Fremantle Dockers have shown their class to prevail in a thriller by seven points against an impressive Collingwood Magpies, with the game ending Dockers 12.8.80 to Magpies 11.7.73.
Fremantle’s talisman Nat Fyfe was inspirational for his team, collecting 32 disposals and kicking two goals, while for the losing team promising midfielder Taylor Adams had 29 disposals and booted a major.
After starting the match with a goal apiece each, it was Collingwood who got a clear lead through this fine set shot from Adams and a Scott Pendlebury goal minutes later.
The visitors controlled the majority of the quarter, but Fremantle hit back against the run of play with two fantastic goals from midfield stars Stephen Hill and Fyfe (see below).
Collingwood will have felt aggrieved not to have a bigger lead, after heading into the first break just two points ahead.
In similar fashion to the first term, Magpies made a superb start to the second quarter slotting goals through Pendlebury and this clinical shot through Jamie Elliot to hold a 13-point lead.
But when you thought that Collingwood had the game by the scruff of the neck, it was Fremantle who hit back to edge within a point. Hill showed why he’s one of the league’s best with this classy effort.
Both teams traded blows leading into half-time, with this mercurial snap from Michael Walters the pick of the bunch as the Magpies led by two points at the main change.
After the break it became a real arm wrestle as both teams struggled to find any cohesion with their play.
It took an all of 17-and-a-half minutes until the first goal of the term. Youngster Jack Crisp capitalise on his teammates swift play to slot this goal and put the Magpies a goal ahead.
After a quick response from Hayden Ballantyne, Collingwood stood firm and responded yet again, this time through small forward Jarryd Blair after this diving grab and set shot goal.
When the Magpies thought they’d take a deserved lead heading into the three-quarter time break, it was that man again Walters, who struck moments before the interval with a brilliant goal from the angle to level proceedings.
It was evenly poised heading into the final quarter, but after impressive defensive work from the away side it was Fremantle who drew first blood through Lachie Neale (see below).
However, a Elliot major and this fine spoil and running goal from substitute Paul Seedsman put the Pies back in front by five points.
With the game on a knife’s edge a controversial call gave Fremantle a handy eight-point buffer after Jack Frost was adjudged to impend Walters illegally (see below) who kicked truly from a set-shot.
That was enough to see the Dockers seal victory against a team who must now be considered legitimate premiership contenders.
Next week table toppers Fremantle host lowly Brisbane Lions in a Sunday twilight match, while Collingwood face the daunting challenge of Hawthorn Hawks on a Saturday afternoon at the MCG.