Dockers star bags five goals while skipper Matthew Pavlich chimes in at crucial time.
A sensational individual performance by Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne and two crucial goals at the right time from Matthew Pavlich have paved the way for the Dockers 30-point win over St Kilda.
The Saints looked likely to pull off the upset when Tom Lee goaled 12 minute through the third term to give the away side a five-point lead.
But two long range goals from Pavlich snuffed out the Saints’ chances of what would have been a morale boosting win, as the Dockers went on with the job in the fourth term, winning 15.10 (100) to 11.4 (70).
While the timing of Pavlich’s two goals in a minute proved crucial, Ballantyne was the best on ground after kicking 5.1 and collecting 16 disposals.
Four of those goals came in the first half as the small forward looked set to have a big day out for the home side.
Jack Steven, Leigh Montagna and Lenny Hayes were terrific for the Saints, while recalled forward Lee booted three goals in the absence of injured skipper Nick Riewoldt, who will play against Carlton next round.
St Kilda’s ferocious tackling and hard running put Fremantle on the back foot in the opening half, with the visitors taking a surprise seven-point lead into the long break.
The Saints’ midfield pressure was particularly impressive, and their lead would have been bigger had veteran forwards Nick Riewoldt, Steven Milne and Justin Koschitzke been available for selection.
Victory for the Dockers keeps them just outside of the all-important top four on the AFL ladder on percentage behind the Sydney Swans.
Freo will have the chance to make that step higher when they face West Coast in the annual Western Australian derby.
St Kilda are merely playing for pride for the rest of the season after their 11th loss leaves them in 16th, with Melbourne and GWS with just one win between them, under the Saints on the ladder.