Dockers knocked out of AFLW Finals
Fremantle's quest for an AFL Women's premiership in 2021 is over, knocked out of the finals series with a 17 point loss to Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday.
With star captain Daisy Pearce out injured, the Demons led from start to finish to score a 5.10 (40) to 3.5 (23) win that set up a preliminary final against the Crows in Adelaide.
In blustery conditions Fremantle were left to rue a goalless opening half, unable to master the windy weather kicking with the aid of the breeze in the first term.
The Demons poured on the pressure from the outset -- they had 11 inside-50s to one at one stage -- and led by six points at quarter-time thanks to Alyssa Bannan's clever goal in traffic.
Melbourne made better use of the wind in the second term and skipped away from the visitors.
Shelley Scott did the damage with back-to-back goals, the Demons keeping Fremantle scoreless to lead by 19 points at halftime.
Ashley Sharp's long-range goal soon after the restart sparked the Dockers into action.
Brenna Tarrant hit back for Melbourne with a priceless goal against the wind, her first at AFLW level, but majors to Sabreena Duffy and Gemma Houghton slashed the margin to four points at the last break.
Fremantle have earned a reputation for finishing games strongly this season, but could not find a way through the well-organised Demons defence.
Melbourne peppered the goals with the final use of the breeze before Gay put the icing on the cake with the only goal of the quarter with 12 seconds remaining.
Fremantle coach Trent Cooper was left to rue his team's inability to take advantage of first use of the stiff breeze.
"Melbourne were really good in that first quarter ... that breeze was really strong," Cooper said. "We won the toss and kicked with it for a change and it was probably a tactical error. We should have gone into it (first).
"But they were just first to the ball and cleaner."
IMAGE: The West Australian.