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday afternoon.

Things were looking grim when the Bulldogs went into quarter-time scoreless, but a second-half resurgence saw them record a gutsy 6.7 (43) to 3.11 (29) win.

The final term was when the Dogs really lifted however, playing the match on their terms while storming home five goals to one.

Captain Ellie Blackburn led from the front, slotting two fourth-quarter goals and inspiring with her desperate smothers and crunching tackles, while vice-captain Brooke Lochland (two goals) was not far behind.

Draftee Jess Fitzgerald found plenty of the footy in her first hit-out against AFLW competition, and second-year Pups Issy Grant and Nell Morris-Dalton dazzled in the second-half.

Bailey Hunt, Ash Guest and Lauren Spark were strong in defence, while Izzy Huntington and Bonnie Toogood provided good leads up forward.

Amelia Van Oosterwijck opened the Dogs’ scoring account with a set shot from roughly 35m out halfway through the second, but it wasn’t until the final term that they were able to add another – this time through Deanna Berry who was quick to play on and bend one through.

The only sour note was losing Kim Rennie to concussion, who did not return to play after half-time.

Earlier scoreboard inaccuracy and troubling winds may have prevented a greater margin, but the come-from-behind victory will give the AFLW Bulldogs plenty of confidence heading into their season opener in two weeks’ time.

They will face St Kilda under lights at RSEA Park, Moorabbin, on Friday January 29.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: 0.0 1.4 1.5 6.7 (43)
RICHMOND: 2.5 2.6 2.9 3.11 (29)

Goals: Blackburn 2, Lochland 2, Van Oosterwijck, Berry.