Dockers too hot for Bombers
Lachie Neale is congratulated by Josh Simpson. Pic: Michael Wilson/WA News

Fremantle overcame searing April heat to thrash Essendon by 53 points at Patersons Stadium this afternoon and get their premiership challenge back on track.

The injury-hit hosts rediscovered their trademark work rate, coming off a humiliation by Hawthorn to blow away an equally depleted Essendon after half-time in a game that started in 32C conditions.

The 18.5 (113) to 9.6 (60) victory was set up by seven goals to one in the third term and shored up the Dockers record to 3-1 with the club to regain Nat Fyfe from suspension for Saturday's twilight game against Sydney at the SCG.

The sole concern will be the fitness of fellow midfielder David Mundy.

The 28-year-old was substituted out of the match at half-time after copping a head knock in a collision with teammate Luke McPharlin at the 24-minute mark of the second term.

Zac Dawson, Clancee Pearce and Zac Clarke all made significant contributions on return to the line-up, while McPharlin and Michael Johnson were rock solid in defence.

Aaron Sandilands responded to heavy criticism over the past week with a bullocking performance in the ruck, while Matt Taberner also impressed in his fifth AFL game with two goals.

Fremantle had 12 individual goal kickers and booted accurately in a promising sign of their potency going forward, with Michael Walters likely to miss the rest of the season with a severe ankle injury.

Chris Mayne (ankle) is no guarantee to return against the Swans, either.

Essendon went into the contest as lukewarm favourites, but came back to earth with a mighty thud after being hamstrung from the match's opening minutes courtesy of a groin injury to Brendon Goddard.

The Bombers star looked sore during the warm-up and lasted just seven minutes into the second quarter before being substituted out of the match with just two kicks to his name.

It robbed the visitors of extra class and experience after they were handicapped by the omission of veterans Dustin Fletcher and Paul Chapman as well as an ill David Myers before the bounce.

Danyle Pearce produced one of his finest matches since joining Fremantle as a free agent at the end of 2012, kicking two goals and using the ball with precision particularly during the third term.

Second gamer Josh Simpson also provided a string of second half highlights, knocking down Joe Daniher with a heavy bump and later winning a holding the ball decision that led to Fremantle's 11th goal.

The Dockers famed defensive pressure that was badly missing during last week's thrashing by the Hawks was back in force, with the visitors managing just 21 inside-50s for the first three quarters.

The Bombers hung in for much of the first half until the release valve came in the final five minutes before half time with long bombs from Nick Suban and Matthew Pavlich stretching Fremantle's lead to 13 points at the main break.

The Dockers strung together 10 unanswered goals to effectively end the game as a contest.

The West Australian

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