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Bulldogs beat the Dockers to finish AFLW round one on top

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The Western Bulldogs have gone top of the AFLW ladder after round one, thanks to a 26-point win over the Fremantle Dockers at Whitten Oval.

Led by returning skipper Katie Brennan, the Bulldogs were never troubled as they won 7.7 (49) to 3.5 (23).

An ankle injury ended Brennan's AFLW season one after just two games.

She returned to the fray at Whitten Oval, and showed exactly what the Dogs had been missing.

Brennan kicked two goals in the first half (finishing with three majors), provided a strong marking target and was one of the Bulldogs' best.

External Link: Western Bulldogs AFLW tweet: Winners selfie #AFLWDogsFreo

The game was played with a solid breeze that favoured the Dockers in the opening quarter, but they failed to take advantage as the home side dominated all aspects of the game.

The Victorians made good use of their strong forward line, with Brennan and number one draft pick Isabel Huntington taking marks inside 50 to put the Dockers under huge pressure.

The Bulldogs kept Fremantle scoreless to half-time — the contest looked almost over with the women from the West leading by 34 points.

But the visitors came out after the main break with a much better intensity, making use of the breeze with three unanswered goals, including two in quick succession from Amy Lavell, to get within 15 points.

The Bulldogs were a little nervous going into the final term, but goals to Bonnie Toogood and Aasta O'Connor — the latter using the wind to boot one through from distance — eased the pressure.

Brennan finished with three goals, Ellie Blackburn had 23 disposals, seven marks and a goal, while Huntington (eight disposals, four marks, two tackles) did not get on the scoresheet, but her performance showed great promise.

The Dockers showed resilience to stay in the contest, but they will need to find other forward options other than Lavell and Ashley Sharp (one goal).

Next week the Dockers will host Collingwood in a sellout at Perth Stadium, while the Bulldogs will head north to face Brisbane.

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