Dockers’ finals chances snuffed by Saints
A big day of football for WA, as Fremantle travel to Marvel Stadium to take on St.Kilda, with a win keeping them alive for finals football and carrying confidence after their win against Geelong last week. The Eagles will host Adelaide at Optus Stadium this afternoon from 3.20pm(AWST), and will look to go equal top of the ladder after Geelong and Brisbane also had wins this weekend.
The Saints have welcomed back 4-time club champion Jack Steven, one of their spiritual leaders, which will give them a boost against a Fremantle side that can only be described as “inconsistent” in 2019.
A fast starting St Kilda managed the first three goals of the match, before the Dockers managed to steady for the second half of the quarter. They will take a 12-point deficit going into the first break, after it looks like the Saints got the jump on the visitors. Tim Membrey kicked a goal for St. Kilda in the dying seconds after Freo brought it to within a goal. Nat Fyfe has provided good leadership (and a goal) to help start the comeback, but the whole side will need to be more consistent from here.
Fremantle managed to get themselves in front during the second half this quarter, before St. Kilda wrestled it back. Nat Fyfe “already has the 3 votes” according to our commentary team after a massive first half, but a number of Freo players have been impressive, including Ed Langdon and young back Ethan Hughes. There is only one point in it here, Saints holding a narrow lead 6.5.41 to 6.4.40
A very fast goal to start the quarter, only taking 33 seconds for Ed Langdon to hit the scoreboard, and to give Freo the lead again! He becomes the 6th goal scorer for Fremantle.
There have been 5 lead changes so far in the 3rd, with 7 minutes still to play. Fremantle are on top by 4 points, and this match looks like it will be close from here on out. Only 5 behinds scored between the two sides from then, and it means that Freo hold a 7 point margin, 9.8.62 to 8.7.55
Over halfway through the final quarter, and despite the end to end football neither side can kick a major. The Saints have had the advantage, but despite their dominance have only managed four behinds. They drag themselves to within 3 points of Fremantle. Brandon Matera undoes all of the hard work from St. Kilda this quarter, a great forward line entry from Hill and a beautiful left-to-right kick from Matera gives Dockers the first goal of the quarter, after almost 18 minutes.
Jack Stevens has three in his return game for the Saints and has been a major danger up forward today, he kicks a snap goal to bring it back within 3 points! Two and a half minutes to play here at Marvel and the crowd has come alive for this close finish.
Josh Bruce has been quiet all day but kicks one when it matters! A goal with 39 seconds to give them the lead, and Fremantle have just 39 seconds to kick a goal and keep their season alive.
A huge finish from the Saints all but ends Fremantle’s finals chances, the last two goals getting them over the line. Jack Stevens was great up forward for the home side on his return, Seb Ross had a team-high of 29 touches and 9 tackles. Fyfe had a massive game for Freo but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line, having 35 touches and 2 goals.
Our Tony Barlow Fine Tailoring votes for today’s match go to Nat Fyfe (5), who had been dominant all day and “should still get the three votes”, Ed Langdon (4) with good run through the middle, Darcy Tucker (3), Connor Blakely (2) with 10 marks, and Adam Cerra (1).
The Dockers season is now finished, and they will host the Bombers at home next week in a game playing for pride and looking to stop Essendon from sneaking into the Top 8, while the Saints could finish very strong this year, with Carlton and Sydney to come to end the season.