The Western Bulldogs were assisted by some late Score Review drama in the closing moments of Sunday’s thrilling victory over the West Coast Eagles on the Gold Coast.
Despite scoring fewer goals during the round 16 match at Metricon Stadium, the Bulldogs secured the gritty two-point win to keep their finals hopes alive.
With less than four minutes remaining in the final quarter, the Bulldogs were trailing by four points when skipper Marcus Bontempelli claimed a mark 45 metres out from goal.
Bontempelli’s free kick had the direction, but at first appeared to lack the distance when West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern leapt and punched the footy from the goal line.
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The on-field umpire called a goal, but the decision still went upstairs to ARC for a Score Review.
Replays showed the ball made contact with McGovern’s fist simultaneously as it passed the posts, so it was decided: “There is insufficient evidence to confirm or overturn the umpire’s call.”
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Melbourne Demons great Garry Lyon proclaimed on Fox Footy: “What a magnificent kick; the difference between him having one of his great moments is a millimetre.”
The Bulldogs were awarded the goal, which ended up being the last major of the low-scoring 6.13 (49) to 7.5 (47) encounter.
Three-time All-Australian Gerard Healy suggested: “At the end of the day, that is just great conversion, it’s a hell of a kick. It just drifted back on the wind, and it got over by a millimetre.”
Herald Sun reporter James Mottershead tweeted: “Remember the uproar after the St Kilda and Melbourne game about not having goalpost cameras at all grounds around Australia. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if you do anyway.”
ABC News digital journalist Dean Bilton posted: “On absolutely no planet in any galaxy in any alternate reality did West Coast deserve to win that game … but that is a real rough goal to lose it on.”
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Bontempelli spoke to Fox Footy about the game-winning goal after the final siren.
“I just managed to give it enough,” Bontempelli said.
“Probably a bee’s d*** in it, I reckon, on the line so pretty close.”
Mitch Wallis scored a team-high two goals for the Bulldogs, while midfielder Jack Macrae managed a game-high 29 disposals.
After recording their eighth win of the season, the Bulldogs climb up to ninth spot on the AFL ladder, while the Eagles remain in fifth.
For their next fixtures, the Bulldogs will face Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, while West Coast will take on St Kilda at the Gabba on Thursday.