The Western Bulldogs have fallen heartbreakingly short against Geelong on Friday night, going down by five points at GMHBA Stadium.

Leading by just a single point in the dying minutes, there was nothing the Bulldogs could do but hope that Gary Rohan would spray his after-the-siren set shot.

But he kicked truly, leaving the Dogs to lick their wounds in the 11.12 (78) to 12.11 (83) affair.


After a tight tussle to start, which saw scores levelled at the first break, the Bulldogs swung the momentum in their favour early in the second.

The two sides exchanged goals early, before Josh Bruce and Jason Johanissen combined to give their team an 11-point advantage.

The Cats were quick to respond however, kicking the last three goals to regain the lead at half-time.

With the scores deadlocked four times alone in the third, a late conversion from the Cats meant the Bulldogs found themselves trailing again, this time by just two points, at the final break.

Some early dominance in a frantic final term saw the Bulldogs well within reach of the win, but just couldn’t maintain possession when they needed to most.


There was no denying the Bulldogs' efforts - fighting hard both on the ground and in the air throughout the match.

Jack Macrae continued his unbeaten run of 30+ disposals this year with 35 touches, while captain Marcus Bontempelli (30 disposals, 11 inside 50s, eight clearances) and clearance king Tom Liberatore (30 disposals, 11 clearances, eight tackles) were impactful.

Bruce added three majors to his season tally, while reigning Club champion Caleb Daniel (27 disposals, six tackles), Bailey Williams (24 disposals, eight intercepts) and Taylor Duryea (22 disposals, six intercepts) fought hard in defence.

Late inclusion Toby McLean made a successful return from an ACL injury, while medical sub Mitch Wallis replaced key forward Aaron Naughton (ribs) after half-time.

The Bulldogs will now look ahead to next Sunday’s clash against West Coast at Optus Stadium.

GEELONG                                1.4       6.6       9.10     12.11 (83) 
WESTERN BULLDOGS             1.4       5.5       9.8       11.12 (78)

 Cameron 2, Menegola 2, Rohan 2, Close, Hawkins, Dahlhaus, Selwood, Ratugolea, Parfitt
Western Bulldogs: Bruce 3, Scott 2, Liberatore, Weightman, Johannisen, Bontempelli, Daniel, McLean

 Stewart, Selwood, Menegola, Smith, Dangerfield, Parfitt
Western Bulldogs: Liberatore, Bontempelli, Macrae, Bruce, Daniel, Williams

 Duncan (knee), Henderson (hip) replaced in selected side by Narkle 
Western Bulldogs: Naughton (ribs), Martin (shoulder) replaced in selected side by McLean

 Higgins (replaced Duncan)
Western Bulldogs: Wallis (replaced Naughton)

Crowd: 6583 at GMHBA Stadium