Eagles hold out Bulldogs in first AFLW win


Eagles coach Luke Dwyer was upbeat after the match, and said: “It’s a really great feeling to get our first win for the football club on a few fronts.

“I think in terms of reward for effort for the players along with the staff and obviously the coaching group.

“I’m really proud of the way the girls fought it out and full credit to Western Bulldogs. I’m immensely proud of everyone who has been involved with the squad and the playing group today were huge.”

It was a tough loss to take for the Bulldogs, who now have one win from the opening four rounds. They also lost spearhead Bonnie Toogood to a knee injury before quarter-time.

Ellie Blackburn collected 19 possessions for the Bulldogs, Gabby Newton 16 (10 tackles), Kirsty Lamb 15 and Hannah Scott 15.

Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke was again happy with the effort levels, but not so much the execution.

Bulldog Ellie Blackburn is tackled by Mikayla Bowen.Credit:Getty Images

“We’re disappointed and we thought the girls’ effort again was unquestionable,” Burke said.

“There’s some learnings we’ll take out of it that we will need to address during the week.”

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The Eagles started well and kicked the only first-quarter goal thanks to a clever snap from Ashlee Atkins. The Bulldogs looked lively with a couple of strong marks to Toogood before she left the field.

However, by half-time the Bulldogs were up by five points after a Danielle Marshall goal from a free kick in the goal square and then Kim Rennie after a strong contested mark.

West Coast took back control in the third quarter with an early goal from Swanson and a strike of luck off Hayley Bullas’ back-heel as she was falling to the ground to lead by seven at the last change.

That became 12 points when Grace Kelly ran into an open goal. The Bulldogs got one back from usual defender Isabel Huntington. They had another golden chance courtesy of Kirsten McLeod. She missed her set shot and the Eagles held on for the four-point win.

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