Fremantle have executed a remarkable 19-point win over Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium this afternoon, defeating the team which beat them in last year’s grand final for the first time since 2010.
Led by a spectacular midfield display by David Mundy and a five-goal haul to skipper Matthew Pavlich, the Dockers grew into the game, eventually destroying the Hawks around the centre clearances for a 17.8 (110) to 13.13 (91) win.
The victory was built on the back of manic defensive pressure not seen from the side since last year’s finals and leaves them one game clear in fourth on the ladder.
The Hawks drop to third on the back of the result and face missing out on a home final with a tough run home.
There could be some bad news to come out of the game for the home side, with Nat Fyfe likely to draw Match Review Panel attention for a number of off-the-ball incidents in the first quarter.
Both sides lost key players going into the game, with Hayden Ballantyne sidelined with a hamstring issue and Matt Spangher a late out with a calf.
Fremantle have a long history of being outplayed by Hawthorn in first quarters, and the early stages of the match appeared to be trending the same way.
David Hale and Shaun Burgoyne got their side off the mark early, but the influence of Aaron Sandilands was growing, and his goal at the five-minute gave the Dockers a handy major against the flow.
But things continued to go the Hawks way at the centre clearances, with Will Langford making a difference and playing a big part in their 15-5 lead in the inside 50s at quarter-time.
Fyfe’s new-found aggression off the ball wasn’t helping either, with two Hawks goals coming directly from free kicks paid against the long-haired match winner.
At quarter-time the Hawks led by 13 points, a margin which could have been far bigger if not for kicking a wasteful 4.7 in front of goal.
The Dockers answered quickly in a second quarter which was as entertaining as any seen at Patersons Stadium this season.
Mundy lifted around the stoppages to get the clearance count trending Fremantle’s way and the inside-50s began to climb as a result.
Danyle Pearce and Pavlich goaled within two minutes, bringing scores level and making it a remarkable five Dockers goals from seven inside 50s.
The lead swung back and forth for the better part of 15 minutes, with Freo working hard for their goals and the Hawks answering by sling-shotting back with their better runners.
Fyfe lifted for the Dockers to kick two goals in combination with Walters, whose class clearly makes a difference to the side.
However at the half-time break, the lead was still six points in the Hawks’ favour.
Mundy’s stoppage domination continued in the third term and their forward pressure was giving them plenty of opportunities to kick scores inside the 50.
A holding the ball free allowed Pearce to spot up late inclusion Matt Taberner and gave the Dockers the first goal of the third quarter.
It kick-started an impressive five-goal run from Freo which saw them steal the lead through Pavlich and extend it to 18 points when Michael Barlow found the big sticks at the 18-minute mark.
Luke Breust got one back for the Hawks in the shadows of half time, but the swing in the clearance count cut down their opportunities and gave the home side the advantage going into the final quarter.
Shiels had the opportunity to get one back within a minute of the fourth-quarter bounce, but missed, and was forced to watch the ball travel the length of the ground for a Stephen Hill goal.
Pavlich’s fifth goal five minutes later all but sealed the result.
|GOALS – FREMANTLE: Pavlich 5; Hill 3; Crozier, Fyfe 2; Walters, Sandilands, Barlow, D Pearce, Taberner. HAWTHORN: Puopolo 4; Breust, Hale 2; Burgoyne, Hodge, Shiels, Gunston, Simpkin.|
BEST – FREMANTLE: Mundy, Hill, Pavlich, Sandilands, Barlow, Walters. HAWTHORN: Lewis, Hodge, Langford, Puopolo, Burgoyne.