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Spark stars in Bulldogs' AFLW victory

Western Bulldogs defender Lauren Spark has starred with a game-high 11 marks to hold off the Adelaide Crows and help her side to a thrilling AFLW victory.

Spark stars in Bulldogs' AFLW victory

Western Bulldogs defender Lauren Spark has starred with a game-high 11 marks to hold off the Adelaide Crows and help her side to a thrilling AFLW victory.

LAUREN SPARK of the Bulldogs handpasses the ball ahead of Claudia Whitfort of the Demons during the 2018 AFLW Round 07 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at VU Whitten Oval Melbourne, Australia
LAUREN SPARK of the Bulldogs handpasses the ball ahead of Claudia Whitfort of the Demons during the 2018 AFLW Round 07 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at VU Whitten Oval Melbourne, Australia Picture:Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

The Western Bulldogs are once again thankful that Lauren Spark turned her back on beach volleyball, as the star defender played a pivotal role in her side's one-point AFLW victory over Adelaide at Norwood Oval.

The 2018 premiership player, who represented Australia at the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in 2007, and even played for the Wimbledon Hawks in the AFL London competition, kept her side in the match all night on Saturday.


She ended up with a game-high 11 marks, to go with 14 disposals, but despite being the Bulldogs' best player, Spark credited her teammates in defence for her strong showing.

"I've just heard that it's quite a few marks - I didn't realise," she said with a laugh post-match.

"Obviously I've done that, but it's the work around us that allows me to be able to do that, so there's four other awesome backs out there with me at the time, and they're the ones able to keep the others away so I can mark.

"I was fired up for this and to finally get a win against Adelaide was awesome."

But the Bulldogs were made to earn the win. Their back line was under the pump right up until the final siren, especially when Adelaide's Jenna McCormick had the chance to put the Crows in front with 32 seconds remaining in the contest.

"It was pretty stressful in the end there, we had the ball coming in a few times in that last quarter," Spark said.

"But we had Ellie (Blackburn) running around and she chopped off that last one and thank God we were able to stop the ball and hold onto it late in the game there."

Adelaide star Chelsea Randall rued how close the Crows came to snatching victory at the death.

"It was obviously a tough 30 seconds. We just had the footy and I guess we were just hoping we had a little bit more time to try and put one on the scoreboard, but you win some, you lose some and tonight wasn't our night," she said.

The result gives Spark an extra confidence boost ahead of the Bulldogs' meeting with newcomers Geelong next week after the Cats also scored a thrilling one-point win on Saturday evening against Collingwood.

"I'm a pretty confident person anyway and this just adds to it as well. So to win on the road and I love playing at Whitten Oval so bring on next weekend," Spark said.

AAP


AAP




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