A controversial late goal to superstar Marcus Bontempelli has helped the Western Bulldogs keep their AFL finals hopes alive with a heart-stopping two-point win over West Coast.
The Bulldogs overcame a slow start in a scrappy encounter that featured comical passages of play from both sides at times as neither managed any great fluency of ball movement.
Luke Beveridge's men dominated the contested game during the second and third quarters but were almost left to rue a horror night in front of goal before they prevailed 6.13 (49) to 7.5 (47).
"We would've liked to have made more of our opportunities but the boys didn't lose heart," Bulldogs coach Beveridge said.
"They continued to persist and you could see in the last quarter some of the individual bravery when the game was on the line.
"They were trying to drag each other over the line and win the game.
"They're great signs for us ... it's great to see that we've still got the will and the desire to see if we can get there (finals)."
Bontempelli's set shot from 50m with three minutes left to play may have been touched on the line by Jeremy McGovern.
But it was called a goal and it was ruled there was insufficient evidence to overturn the umpire's decision on review.
"For Marcus to go back and slot it was outstanding for the team and thank God there was that little black line between the ball and the post," Beveridge said.
Young ruckman Tim English took two important marks for the Bulldogs in the dying stages but gave away a free kick to Jack Darling in a ruck contest that could have let West Coast snatch victory.
Darling's long set shot could have rubbed out Bontempelli's effort but faded agonisingly wide for the Eagles.
The Bulldogs dominated stoppages, contested possession and field position for long periods but were unable to break clear.
Bontempelli and teammates Bailey Smith, Tom Liberatore and Jack Macrae were all influential around the contest.
Caleb Daniel showed off his neat skills and Mitch Wallis kicked two important goals.
Jack Redden stood up for West Coast in the absence of injured midfielders Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo, while Jake Waterman and returning spearhead Josh Kennedy kicked two goals each.
"I thought the Bulldogs outplayed us almost all night, so we were lucky to be in it," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.
"The numbers don't look great, I think we lost touch early, but we were pretty brave.
"But we didn't get it done. We had opportunities and we missed them."
McGovern ended the match nursing a sore thumb and West Coast lost tagger Mark Hutchings to a hamstring injury.
The setbacks came after star ruckman Nic Naitanui was a late withdrawal with a back injury.