Bulldogs survive test as Eagles fade out late
The Collie Eagles let another three-quarter time lead go by the wayside, this time going down to reigning premiers Bunbury by seven points at the Collie Recreation Ground on Sunday.
The Eagles led by much as 20 points during the final quarter, but the Bulldogs kicked five goals to one to run out 12.13 (85) to 12.6 (78) winners.
Kicking the first three goals of the game before the Eagles could even get the ball inside their forward 50, Bunbury looked like they had the game in their hands from the get go and charged out to a commanding 21-point lead at the first break.
Adam Bignell and the Eagles come out a new side in the second term and kicked five goals to hit the front for the first time in the dying stages of the quarter thanks to a goal from Joel Leeson.
Bunbury’s inaccuracy in front of goals hampered their quest to reel in the Eagles, as quick-fire goals to Leeson, Jason Roney and Jace Fontana (three goals) pushed the lead out to 19 points going into the final term.
From here it was all the Bulldogs, led by Jessie Gribble, who spearheaded the fierce attack by scoring the opening goal for the quarter while playing a part in the next two kicked by Brett Peake and Mark Longbottom.
This closed the gap to a solitary point, while it was Travis Gray who was able to silence the vocal local crowd to give the reigning premiers the lead for the first time since the second quarter.
The home side finally found a spring in their step as they looked to snap a six-game losing streak when they where able to break free through the midfield giving Blair Malatesta his third goal of the game and levelling the score.
But the chance of a draw was short lived as Zane Rigby put the game away just moments later to give the Bulldogs a vital win.
Bunbury 5.4 6.6 7.10 12.13 (85) def Collie Eagles 2.1 7.4 11.5 12.6 (78)
GOALS: Bunbury - J. Gribble, M. Longbottom 3, B. Peake, Z. Rigby 2, B. McMullen, T. Gray. Collie Eagles - B. Malatesta, J. Fontana 3, J. Leeson 2, J. Roney, A. Bignell, T. Vernon, K. Michalak.
BEST: Bunbury - J. Gribble, J. Falco, B. Casserly, M. Longbottom, B. Blake T. Justins. Collie Eagles - M. Michael, T. Vernon, A. Elari, B. Malatesta, K. Shanahan, J. Fontana.
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