A sensational final quarter from skipper Ellie Blackburn has helped the Western Bulldogs come from behind to sink Carlton at VU Whitten Oval and record their first win of the 2021 AFL Women’s season.

In front of a pro-Bulldogs crowd of more than 3,400 people, Blackburn led the Bulldogs to a famous win to start Pride Round.

The captain kicked two final quarter goals – and Kirsten McLeod followed suit with her second of the contest – to overturn a 10-point deficit at the last change.

A brave Bulldogs’ outfit repelled repeated attacks from the Blues, who peppered the ball inside-50 for the second half of the term.

It was the Bulldogs by one straight kick at the final siren.

Blackburn finished with 22 disposals in a best on ground performance.


Kirsty Lamb (16 disposals) again found plenty of the ball, while young guns Gabby Newton and Jess Fitzgerald had 14 disposals a piece.

In the first quarter, the Bulldogs controlled the play but couldn’t cash in on the scoreboard.

They had 13 inside-50s to the Blues’ three. However, the Blues kicked the only major of the term, with the Bulldogs collecting four behinds for their efforts.

It was the Blues who then kicked away after the break, with the first two majors to further open their lead.

With the game threatening to get away from them, the Bulldogs’ stood tall to reduce the deficit to just five points at half time.

Izzy Huntington kicked her first from a tight angle, before impressive second-gamer Jess Fitzgerald finished coolly on the run for her first AFLW major.

It was Kirsten McLeod who opened the scoring after half time, making amends for an early miss and giving the Bulldogs the lead. But the Blues found a reply in a tense term, going into the final term with a 10-point advantage.

But from there – the Bulldogs persevered and came away with the win.


WESTERN BULLDOGS                     0.4          2.4          3.6          6.6          (42)
CARLTON                                         1.0          3.3          5.4          5.6          (36)

Western Bulldogs: Blackburn 2, McLeod 2, Fitzgerald, Huntington
Harris 2, Gee, Loynes, O’Dea

Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Fitzgerald, Lamb, Newton, McLeod
Prespakis, Gee, Hill, Harris, Hosking

Crowd: 3,479 at VU Whitten Oval