Top of the ladder Bridgetown Bulldogs were given an early scare by bottom placed Southerns, before running out eight-goal winners. Lower South West Football League leading goalkicker Paddy Farrant booted 10 goals as Bridgetown fought off a tough challenge on their home ground. In a crushing blow to Southerners’ finals hopes after they started the season 0-6, Bridgetown overcame a slow start to win 20.10 (130) to 12.6 (78), leaving Souths with a 1-7 record and six games to play. After earlier forfeiting the reserves due to a lack of players, Southerners started well, kicking five goals to four in the first quarter on the back of their run and spread from the midfield. The contest evened up in the second quarter as Bridgetown edged ahead on the back of Farrant and Will Masters (four goals) feasting on ample supply. As Bridgetown began to win more of the ball out of the midfield on the back of Josh Power, Jack Bridgland and Hugh Mitchell, their lead extended to more than four goals at three-quarter-time. Southerners fought out the final term but it was Bridgetown who added five goals to one, including Farrant kicking his 10th to give him 54 for the season — more than 20 clear of teammates Masters (31) and Brett Wilson (22) and 33 ahead of fourth-placed Lee Lucev (21) from Kojonup and Sam Garstone (21) from Boyup Brook. Alex Cabassi, Jack Hick and Mitch De Campo all booted two goals for Southerners, while Jay Ridley, Timothy Martyn, Tom Mutter, Casey Vandersluys and Cooper Omodei were among their best. Bridgetown’s win keeps them a game clear on top of the table with a 7-1 record ahead of an away game this weekend. Next week’s fixtures: Saturday Boyup Brook v Imperials (2.30pm) at Boyup Brook Oval. Southerners v Deanmill (2.45pm) at Pemberton Oval. Sunday Tigers v Bridgetown (2pm) at Rea Park.