Bulldogs hold off Giants for winning start to AFLW season

The Western Bulldogs have reaped the benefits of a firing new-look forward line to kick off their AFLW season with a seven-point victory over GWS.

Key points:

  • Former number-one draft pick Gabby Newton kicked two for the Bulldogs
  • Newton missed the entirety of last season with a shoulder injury
  • Cora Staunton led the Giants with three of her own, but didn’t have enough help

The Bulldogs lost leading goalkicker Bonnie Toogood to Essendon over the off-season but comeback kid Gabby Newton and Celine Moody booted two goals apiece in the 6.5 (41) to 5.4 (34) victory at Princes Park.

Skipper Ellie Blackburn (21 disposals, nine clearances) was typically brilliant while Isabelle Pritchard (18 disposals), ruck Alice Edmonds (28 hitouts) and defender Eleanor Brown also excelled.

Giants vice-captain Alyce Parker (25 disposals, six clearances and a goal) was outstanding while veteran forward Cora Staunton sparked GWS with three goals.

Lamb dobbed the Dogs’ first goal just over a minute into the clash but the Giants hit back through 18-year-old Jessica Doyle and led by a point at the first change.

The Bulldogs lifted at the start of the second quarter when former number-one draft pick Newton caught Georgina Fowler holding the ball and dobbed her first career goal.

Newton was making her return after missing all of last season due to a double shoulder reconstruction.

Author: Ivan Robinson