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Dockers lose thriller



Fremantle has lost it's second game in succession, going down by a solitary point against North Melbourne at Arden Street Oval on Saturday.


The Kangaroos had to dig deep to overcome the Dockers, with Daisy Bateman's late goal seeing them snatch a 4.6 (30) to 4.5 (29) win - and with it, a finals spot.


The result crushed Carlton's faint finals hopes and means the top six - Brisbane, Collingwood, Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne and Melbourne - is locked in, though their positions can change.


"It's a great dress rehearsal for us - to come up against a team that have been a really formidable force for a number of years now," North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker said post-match.


"They play a really high-pressure game of football which is going to be really similar to finals football.


"For our girls to have to be able to absorb it and go again, I think it's a really good dress rehearsal for finals."


Jasmine Garner starred with 25 disposals and a goal, while skipper Emma Kearney (24 touches) and ball magnet Ashleigh Riddell (33 disposals) were also excellent, while Kiara Bowers (19 disposals) and Steph Cain (15 touches) were busy for the Dockers.

Kangaroos forward Sophie Abbatangelo drew first blood in the game's opening minute but another goal did not come until Daria Bannister snapped North's second shortly after quarter-time.


In the second quarter, the Dockers found a foothold in the game and hit back on the scoreboard through Gemma Houghton and Gabby O'Sullivan.


Late in the third term, Fremantle skipper Kara Antonio slotted a set shot to put the Dockers in front and set up a blockbuster finish.


But Fremantle were unable to build on their advantage and when Bateman received a free kick close to goal late in the final term, the young forward made no mistake.


Fremantle's Tiah Haynes missed a set shot to win the game, with the Kangaroos overcoming some late nerves in defence to hold on by a point.


"I was really happy with the last three or four minutes of the game - I thought we attacked really well and our backs got involved and pushed up," Dockers coach Trent Cooper said.


"But we probably lost it in the first half of that quarter."


Results in Sunday's games will determine finals positions, with the opening week of finals next week.


IMAGE: The West Australian.