Dockers go second with Giant win
Hayden Ballantyne was in brilliant form for Fremantle. Pic: Megan Powell/WA News

Fremantle have climbed to second on the AFL ladder on the back of their eighth-straight win, a 76-point thrashing of Greater Western Sydney at Patersons Stadium today.

The Giants managed to hold on for much of the day but couldn’t survive a final term onslaught from last year’s grand finalists in the 21.10 (136) to 9.6 (60) win.

The result improved Fremantle’s record to 12 wins and four losses and allowed them to surge above Hawthorn into second place with a game against struggling St Kilda to come next weekend.

Hayden Ballantyne was brilliant with five goals but was reported late in the third term for striking Tomas Bugg, and with 87.5 carryover points hanging over his head will sweat over the match review panel’s verdict tomorrow.

Anthony Morabito started the game as the substitute for the second week in a row and provided a highlight when he entered the game in the third quarter.

Nick Suban was instrumental in the Dockers' strong start. Pic: Megan Powell/WA News

The crowd starting chanting "Mora, Mora, Mora" as soon as Clancee Pearce was handed the red vest and there was a huge ovation as the 22-year-old ran onto the ground about 17 minutes in.

Morabito finished a handy day’s work with 15 disposals and was directly involved in three goals.

Nat Fyfe continued his brilliant form with 29 disposals and two goals, while Nick Suban was prominent with three goals to match captain Matthew Pavlich’s effort of three majors.

Callan Ward battled hard for the Giants with 29 possessions and a goal, while Toby Greene made it 34 touches and a goal in his second game back from a club-imposed suspension.

Things were looking ominous for the inexperienced visitors when Fremantle got the first centre break and Pavlich took a contested mark and booted a goal within 40 seconds.

The Giants fought their way back into the contest in general play for the next three scoring shots but were wasteful in front of the sticks before Ballantyne and Suban both took advantage of half chances to make it 16-point lead for the Dockers.

Matthew Pavlich marks before kicking the opening goal. Pic: Megan Powell/WA News

Ward slotted a good captain’s goal on the run to get his side on the board, but another superb finish from Suban gave the home side almost three-goal advantage at the first break.

The Giants got first blood in the second when a low ball from Lachie Whitfield bounced through for a goal, but the Dockers looked like they would break the game open when they kicked the next three goals in quick succession.

Whitfield then made the most of a favourable bounce to soccer his second out of the air on the line, and added his third from a set shot before the end of the quarter as they reduced the margin to 30 points at half-time.

Another strong mark and goal to Pavlich opened the scoring in the third quarter, as the Dockers piled on four of the first five goals of the term to take the lead out to close to 50 points.

Danyle Pearce, Zac Dawson, Anthony Morabito and Michael Johnson celebrate the Dockers' win over GWS. Pic: Getty Images

But GWS again showed some steel to kick consecutive goals for the first time in the match and bring it back under a 40-point deficit.

Zac Clarke then roved to Aaron Sandilands at a forward stoppage to snap a clever goal with just 30 seconds left in the quarter.

As the ball was going back to the centre, Ballantyne gave away a free kick by putting his opponent Bugg down and was subsequently reported by the field umpire.

Jeremy Cameron booted the first goal of the last quarter but it was all the Dockers from there as they slammed on seven consecutive majors until the final 30 seconds when Greene slotted GWS’ ninth of the day.

SCOREBOARD

FREMANTLE4.19.5 14.521.10136
GWS 1.3  4.57.69.6   60
 GOALS - FREMANTLE: Ballantyne 5; Pavlich, Suban 3; D Pearce, Fyfe 2; Spurr, Barlow, Neale, Clarke, Sandilands, Mayne. GWS: Whitfield 3; Tomlinson, Cameron 2; Ward, Greene.

BEST - FREMANTLE: Fyfe, Ballantyne, Suban, Pavlich, Mundy. GWS: Ward, Greene, Shiel, Whitfield, Cameron.
INJURIES: GWS: T Mohr (knee).
UMPIRES: C Fleer, J Dalgleish, B Ryan.
CROWD: 33,597 at Patersons Stadium.

The West Australian

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