Roos edge closer to sealing finals spot after holding off Dogs

NORTH Melbourne has consolidated its spot in the AFLW's top-six with a gritty 11-point win against the fast-finishing Western Bulldogs.

The Kangaroos jumped out of the blocks with three unanswered first-quarter goals and that fast start proved enough as they held off the plucky Bulldogs 5.7 (37) to 3.8 (26) at North Hobart Oval.

KANGAROOS v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats

Both teams entered Saturday's match with a 4-2 record but North was able to go a game and percentage clear of the Dogs, who have a fight on their hands to qualify for the finals with two rounds to play.

AFLW Match Highlights: North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

05:14 Mar 13. 2021. 7:04 PM

The Kangaroos and Bulldogs clash in round seven of the NAB AFL Women's competition

Nathan Burke's team fought back from a 17-point quarter-time deficit but Kangaroos captain Emma Kearney slotted the only goal of the third term after the siren to give North Melbourne a vital 21-point lead.

Gun Kangaroo nails a perfect set shot after the siren

00:41 Mar 13. 2021. 6:43 PM

Emma Kearney extends North's lead with a goal after the three-quarter time siren

The Bulldogs controlled much of the last quarter but were unable to put on enough scoring pressure.

Kearney and fellow Kangaroos star Jasmine Garner produced dominant displays to lift their side and deny the Bulldogs' late charge.

"It's been really pleasing we've been building every week, but we still haven't quite hit the nail on the head," Kearney told Fox Footy.

"We're still building and we quite haven't put a four-quarter performance together yet. The Bulldogs took it to us."

The Bulldogs struggled for scoring options outside of key forward Isabel Huntington (two goals) and Bonnie Toogood.

Toogood gives the Dogs a sniff

00:23 Mar 13. 2021. 6:39 PM

Bonnie Toogood scores a quick goal to keep the Bulldogs in touch early in the final term

Speedster Kirsten McLeod was taken off late in the game with a head knock after being involved in a collision while trying to score the Bulldogs' fourth goal.

But Bulldogs coach Burke said McLeod seemed fine after the game and was hopeful she had avoided a concussion.

Burke was left to lament a number of lapses which inevitably cost his team the game but was ultimately pleased with the overall effort.

"They kicked four goals from our lapses, and against good teams, you can't afford to do that because they'll hurt you on the scoreboard," he told AAP.

"(Sprays) are usually few and far between with the girls. I normally reserve that for lack of effort, but this week (at quarter-time) there was a bit more of a rev-up.

"If they're better than us physically and skill-wise, then I can cop that, but when you are your own worst enemy that hurts."

North stars combine for fast goal

00:25 Mar 13. 2021. 5:40 PM

Jasmine Garner and Emma Kearney combine to score a fast centre-break goal late in the first

NORTH MELBOURNE     3.0     4.2     5.7     5.7    (37)
WESTERN BULLDOGS       0.1     2.3     2.4     3.8     (26)

GOALS
North Melbourne: Kearney 2, Bateman, King, Riddell
Western Bulldogs: Huntington 2, Toogood

BEST
North Melbourne: Garner, Kearney, Riddell, Duffin, Gavalas, E. King
Western Bulldogs: Lamb, Blackburn, Huntington, Toogood, Newton

INJURIES
North Melbourne: Nil
Western Bulldogs: McLeod (head knock)

Reports: Nil 

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