Fremantle’s season is back on track after surviving a big push from West Coast to record their fourth straight western derby win by 19 points this afternoon.
Dockers midfielder Lachie Neale won the Ross Glendinning Medal with a maximum nine votes after collecting 32 disposals and kicking a goal in front of a crowd of 40,476 at Patersons Stadium.
The Dockers controlled the play early but the Eagles had the opportunity to take a big lead in the second term if not for a woeful 1.8 in front of goals.
It was the second week in a row inaccuracy had destroyed their chances of victory.
The 11.7 (73) to 7.12 (54) win takes the Dockers to sixth on the ladder, with the Eagles dropping out of the top eight for the first time this year.
Matt de Boer wasn’t even in the 25 before a hamstring injury to Stephen Hill earned him a reprieve and he made the most of the second chance early, kicking the first goal of the game.
The Dockers held possession well in the game’s early stages, denying West Coast the opportunity to create any momentum by playing kick to kick across the ground.
Hayden Ballantyne demonstrated just how important he is to Fremantle’s scoring by having a hand in the next three goals of the game, spotting up Chris Mayne in the forward 50, delivering again to Zac Clarke then kicking one himself.
But it wasn’t all going Fremantle’s way.
Luke McPharlin went into the rooms with a hip injury less than 15 minutes into the game and his absence helped the Eagles capitalise on their rare foray forwards, kicking two goals from just three inside 50s to go into the break 14 points behind.
Nat Fyfe had dominated the first term, collecting 13 disposals, but Eagles tagger Scott Selwood was sent to him in the second, denying him another touch before half-time.
With Fyfe out of the picture the Eagles began to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but the inaccuracy of the last quarter against Carlton last week raised its head again.
Mark Hutchings was the worst offender with two behinds from easy opportunities in the first two minutes, but he had plenty of mates as the Eagles recorded 1.8 for the term.
Zac Dawson became the second Dockers defender to pick up an injury, going into the rooms with an ankle complaint as his side’s lead dwindled to just seven points at half-time.
Dawson would be subbed off after the long break, and the Eagles punished the depleted Dockers defence through goals to Jack Darling and Simon Tunbridge, taking the lead for the first time in the game.
Fremantle pushed Chris Mayne into defence and Nat Fyfe forward in a move that bore immediate results, with Fyfe evening the ledger once again.
It was a goal which sparked the Dockers back into action, with a rush of goals to Ryan Crowley, Clarke and Ballantyne helping them take the lead back and extend it to 19 by three-quarter time.
Luke Shuey picked up an ankle injury minutes into the fourth quarter, but it is unlikely his influence could have helped the Eagles stem the Dockers’ momentum, which threatened to end the game 10 minutes before the siren.
A third goal to Clarke and the sealer to Neale at the 11-minute mark ensured a Dockers win.
|GOALS - FREMANTLE: Clarke 3; Ballantyne 2; Mayne, de Boer, Barlow, Fyfe, Crowley, Neale|
WEST COAST: Cripps, Darling 2; Kennedy, Tunbridge, Rosa