Subiaco survived a scare from a plucky and injury-hit South Fremantle to maintain their top two spot with a nine-point win at Fremantle Oval today.
The Lions were made to work hard in the seesawing affair to take 12th victory of the season 13.15 (93) to 12.12 (84).
South Fremantle were hit hard by injuries, losing prime mover Ashton Hams halfway through the first quarter with an eye injury and spearhead Ben Saunders which a chest injry just before three-quarter time.
There was plenty of mud on Fremantle Oval after heavy rain for much of the morning, but it was dry for most of the day and it opened up as the game progressed.
With just two men on the bench, the Bulldogs couldn't hold off a fast-finishing Subiaco, who booted five goals to two in the final term to take the vital win.
Kyal Horsley was brilliant for the Lions with 29 possessions and a goal, with Jason Bristow (22 disposals, one goal) and Andrew McDougall (22 touches, two goals) also prominent.
Jarrod Parry had the ball on a string playing off half back for South Fremantle, while Alistair Gillespie and Brock Higgins were influential big men and Craig White booted three goals.
The home side won the toss and, kicking to the Fremantle hospital end, had the first shot on goal after a 50m penalty to Haiden Schloithe brought the prolific midfielder within range inside the first minute.
But a quick transference of play by the Lions 30 seconds later allowed Kyal Horsley to get the ball out in front of a hard-running Rhys Waters, who snapped the first major the game.
The Bulldogs had much of the play from there with Ashton Hams playing a sweeping role across half back, but they couldn't land a goal to put the pressure on their more fancied opponents.
Hams gathered six disposals in the opening 10 minutes before leaving the ground and going down to the rooms. The playmaker failed to reappear, leaving his side one man down.
It was then Subiaco's turn to be wasteful at the other end, before Saunders roved a ball at the top of the square to snap South Fremantle's first and have them just one point down at the first break.
The Bulldogs were completely dominant in the early stages of the second term, holding the ball in the their half for consecutive shots, with Anthony Collica soccering a loose ball off the ground to give Souths the lead.
Waters added his second minutes later after getting free over the back again to steal the lead back for the Lions.
But the underdogs would not be denied as they dominated the clearances and possession to drive the ball inside 50m repeatedly.
Alistair Gillespie was particularly prominent, setting up Tim Kelly for a goal and kicking another himself on the run to give Souths a handy 14-point advantage approaching half time.
The Lions then showed their class to add consecutive goals after Shane Yarran and Matthew Boland both converted set shots to undo a lot of the home side's good work.
But Gillespie produced another brilliant individual effort, beating a couple of Subiaco defenders to snap his second and take back an eight-point lead at the long break.
The Lions looked like they might take the game away from Souths early in the third when they booted the first two goals to edge in front again, but Souths would not go away easily with five of the next seven majors as the game opened up to re-establish their lead.
But Bulldogs spearhead Saunders was stretchered off the ground with seconds left, leaving his side with just two on the bench in the final term.
Chris Phelan got the all-important first goal for Subiaco and when Boland and Bristow added majors the game was slipping from the Bulldog's grasp.
They fought on, but couldn't resist the run and class of the Lions.
Joel Ashman replaced Chris Deluca in the Subiaco side after he was a late withdrawal before the game.
|GOALS - SUBIACO:Waters, McDougall, Boland 2; Yarran, Twomey, Horsley, Phelan, Bristow, Hilderbrandt, Moore.SOUTH FREMANTLE:White 3; Gillespie, Saunders, Collica 2; Kelly, Mugambwa, Schloithe.|
BEST - SUBIACO:Horsley, Bristow, McDougall, Waters, Twomey, Hampson. SOUTH FREMANTLE:Parry, Gillespie, Schloithe, B Verrier, Higgins, Kelly.