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Match report: Hope gets Dogs glory against Dees

Women's highlights: WB v Melb The best female footballers from around the country clash at the Whitten Oval
Moana Hope was the dominant forward on the ground - AFLW
Moana Hope was the dominant forward on the ground

CENTURY goalkicker Moana Hope underlined why she achieved that feat this season with a brilliant performance for the Western Bulldogs in the AFL women's All-Stars game on Saturday night. 

Hope booted six goals as an almost unstoppable spearhead for the Bulldogs in their 39-point win against Melbourne at Whitten Oval.

The Collingwood marquee signing's display emphasised why she will be a cult hero in next season's inaugural AFL women's national league.

The Bulldogs’ slicker ball movement and greater midfield depth allowed them to pull away after an even and spirited first-half duel with the gallant Demons under lights in front of 6365 fans.

WATCH: Six-goal Hope delivers for Dogs

And the host club supporters went home satisfied after watching their marquee signings Ellie Blackburn and Katie Brennan play key roles in the victory.

Brennan hunted the ball to set the pattern in the opening quarter and Blackburn directed traffic through the midfield with her ability to find the footy.

On-ball leader Daisy Pearce was a prolific ball-winner for the Demons, particularly in the third quarter in a bid to lift Melbourne, but the swarming Bulldogs overwhelmed her efforts.

An early goal after half-time from Northern Territory's Angela Foley pulled the Demons back within four points, but it was to be their last gasp.

 

The Bulldogs’ superior midfield and efficient ball movement put Melbourne's defence under constant pressure, and the irrepressible Hope capped off the fine work with four goals in a blinding third quarter to put the contest out of reach.

Hope – who kicked a ton for the St Kilda Sharks in the Victorian Women’s competition – would have left Collingwood fans salivating at the prospect of next season as she showed all her tricks, from strong marking to breaking tackles to kicking goals from all angles.

The Bulldogs earned an eight-point edge at half-time with better system going forward towards the imposing Hope.

 

While Hope had only one goal in the first half, several times she gave off to others to create scoring opportunities.

The Dogs had constant drive through the midfield from busy "local" duo Brennan and Blackburn, with the latter collecting an impressive 16 touches by the main break.

Melbourne forward targets Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Tayla Harris looked dangerous with their marking prowess, but most times the Dogs defenders, especially Tahlia Randall on the dangerous Harris, were effective with time to spoil high balls.

Frederick-Traub and Harris are Brisbane's marquee signings and showed they will be a formidable double act up forward.

Five talking points: Women's All-Star match

Frederick-Traub kicked the opening goal of the match, but squandered opportunities by hitting the post from free kicks on the edge of the goalsquare in the second quarter.

The Dogs made the Demons pay for the wasteful work with goals in quick succession from Hope and Bianca Jakkobson late in the second term.

But Harris kept Melbourne in touch with a long bomb from 50m that bounced across an unguarded goal to set up an intriguing second half.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS   1.3    5.3    10.5  14.6 (90)
MELBOURNE                   1.2    3.7     4.8     7.9 (51) 

GOALS
Western Bulldogs: Hope 6, Vescio 3, Ashmore 2, Brennan, Lambert, Jakkobson
Melbourne: Harris 2, Frederick-Traub 2, Marinoff, Foley, Eva 

BEST
Western Bulldogs: Hope, Blackburn, Brennan, Chiocci, Vescio, Davey, Lambert
Melbourne: D.Pearce, Paxman, Foley, Harris, Donnellan, Antonio 

Umpires: Libby Toovey, Michael Pell, Jack Spencer

Crowd: 6365