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Monday, March 18, 2024 - 1:25 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle is on the board in the 2024 WAFLW season after a dominant 67-point victory while holding Peel Thunder goalless in Mandurah on Saturday.

South Fremantle might have lost its opening two games of the season, but there was plenty to be encouraged about at the same time in the losses to the grand final teams of the past two seasons, East Fremantle and Claremont.

The Bulldogs then hit the road for the first time this season in Round 3 on Saturday to play the also winless Peel at Lane Group Stadium, and put on a dominant performance starting with the only four goals of the first quarter.

South Fremantle also added four goals in the third quarter on the way to the eventual 10.11 (71) to 0.4 (4) victory.

There was a lot to like from South Fremantle in the first victory of the season with Noa McNaughton, Poppy Stockwell and Pippa Sideris all kicking two goals apiece.

Stockwell continued her blistering form to open the season with another 18 possessions and five tackles as well while McNaughton had 16 touches, five inside-50 entries and three tackles.

The fairest and best winner from 2022 Liusaidh Gilchrist has started the season in outstanding form too and had another 25 possessions, six inside 50s, four tackles and three marks with rising star Renee Morgan having 22 disposals and four inside-50 entries.

Molly O'Hehir also had 22 touches and seven tackles with Alyssa Smogavec producing 21 disposals, Ariana Hetherington 19, Kahra Sprlyan 15 and Caitlin Pears 14.

South Fremantle went down to Mandurah hunting a first win of the season and the Bulldogs started strongly with Kahra Sprlyan kicking the game's opening goal less than five minutes into the contest.

Pippa Sideris and Poppy Stockwell then added goals as well for the Bulldogs, and so did reigning fairest and best winner Ariana Hetherington just before quarter-time to see South Fremantle take a 26-point advantage into the first change.

South Fremantle stretched the lead further with a second goal to Stockwell to open the second term and that proved the only goal kicked by either side in that term with the Bulldogs going into the long break in control leading by 32 points.

It took little over a minute for South Fremantle to add a sixth goal of the game to start the third quarter courtesy of Noa McNaughton. A couple of minutes later and Zoe Huggett added another to push the lead out to 45 points.

That became 53 points with a second goal of the day to Sideris and then McNaughton added her second to help the Bulldogs to a 60-point advantage by three quarter-time.

There was only the one goal kicked in the final quarter and that went the way of South Fremantle too thanks to Pia Durk on the way to securing the eventually 67-point win while holding Peel goalless.

Following that under lights on Saturday night at Lane Group Stadium, South Fremantle also recorded a 7.6 (48) to 5.7 (37) Rogers Cup victory against Peel Thunder.

South Fremantle did have to come from behind having trailed by eight points at quarter-time, six points at half-time and eight at three quarter-time, but the Bulldogs kicked the only three goals in the last term to win by 11 points.

Shaya Yarran and Nicole Taylor-Thorpe kicked two goals apiece for the Bulldogs with Holly Barnes, Khesan Starr and Zarlya Yarran adding one each.


SOUTH FREMANTLE                        4.3          5.5          9.9          10.11     (71)

PEEL THUNDER                                 0.1          0.3          0.3          0.4          (4)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: McNaughton, Stockwell, Sideris 2; Sprlyan, Huggett, Hetherington, Durk.

Best: Gilchrist, Stockwell, Morgan, O'Hehir, McNaughton, Hetherington, Sprlyan, Smogavec.

PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Nil.

Best: Dawson, Bilcich, Cowcher, Fisher, Haines, Britton.