Ugle-Hagan stars in Bulldogs' AFL stunner

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Luke Beveridge has hailed the Western Bulldogs' stunning upset of Melbourne as one of the AFL club's best in recent times as Jamarra Ugle-Hagan produced a memorable breakout performance.

The Bulldogs are back inside the top-eight after turning around the Demons' recent dominance in one of the games of the season on Saturday night.

After coming so close to premiership glory last September, the Bulldogs appeared set to miss the finals altogether this season after an inconsistent start to 2022.

But as has become the Bulldogs' trademark under Beveridge, they are surging at the right time of the season.

"It's just a tremendous night for us and a really good platform for the future to win a game like that," Beveridge said.

"I think many of our people who work with the boys are a bit emotional tonight.

"Some of the boys who haven't necessarily been involved in some of our monumental victories really stood up and that will do them the world of good.

"It's right up there with our best home-and-away wins, for sure.

"I still think back to the Sydney win in 2015 and we felt like we got a lot of momentum off, not only for that year, but for the future."

A victory over their nemesis would have already been seismic but the fact No.1 draft pick Ugle-Hagan starred in a career-best game heightened the excitement.

After booting three goals in an encouraging performance in the win against St Kilda last week, Ugle-Hagan had the coming-of-age game that had long been predicted for him

Selected with the top pick in the 2020 draft with tags around him as the next Lance Franklin, Ugle-Hagan kicked just 14 goals in his first 15 games.

But the 20-year-old was the most influential player on the ground against the Demons, kicking five goals, including three in the last quarter.

Ugle-Hagan's last goal, a long bomb from the pocket, in the dying seconds sealed the game.

"We'll celebrate that and bring him back down to earth really quickly," Beveridge said.

"He's still in the infancy of his AFL career and he's searching for what it means for him and the team to play bigger minutes.

"He kicked three up on the Gold Coast last year ... kicking straight tonight and some of those contested marks will give him a lot of confidence for the future."

The major challenges keep coming for the Bulldogs as they prepare to play in Geelong next Saturday against the ladder-leading Cats.

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