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Bulldogs get starts in order and beat Royals for fifth straight

Monday, July 24, 2017 - 11:16 AM - by Chris Pike
SOUTH Fremantle started better and finished strongly to make it five straight WAFL wins beating East Perth by 30 points on Saturday in Busselton.
South Fremantle might have started slowly the past three weeks and had to come from behind to win, but the Bulldogs were the ones starting strongly at Sir Stewart Bovell Park in Busselton on Saturday.
The Bulldogs led by as much as 31 points during the second term but the Royals fought back strongly and hit the front three minutes into the last term. But South Fremantle wouldn’t be denied and went on to kick five goals in 11 minutes to secure the 18.13 (121) to 14.7 (91) victory.
That makes it five wins in-a-row for South Fremantle who improves to a 12-4 record on the season to remain clear in second position on the ladder.
East Perth missed a chance to remain right in touch with fifth position slipping to 6-9 and two games back from the fifth placed West Perth.
South Fremantle once again had plenty of potency in attack led by five goals from Blaine Johnson with four of them coming in the second half.
Ben Saunders also kicked four goals from eight kicks, five marks and five tackles for the Bulldogs with Cory Dell'Olio and Mason Shaw chipping in with two apiece.
Tim Kelly's disposal numbers might have been a little down but his impact on the contest was significant with the South Fremantle on-baller finishing with 21 possessions, six tackles, six inside-50 entries and three goals.
Shane Hockey thrived in the conditions to continue his season-best form in recent weeks with another 30 disposals and eight tackles while Steve Verrier had 23 touches, Haiden Schloithe 22, Jacob Dragovich 22 and Steven Edwards 20. 
Ruckman Brock Higgins rose to the challenge against former side and up against both Jonathan Giles and Scott Jones to be the best ruckman in the game with 17 possessions and 31 hit outs.
Another former Royal albeit not by choice while he was listed with West Coast, Blayne Wilson, was terrific at centre half-back with 21 possessions and eight marks.
Following three straight weeks of slow starts that saw South Fremantle had to come back from being 29 points down against Perth, 25 points back from Claremont and trailing by 41 points against Swan Districts to win, the Bulldogs made a much brighter start in Busselton on Saturday.
It took just six minutes for South Fremantle to have two goals on the board thanks to Dell'Olio and Saunders. By the 15-minute mark, captain Ryan Cook got in on the action and the Bulldogs had solved their slow start problem at least for this week.
A couple of quick goals to East Perth co-captain Patrick McGinnity were much-needed to say the least, but the Bulldogs still answered thanks to Kelly and the 19-point quarter-time could have been much greater with some straighter kicking on goal.
Two quick goals to start the second term from Saunders saw South Fremantle take further control to lead by 31 points before again McGinnity responded for the Royals. Stan Wright then kicked truly also as did Giles to make the margin just 12 points.
South Fremantle answered through Dragovich but just a minute later McGinnity kicked his fourth of the half for the Royals. The Bulldogs did have the last say of the half with a goal to Johnson and that saw them 17 points up at the long break in Busselton.
East Perth did kick the first goal of the second half to stay in touch when Tom Lamb kicked truly. 
Even though Dell'Olio answered with his second of the game for the Bulldogs, the Royals had picked up some momentum and Partington kicked two goals in three minutes, and when Malcolm Karpany kicked truly all of a sudden they were in front and had all the momentum.
However, South Fremantle was able to respond firstly through Johnson and then Kelly. Shaw then kicked his first of the game to make the margin 16 points again but it was back to 10 on three quarter-time with a late major for East Perth from Snadden.
The game was right on the line still at three quarter-time and even more so with an early goal in the last quarter for East Perth to McGinnity, his fifth, to bring the Royals within three points.
That's as close as they would get, though, with South Fremantle putting the game out of reach over the next 15 minutes with a tremendous run with goals to Saunders, Johnson, Kelly, Shaw and then another two to Johnson to give him five for the day.
That saw South Fremantle's lead out to as much as 41 points before a couple of late East Perth goals to Lamb and Hill cut the final margin to 30.
The colts contest between East Perth and South Fremantle took place at Leederville Oval with the league teams in Busselton. It was a thriller with the Royals ending up beating the Bulldogs 10.8 (68) to 9.13 (67).
Luke Moore kicked three goals for the Bulldogs while Regan Spooner gathered 32 possessions, Glenn Byron 24, Matthew Ward 23, Ryan Burrows 21, Bruno Faulkner 20, Jonathon Frampton 18 and Jacob Warne 16 to go with seven marks and 22 hit outs.
The reserves clash on Saturday also took place at Leederville Oval between East Perth and South Fremantle, and this time it was the Bulldogs getting the three-point win, beating the Royals 12.7 (79) to 10.16 (76).
Mitch Dzelebdzic had three kicks and kicked three goals for South Fremantle with Brandon Donaldson and Jesse Musika also kicking two majors.
Jake Florenca responded to his demotion racking up 36 possessions for the Bulldogs with Jarrod Parry gathering 28 disposals, Kyle Russell 20, Daniel Cabassi 19, Jarrod Garlett 18, Josh Collard 18, Musika 18 and Caleb Datson 17.
South Fremantle is back to Fremantle Community Bank Oval this Saturday to take on West Perth looking for a fifth straight win this season, and a sixth in-a-row against the Falcons.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 4.7 8.9 12.10 18.13 (121)
EAST PERTH 2.0 6.4 11.6 14.7 (91)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Johnson 5; Saunders 4; Kelly 3; Dell'Olio, Shaw 2; Cook, Dragovich.
Best: Hockey, Kelly, Johnson, S Verrier, Higgins, Wilson, Dragovich, Schloithe.
EAST PERTH – Goals: McGinnity 5; Lamb, Partington 2; Karpany, Wright, Hill, Giles, Snadden.
Best: Partington, McGinnity, Snadden, Mutimer, Watson, Masten.

Round 18 Preview v East Perth

Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 2:38 AM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle heads to Busselton looking for a fifth straight WAFL victory and to down East Perth who just happen to be the last remaining team that the Bulldogs are yet to beat in 2017.

For the second straight week there will be a regional WAFL match as part of the Department of Sport and Recreation's Country Sport Enrichment Scheme.

After Subiaco played Claremont in Esperance last Saturday, this week will see East Perth and South Fremantle play at Sir Stewart Bovell Park in Busselton.

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Player Column – Adam McIntosh Round 18

Friday, July 21, 2017 - 10:11 AM - by Adam McIntosh

THINGS are going well for us on the field at the moment so I thought I would take the chance to give some insight to some of my team mates that I have been at the club with for a while. 

I'll start with the oldest player at the club in Ashton Hams. Being the oldest player you would think he would be the most mature but it is quite the opposite. If you ask any player at the club who the biggest pest or most annoying the answer will be Hamsy. He is the definition of someone who has 'small man syndrome'. 

If he's not punching you or hiding behind a corner trying to scare someone then he is making up stuff about you for his own amusement. Apart from him being a pest I think he is the biggest competitor at the club. He hates to lose and once he crosses that white line it's all business. He is one of our leaders at the club and is always willing to help his team mates get better.

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Match Day Info – Round 18

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 6:07 PM

SOUTH Fremantle heads to the south west town of Busselton on Saturday to take on East Perth trying to win a fifth consecutive WAFL match and to beat the Royals for the first time in 2017.

East Perth remains the only team South Fremantle is yet to defeat in 2017 and the two clubs will meet at Busselton's Sir Stewart Bovell Park on Saturday in a regional fixture hosted by the South West Football League as part of the Department of Sport and Recreation's Country Sport Enrichment Scheme.

A full day of action will take place in Busselton to celebrate the town hosting its second ever WAFL fixture.

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Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Round 17

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 1:03 PM - by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say after South Fremantle came from 41 points down to kick 14 of the last 15 goals to beat Swan Districts on Saturday ahead of this Saturday's trip to Busselton to take on East Perth.

QUESTION: Similar story in some ways to the last couple of weeks where you started slowly, but the response from halfway through the second quarter onwards was impressive?
It was a really slow start obviously but there were some different factors this week. We were kicking into a fairly steep breeze and they played some pretty close attention to key players early who weren’t able to influence the game. But I thought we worked our way back into it even though it was eight goals to one at one stage. It showed some really strong resilience to hang in and still believe.

Q: What started the turnaround from halfway through that second quarter?
We started to get our hands on the ball and got much better in the contested situation. As a result we got our hands on the ball and gave our forwards a chance to score.

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Bulldogs with 81-point turnaround to beat Swans for John Todd Cup

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 3:01 PM - by Chris Pike
SOUTH Fremantle kicked 14 of the last 15 goals to beat Swan Districts by 40 points after earlier being 40 down at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday to retain the John Todd Cup.
Swan Districts looked right on track to score what might have been its most impressive win of the season when kicking six of the first seven goals of the game to lead by 41 points 13 minutes into the second quarter.
It was a third time in the past four games that South Fremantle had started slowly and after just falling short of coming back to beat Peel, and then overrunning Perth and Claremont impressively, the Bulldogs had the job ahead of them again on Saturday.
This time it was against a top four team in winning form but five goals in 12 minutes late in the second quarter had the home side right back in the contest. Then nine goals to one after half-time and South Fremantle pulled off the 81-point turnaround.
The Bulldogs kicked 14 of the game's last 15 goals to end up winning 15.13 (103) to 9.9 (63).
The win improves South Fremantle to an 11-4 record on the season to remain clear in second position on the ladder.

Swan Districts remains fourth at 9-6 and two games clear in that position despite the loss.
South Fremantle ended up delivering quite the dominant performance and while the wet weather helped, the Bulldogs held Swans to just 242 possessions – the lowest tally of any club this season.
The Bulldogs ended up with 87 more disposals, 12 more marks, five more hit outs, 25 more entries inside the forward 50 and 28 scoring shots to 18 in the 40-point victory.
Swan Districts came into the game with the focus of paying close attention to South Fremantle's key ball winners in particular with Tom Smirk coming into the team to play a stopping role on centre half-back Blayne Wilson and Ryan Crowley and Jesse Manton sharing duties on Tim Kelly.
Neither Wilson nor Smirk had much influence but the South Fremantle defender did hurt a shoulder despite returning to the field. He played his role still despite only seven possessions and three marks.
Kelly was able to fight through the attention he received too to finish with 21 possessions.
Swans small forwards took their chances early, but from there South Fremantle Steven Edwards (24 possessions, seven marks) and Jason Maskos (21 touches, four marks, four tackles) were tremendous. Josh Pullman also did well holding Ricky Cary to one goal and seven kicks.
Adam McIntosh also held Brayden Noble scoreless and to just four kicks.
Haiden Schloithe worked through some close attention too to end up with 22 possessions, four tackles and a goal for South Fremantle. 
Shane Hockey also finished with 22 touches, Ashton Hams 21, Dylan Main 20, Brendan Verrier 19 and Ryan Cook 19.
Cory Dell'Olio came back after missing last week's win over Claremont to kick three goals with Blaine Johnson, Ben Saunders and Jake Florenca all kicking two goals each.

Brock Higgins battled hard in the ruck for 50 hit outs and nine possessions.
Swan Districts' small forwards were enjoying the wet weather conditions early in the game and with the black-and-whites kicking with the benefit of the breeze to start the game at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
It took just three minutes for Jamie Bennell to open the scoring for Swans. Johnson did get the immediate replay for South Fremantle after drawing a free-kick, but it was the visitors who had all the momentum to start the game.
Taryce Stewart, David Ellard, Stewart again and then Bennell all added majors for Swans before quarter-time to see them claim a 22-point advantage at the first change.
Swan Districts then continued that momentum in the second quarter starting with big man Cary kicking his only goal of the afternoon. Stewart then added a third in mercurial fashion deep in the pocket up against the boundary line.

When fourth-gamer Mitch Mackenzie marked and kicked the first goal of his career at the top of the goal square Swans looked to be heading for the big win with a 41-point advantage.
However, Swans wouldn’t kick another goal for more than another 60 minutes of playing time with the Bulldogs continuing their habit of setting themselves a big task with a slow start, but being up to it.
The turnaround began with Saunders earning a high tackle free-kick and going back to kick truly at the 15-minute mark of the second term. Less than a minute later Jacob Dragovich snapped truly out of congestion and the signs of another comeback were building.
Saunders then came out charging on a late, attacking the ball like a steam train to take the chest mark and go back to kick his second. With Johnson then adding his second and Dell'Olio his first before half-time, South Fremantle was right back in the contest just 10 points down at the long break.
Swans might have had the breeze again in the third term, but they couldn’t capitalise with the pressure and intensity of the Bulldogs having dramatically lifted all over the field.

It resulted in two crucial goals into the breeze for the quarter Schloithe and Florenca to see South Fremantle hold a narrow one-point lead.
Swan Districts did make things interesting to regain the lead with the opening goal of the last term when Ellard kicked his second, but it wouldn’t last.
Hams kicked a beauty from deep in the pocket on the wrong side for a left-footer to draw scores level and then they moved ahead with a second for the day to Dell'Olio.
Shaun Bewick then earned a free-kick directly in front and kicked truly to make the margin 14 points. It then became 21 when Marlion Pickett got one to roll through that he kicked from the centre square at the 23-minute mark.
South Fremantle was finishing all over Swan Districts by that stage and kicked three more goals through Florenca, Dell'Olio and Shaw to run out 40-point winners having been 41 down midway through the second quarter.
The day began at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the colts contest that saw Swan Districts defeat South Fremantle 12.9 (81) to 6.8 (44).
Thomas Weston and Luke Moore kicked two goals each for South Fremantle.
Ryan Burrows racked up 28 possessions for the Bulldogs, Regan Spooner 27, Kyle Hamersley 18, Enrique Aiken-Featherstone 18, Bruno Faulkner 17 and Brodie Plunkett 17.
Then in the reserves at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, the ladder-leading South Fremantle kicked four goals to one in the last quarter to come away with the 8.11 (59) to 4.10 (34) victory.
Matthew Gundry, Mitch Dzelebdzic and Zac Strom all kicked two goals each for South Fremantle with the latter adding 20 possessions and five marks.
Tom Vandeleur amassed 34 possessions for the Bulldogs, Matthew Parker 26, Brandon Donaldson 25, Chad Pearson 24, Josh Collard 22, Kyle Russell 19, Jarrod Parry 18 and Andre Coutinho 18.
South Fremantle will look to continue its winning form next Saturday heading to Busselton to take on an East Perth team needing to win to stay in the race for the finals in 2017.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.3 6.6 8.8 15.13 (103)
SWAN DISTRICTS 5.1 8.4 8.8 9.9 (63)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Dell'Olio 3; Johnson, Saunders, Florenca 2; Hams, Pickett, Shaw, Bewick, Dragovich, Schloithe.
Best: Edwards, Maskos, Main, Cook, Hockey, Schloithe, Kelly.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Stewart 3; Bennell, Ellard 2; Mackenzie, Cary.
Best: Notte, Gault, Ellard, Faulkner, Stewart, Turner.

Round 17 Preview v Swan Districts

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 7:10 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle is back to Fremantle Community Bank Oval to take on Swan Districts on Saturday looking for a fourth straight WAFL win and to retain the John Todd Cup.

It looms as a fascinating contest between two clubs who would be expected to be playing finals in 2017 from here.

Both teams come into the game at the port in tremendous form as well with South Fremantle having beaten West Perth, Perth and Claremont the past three games to improve to a 10-4 record and to be solid in second position on the ladder.

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Player Column – Tim Kelly Round 17

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 3:31 PM - by Tim Kelly

MY life away from footy is fairly different from most of my teammates but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have a family of my own and I've been with my beautiful partner Caitlin going on six years now and we have a beautiful baby boy, our little son Tykeem who will be two in September.

Life changes pretty quickly when you settle down and have kids obviously but I love the fact that I'm a dad, and a young dad. I really enjoy everything about being a dad and I love my little son. He means the world to me.

A lot of the boys here at the footy club are still going out a lot and loving life, but I'm happy that I have a family to go home to and I can live through them a little bit. I enjoy some of the stories they can come back with but at the end of the day my responsibility is my family and my boy is nearly two now, so he's passed the point of where he needs attention 100 per cent of the time from both parents so we can get out and socialise every now and then. I love having them to come home to, it's as simple as that.

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Match Day Info – Round 17

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 10:37 AM

SOUTH Fremantle is back at Fremantle Community Bank Oval this Saturday to host the fourth placed Swan Districts with the John Todd Cup on the line.

With the Bulldogs celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the 1997 premiership next month, it's only fitting that this Saturday's clash with Swans will be for the John Todd Cup named in honour of the man who coached the Bulldogs to that triumph.

Of course he was also the youngest ever Sandover Medallist during his playing career at South Fremantle while also coaching Swan Districts to a hat-trick of premierships in 1982, 83 and 84.

So not only does Saturday's game pay tribute to a legend of West Australian football, but it's a crucial clash for both teams currently occupying two of the top four spots in the WAFL nearing the business end of the 2017 season.

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Coach Post Match – Todd Curley NAIDOC Round

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 10:22 AM - by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the Bulldogs' NAIDOC Round victory against Claremont at Claremont Oval to further consolidate second position in the WAFL.

QUESTION: Again a slow start but you would have been really pleased with the response after quarter-time?
Obviously we were pretty slow at the start but to their credit, they really came out and challenged us. We were pretty ill-disciplined early and gave away a heap of free-kicks and going five goals to one down was a bit disappointing. But even in the first quarter over the last 10 minutes I thought we started to get to work a bit. 

Q: You gave away five off the ball free kicks in the first quarter. They made it a real focus to try and rattle you, were you pleased you fixed that up after quarter-time?
It's just all about learning. We still have a fair few young guys in the team and they might have played a fair bit of footy, but deep down they are still young guys and will come up against new experiences every week. They got challenged a bit physically early and probably didn’t deal with it the right way. And a lot of the time it can be the guy who reacts that gets caught out. But it's another opportunity to learn and I think from the 20-minute mark of the first quarter we were OK in that regard.

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