Chapman the hero in Freo thriller
Second year defender Heath Chapman produced a desperate last minute spoil to help Fremantle to a one point win over the Adelaide Crows at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Having led by 25 points at half time Fremantle went goalless for 48 minutes after the main break, only to kick the final three goals of the match to snatch an 11.17 (83) to 12.10 (82) triumph.
The Dockers dominated the first half but wasted numerous chances in front of goal, their speed and ball use a standout with new recruit Jordan Clark prominent and Michael Frederick providing speed and class inside fifty alongside Lachie Schultz.
Rory Lobb was also providing a presence in attack, Fremantle looking solid despite the absence of key players Nat Fyfe, Matt Taberner and Josh Treacy.
The game turned in the second half as Crows midfielders Ben Keays, Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane lifted around the contest for the home team, young gun Josh Rachele inspiring a comeback with two goals for the term as Adelaide kicked six goals to none in the third.
The Crows young gun had five in his first senior appearance as the home team pushed out to a 19 point lead in the final term, Sam Switkowski breaking the Dockers goal scoring drought with a snap to breathe life back in to the contest.
Adelaide missed gettable shots through James Rowe and Riley Thilthorpe, Rory Lobb bringing the margin back to a goal after a strong mark and goal before a Thilthorpe turnover allowed Schultz to capitalise and put his team in front with under four minutes remaining.
With just seconds remaining Keays hurried a shot on goal, young defender Chapman spoiling the ball on the goal line and keeping the ball in play to avoid a score levelling behind, the siren sounding just seconds later to seal a one point win for the Dockers.
Keays was best afield with 37 disposals for Adelaide but couldn’t quite will his team over the line, Crouch with 30 disposals while Rachele had 14 disposals to go with his five majors in a memorable debut.
Fremantle were led by Andrew Brayshaw (28 touches), David Mundy (23) and Caleb Serong (23) in midfield, Schultz with three majors including the match winner.
Fremantle return home to play St Kilda on Sunday in round two, while the Crows face Collingwood at the MCG next Saturday.
IMAGE: AFL Photos.