Round 3: Newtown-Condingup travelled to Esperance Football Oval on Saturday, May 11, to face the Bulldogs in the 'Thank and respect the umpires' Round 3 match.
A dramatically improved Newtown-Condingup saw a close first half, with only 13 points separating the two sides at half-time.
But as with their Round 1 defeat of Ports, Esperance had a decisive third-quarter surge and Newtown-Condingup were unable to come back.
The final score saw a clear win for Esperance with 11-16 (82 points) against Newtown-Condingup's 5-9 (39 points).
Reece Griffiths was a crucial asset for Esperance up forward. But with two goals and seven points, he could have effectively ended the game early if he had kicked straight.
Sam Franzone was excellent in the ruck and worked well with Jonah Symonds.
Young Bulldog Coby Cooper also stood out and Jamie Jones was regularly willing to put his body on the line for Esperance.
Brendon White played superbly, kicking with precision and setting up a series of goals.
Unfortunately, White was stretchered off just before three-quarter time with a leg injury. The 2018 Hepburn Medalist got caught up in a tackle with two Newtown-Condingup players.
White's absence is set to be a challenge for fellow Bulldogs and coach Darren Hassell in upcoming rounds.
Roy McPhee was out early with an injury and Esperance's vice captain Braydon Wood was missing in Round 3.
By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs had no bench due to injuries.
Newtown-Condingup coach Chris Oversby observed a pretty even game in terms of possessions and inside 50s, but admits his team lost focus and concentration at crucial parts of the match.
Esperance players such as Kaden Neill and Sam Franzone made the Lions pay dearly on the score board.
The Lions performed pretty evenly across the team, with Scott McArthur lively in the forward line.
Jacob Wagenknecht showed exciting potential in his league debut for Newtown-Condingup.
Across the league and reserves, Newtown-Condingup had 21 players unavailable due to work, illness and other reasons.
Coach Oversby expects quality players to return, meaning current players need to perform to keep their spots.
Best players Esperance: Reece Griffiths, Kaden Neill, Sam Franzone, Coby Cooper and Brendon White.
Best players Newtown-Condingup: Jordan Cummins, Tyler Crosby, Jacob Oversby, Luke Christian, Clarence Green and Scott McArthur.