Dockers win thriller over Tigers
Fremantle's top eight hopes have taken a major boost, defeating Richmond by four points at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
Richmond led by nine points with 13 minutes remaining, but a mark-of-the-year contender from Lachie Schultz turned the momentum Fremantle's way, with the Dockers going on to win 7.13 (55) to 6.15 (51).
The result left 11th-placed Richmond - premiers in three of the past four seasons - nursing an 8-11 record and six losses from their past seven games.
But with GWS, Essendon, and St Kilda also losing this round, the Tigers are just one win adrift of the eighth-placed Dockers.
Richmond, Fremantle, GWS, Essendon, St Kilda, and Carlton have all been guilty of dropping crunch games when finals football has been in sight in recent weeks.
Fremantle's surge into eight spot on the back of their 9-10 record marks the first time the Dockers have been in the top eight this late in a season since they won the minor premiership in 2015.
Schultz's spectacular pack mark proved to be the turning point in the final quarter, with his goal followed by a Caleb Serong snap a short time later.
Fremantle midfielder Andrew Brayshaw tallied 39 disposals and eight clearances in a star display, while Adam Cerra and David Mundy also played key roles in the midfield.
Forward Matt Taberner booted three goals, while ruckman Sean Darcy was huge with 17 disposals, four contested marks, and 18 hitouts.
Fremantle forward Bailey Banfield will miss the round 21 clash with Brisbane after being knocked out while laying a second-quarter tackle.
Richmond midfielder Dion Prestia racked up 31 possessions in his first game back from a hamstring injury, while skipper Trent Cotchin tallied 15 disposals in the third quarter alone before finishing with 32 for the match.
The Dockers remain at home to face Brisbane in round 21, while the Tigers will face North Melbourne in a bid to keep their finals hopes alive.
IMAGE: The West Australian.