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Western Bulldogs beat GWS in 35-goal shootout at Giants Stadium, Geelong move into top four

The Western Bulldogs have kept their final hopes alive with a 20-point victory in an AFL shootout with arch-rivals GWS at Giants Stadium.

The goals flowed in a blistering and even contest until the Bulldogs kicked away with five unanswered majors late in the third term to set up a 19.11 (125) to 16.9 (105) triumph on Saturday night.

Enigmatic forwards Toby Greene and Cody Weightman set the tone for the old-school goalfest with three each in the first term, the Giants co-captain finishing with a career-high seven while the Bulldogs young gun booted five.

Aaron Naughton also kicked five majors for the Bulldogs while Jack Macrae (37 disposals, one goal), Adam Treloar (31) and skipper Marcus Bontempelli (28, one) found plenty of the ball.

Jesse Hogan slotted three for the Giants as co-captain Stephen Coniglio (32 touches, two goals) and Tom Green (32) continued their strong form.

A Bulldogs loss to GWS would have left the 2021 grand finalists two wins out of the eight with nine rounds remaining but a 7-6 record keeps them within touching distance of the top eight.

But the victory could come at a cost for the Bulldogs with defender Taylor Duryea landing awkwardly before he was subbed out with a knee injury early in the opening term.

Weightman’s night also looked set to end early when he suffered a nasty elbow injury and had to be helped from the field in the third term but the 21-year-old returned shortly after and played out the match despite heavy strapping on his arm.

The Giants were also hit hard on a night of injury carnage with Braydon Preuss subbed out in the second term with a lower leg issue and James Peatling forced to sit out the last quarter due to hamstring tightness.

There were few signs early of the rivalry that has become one of the most heated in the AFL as a fast and furious opening term produced 11 goals and a three-point lead for the Bulldogs.

The shackles remained off in the second quarter as the teams combined for the highest half-time total score this season with the Bulldogs leading 10.6 to 9.7.

The teams also set a new mark for the highest combined score at the final change this year with 16.9 to 11.8 but the Bulldogs were able to surge to a 29-point lead off the back of winning clearances 14-4 for the third term.

The match continued in similar fashion in the final quarter to end with the highest combined score of 230 so far this season.

The Bulldogs play Hawthorn next on Friday night while the Giants will take on Collingwood on Sunday week.

Hawkins kicks his 700th ace Cats squeak past Eagles

Tom Hawkins has registered his 700th AFL goal as Geelong overcame a major scare to post an 18-point win over West Coast at Perth Stadium.

The Cats were expected to stroll to victory against a bottom-of-the-table Eagles outfit that had registered just one win all year.

Tom Hawkins kicked his 700th AFL goal during Geelong’s win over West Coast.(Getty Images: Will Russell)

But buoyed by the return of premiership stars Elliot Yeo, Willie Rioli and Dom Sheed, West Coast hit the lead early in the third quarter.

The margin was just 11 points in favor of the Cats with seven minutes remaining in the match, but Hawkins’ third goal of the game sealed the 12.9 (81) to 9.9 (63) victory in front of 32,526 fans.

Hawkins kicked goal number 700 in the second quarter when he won a lucky free kick, with the 33-year-old becoming just the 26th player to achieve the feat in VFL/AFL history.

West Coast suffered a huge blow before the match when star midfielder Tim Kelly was ruled out with illness.

They were dealt another blow 10 minutes into the second term when defender Jeremy McGovern suffered a game-ending rib injury after being bumped by Jeremy Cameron.

McGovern was sent to hospital for scans.

Cats goalsneak Tyson Stengle kicked three goals to continue his fine form this year, while Cam Guthrie (25 disposals, 13 clearances) was also influential.

Jake Waterman, Jamie Cripps, and Josh Kennedy booted two goals apiece for West Coast, while Yeo tallied 22 disposals across half-back in just his third AFL match of the year.

The result was West Coast’s ninth loss on the trot, a club record.

But they will be heartened by the much-improved effort.

West Coast spent the week celebrating the 30-year anniversary of their grand final triumph over Geelong in 1992.

The Eagles showed plenty of fight in the opening term, with their intense tackling helping keep them in the match.

A goal after the siren from Hawkins in his only touch of the term gave the Cats a 13-point edge at quarter time, and the storyline was going to script when Geelong skipped out to a 25-point lead early in the second quarter.

But West Coast refused to give in, unleashing a four-goal blitz to claw their way back into the match.

Jack Petruccelle’s behind early in the third quarter gave the home side a one-point edge, but Geelong did enough from that point on to secure their ninth win of the season and replace Carlton in fourth spot.

Port keep season alive with win over Swans

Port Adelaide have overcome the loss of two injured players to down Sydney by 23 points and revive their AFL finals hopes.

The Power triumphed 12.10 (82) to 8.11 (59) at Adelaide Oval on Saturday to sneak within two wins of the top eight.

Charlie Dixon smiles and clenches his fist after kicking a goal
Charlie Dixon and the Power kept their final hopes alive with a win over Sydney.(Getty Images: James Elsby)

Port duo Zak Butters (knee) and first-gamer Brynn Teakle (collarbone) were both hurt in a 10-minute span in the second quarter.

After leading by four points at half-time, the Power steamrolled Sydney with a six-goal burst in a third term punctuated by two brain fades from Swans ruckman Peter Ladhams, playing against his former club for the first time.

Ladhams threw Port’s Lachie Jones to the ground some 50 meters behind play – the resultant free was paid downfield and gifted Sam Powell-Pepper a goal.

Two minutes later, Ladhams tackled Power star Ollie Wines and then crudely punched the Brownlow medallist in the ribs while he was on the ground.

That act also resulted in a downfield free which was converted into another Port goal.

Ladhmans was dragged to the bench as Sydney’s resistance broke: Port booted 6.2 to nothing in a tick under 17 minutes to create a match-defining 42-point lead.

Power forward Todd Marshall dominated with four goals, his attacking colleague Charlie Dixon kicked two and Wines was superb with his 33 disposals featuring six inside 50s and 11 clearances.

Port backmen Riley Bonner (27 touches) and Darcy Byrne-Jones (28 possessions) provided dash while Connor Rozee (29 disposals, eight inside 50s) was influential in midfield.

The Power defense contained Sydney’s tall forwards with Lance Franklin kicking one major and Sam Reid and Logan McDonald kept goal-less.

Isaac Heeney was the standout for the Swans, kicking four goals, while and Luke Parker (25 keys, 10 clearances) and Callum Mills (27 disposals, one goal) canvased gamely.

But the third term fade-out would alarm coach John Longmire, particularly given the bright start from his team.

The seventh-placed Swans raced to a 19-2 advantage in the first quarter with their three big guns – Franklin, Heeney and Mills – all scoring goals.

But Port kicked 12 of the next 14 goals despite suffering double injury blows in the second term.

Dynamic midfielder Butters was substituted out of the game with a left knee injury, suffered when twisting awkwardly in a Harry Cunningham tackle.

And just 10 minutes later, ruckman Teakle, who joined Port in the mid-season draft two-and-a-half weeks ago, hurt his left collarbone in a bump with Swan Justin McInerney.

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