Dockers keep double chance alive
Fremantle has overcome a sluggish start to keep a top four berth on the table heading in to the final day of the home and away season, booting the final three goals of the match to defeat Greater Western Sydney by 20 points at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday.
Trailing by as much as 31 points in the second term the Dockers rallied through 200 gamer Michael Walters and a supreme midfield game from young gun Caleb Serong, over running the 16th placed Giants to record win number 15 of the season, 13.11 (89) to 10.9 (69).
It looked unlikely earlier in the match as Fremantle started the game poorly, lacking instensity and fumbling early as the Giants came out firing in their final match of the season, kicking the first two goals of the game through former Docker Jesse Hogan.
They would kick four goals to two for the quarter, goals to Nathan O'Driscoll and Michael Walters keeping Fremantle in touch at the first change.
It was more of the same at the start of the second term as the Giants ball movement troubled Justin Longmuir's side, kicking the first three goals of the term to push the lead beyond 30 points.
Given a top four spot was on the line Fremantle responded quickly, a run down chase from Walters winning a free kick close to goal which he was able to convert before Sam Switkowski and O'Driscoll kicked majors to reduce the deficit to 11 points at the half.
Fremantle ran with the momentum in the third term, dominating territory and possession but perhaps not putting it on the scoreboard, Alex Pearce kicking his first goal since 2015 before David Mundy goaled after the three quarter time siren to put his team in front for the first time in the match.
In a see-sawing final term the teams traded goals and the lead, Jacob Hopper kicking consecutive goals before Lachie Ash missed a simple shot on the run that could have put the Giants ten points clear, milestone man Walters putting through a clutch goal after Jordan Clark's 60m bomb restored the Dockers lead.
Serong, who finished with 32 disposals and 11 clearances in a best on ground performance then sealed the game with a snap in the game's final minute, giving Fremantle a chance at a top four finish and a double chance.
Will Brodie also had an impact with 30 disposals, Walters with a season high three goals in a 200th game to remember.
Sam Taylor completed a superb season for the Giants in defence, hauling in 12 marks and 20 disposals while keeping a rusty Dockers captain Nat Fyfe quiet in his return game from a hamstring injury.
Fyfe left the field in the third term with a hip concern but returned to the game in the final term, likely to play in the WAFL next week to find touch ahead of finals.
The Dockers will learn of their fate on the final day of the home and away season, with a Carlton win over Collingwood enough to push them in to the four and a likely meeting with Geelong in a qualifying final in a fortnight's time.
IMAGE: WA Today.