The Fremantle Dockers have recorded a gritty 28 point victory over Port in an entertaining match at a sparsley packed AAMI Stadium today. Fremantle achieved the finest win of their disappointing season without star Docker Matthew Pavlich who was a late withdrawal from the game.
Without Pavlich, Harvey’s plans would have revolved around getting a long list of goal kickers to share the load and this was duly delivered by the Dockers who finished this high scoring game with no less than 16 goalkickers. Port were well served by a two pronged attack during the second and third quarters when Justin Westhoff in his best game of the year and Warren Tredrea bagged four majors apiece.
The Dockers jumped the Power at the start of the match with experienced men Josh Carr, Aaron Sandilands and Mark Johnson setting the tone early. For some reason Port coach Mark Williams continues to persist with the tactic of not starting the match with their best ruckman and Brogan cooled his heels on the bench while Sandilands kick started the Dockers.
In the second term the first of what was to prove to be many momentum shifts occured when Port suddenly awoke from their slumber to boot six second quarter goals. In this quarter the workrate that set up Fremantle’s quarter time lead disappeared and Port clambered their way eagerly back into the match.
Port continued their run after half time and it looked like situation normal for the Dockers when Port hit the front in the third term. However, Freo kicked into gear once more and started dominating the centre with Bryon Schammer and Rhys Palmer prominent and with more experienced players such as Josh Carr and Jeff Farmer proving invaluable linkup players. Players such as Garrick Ibbotson and Michael Johnson started to get more of the ball and Port’s major ball winners were getting the ball on the defensive side of the square as they started to struggle for alternative avenues to goal with Daniel Motlop having an absolute shocker.
The last qaurter went goal for goal and a much maligned Scott Thornton proved an impassable barrier who was most adept at setting up Docker raids with is run and commitment. Thornton’s workrate was duly rewarded with a rare goal in the final quarter. Motlop belatedly extracted the digit with a couple of late goals and Ryan Crowley edged out the dangerous Shaun Burgoyne in the last with a couple of goals of his own.
For Port Adelaide it was the usual suspects that kept them in the game. Michael Pettigrew was a four quarter contributor in the backline and Kane Cornes racked up 39 possessions in a tireless effort. Dominic Cassisi and Steven Salopek were also serviceable but the Dockers held firm when challenged and worked harder over the four quarters than Port and ran out deserving 28 point winners in Mark Harvey’s best coaching performance to date.
FREMANTLE 6.3 8.6 15.9 – 20.9.129
PORT 0.3 6.5 11.6 – 15.11.101
FREMANTLE: Palmer, Schammer, Sandilands, Mark Johnson, Ibbotson, Crowley, Thornton.
PORT: K Cornes, Cassisi, Pettigrew, Salopek, Pearce, Westhoff.
FREMANTLE: Mark Johsnon 3, McPharlin, Crowley 2, Carr, Grover, Sandilands, Murphy, McManus, Tarrant, Peake, Mayne, Mundy, Head, Ibbotson, Palmer, Thornton.
PORT: Westhoff, Tredrea 4, Cassisi, Motlop 2, Brogan, Pearce, S Burgoyne
19000 not very happy Port supporters