Emerging midfielders Xavier O’Neill and Zane Trew battled hard at a sodden and muddy Fremantle Community Bank Oval as the WAFL Eagles went down to reigning premier South Fremantle on Saturday.
O’Neill (24 disposals, six tackles, 10 inside 50s), Trew (20, five and three) and Zac Langdon (15, four and two) all fought hard against one of the WAFL’s powerhouse clubs in a strong midfield effort.
In his first game in blue and gold colours, former Blue and Sun Jarrod Garlett also boosted the side with some magic of his own and kicked a goal.
While the West Coast outfit was competitive early, they were eventually overrun 20.7 (127) to 9.7 (61).
The Bulldogs scorred three unanswered goals in the opening minutes but, after a surge from captain Hamish Brayshaw, the side put six points on the scoreboard with their first major of the day.
The momentum continued, with Cooper Nitschke and Jarrod Garlett snapping two of their own to level the score.
But South Fremantle managed to get on top, coming into the first break two goals in front.
From there, the Bulldogs were too good on their home ground, claiming seven goals in the second semester, with only one rushed behind hitting the board for the Eagles.
In the third term, the West Coast outfit managed to enter their 50 more frequently, but there was little return on investment, with Lennon Marlin and Hamish Brayshaw snaring the only two goals.
In the fourth quarter, an early snap from the Bulldogs saw the side hit a century, with West Coast dropping behind by 37.
But Zac Langdon, Liam Robilliard, Brayden Ainsworth and Joey Deegan all countered with one of their own, in a quarter coach Daniel Pratt named their ‘best’ of the match.
However, this wasn’t enough to get over the line, with the Eagles eventually conceding the match by 66 points.
WEST COAST: 3.3 3.4 5.7 9.7 (61)
SOUTH FREMANTLE: 5.2 12.4 15.4 20.7 (127)
West Coast: Brayshaw 2, Garlett, Langdon, Marlin, Nitschke, Robilliard, Ainsworth, Deegan
South Fremantle: Miller 5, Parker 4, Ninyette, Shaw 3, Dragovich, Kelly, Main, Strom
West Coast: O’Neill, Ainsworth, Trew, Hutchings, Langdon, Brayshaw
South Fremantle: Schloithe, Parker, Miller, Main, Ninyette, Dragovich