Dockers stave off Swans surge

Dockers stave off Swans surge

Fremantle did their best to make a mockery of coach Ross Lyon’s claims that the team isn’t a juggernaut but a terrible second half saw them just hold on to beat Sydney by 14 points.

Less than one week after kicking the first 11 goals of the western derby, Fremantle booted nine goals to one in the first half.

Sydney scored just two behinds in the second term and the Dockers looked unstoppable.

Nat Fyfe was controlling the contest while Luke McPharlin’s stellar season in defence continued as he stifled Lance Franklin, restricting him to Sydney’s only goal.

The Swans looked ripe for the picking and the Dockers were set for a percentage booster.

But suddenly the game changed. Sydney kicked the only four goals for the third term after dominating the clearances. Dan Hannebery had 11 disposals for the term, Rhyce Shaw and Sam Reid collected 12 and a host of big name Dockers disappeared.

When Gary Rohan sprinted clear to kick the opening goal of the final term inside the first minute, the margin was just 14 points.

Then Kurt Tippett booted a goal with a set shot from the boundary line and it was game-one with just eight points separating the teams and 18 minutes remaining.

A Jake Lloyd set shot made it just three points with 11:30 on the clock.

But Matthew Pavlich saved the team with another clutch shot. The captain has been at his best on front of goal this year and his reliable right foot was desperately required when it mattered.

He converted from 35m and Fremantle had the 10-point buffer that they needed.

Both teams had chances but couldn’t convert and then Fyfe took a huge contested mark over Luke Parker on the wing to give the Dockers possession and territory.

There was still three minutes remaining and Fremantle soaked up one of those.

Tendai Mzungu then produced a stunning spoil on Ben McGlynn with 1:37 to play to save the Dockers from Sydney’s last genuine chance to run forward and score.

When Garrick Ibbotson did a great spoil in the final minute, Chris Mayne kicked the sealer to make it a 11.8 (74) to 8.12 (60) win.

The Dockers are now 4-0 with wins over last year’s runner up, 2014 preliminary finalist Port Adelaide, traditional powerhouse Geelong and local rival West Coast.

Their draw opens up now with a match against Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.