With a rare tropical cyclone approaching Perth’s inland areas, the Fremantle Dockers withstood a stormy challenge from the Hawthorn Hawks to win a second home game. The Hawks were again slow to start, allowing Fremantle to dominate in the first term. If the Dockers had kicked accurately for a goal in the blustery conditions, the game would have been over at quarter time.
Returning from a forced layoff due to concussion, Nat Fyfe began in the center of the ground for the Dockers and the home team dominated clearances in the first quarter. When Fyfe was not winning clearances, it was veteran David Mundy or Caleb Serong. Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner were active in the forward line and Taberner finished with two goals for the quarter. The Hawks had scored only two behinds (worth a point each).
The visitors fought back in the second quarter, booting five goals, and holding the Dockers to just one goal. Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell won clearances and gave the Hawks first use of the ball. Hawk veteran ruckman Ben McEvoy matched Sean Darcy in the ruck - and when they were resting, Jonathon Ceglar continued the intriguing ruck battle for Hawthorn, and Lloyd Meek for the Dockers. It was rare old-time football with both teams using two ruckmen. The Hawks used an out-of-form James Worpel to cut the Dockers' most creative player, James Brayshaw, out of the game. At the same time, Worpel played himself into form and picked up 22 possessions for the match. Jarman Impey was also busy for the Hawks around the ground, but it was Tom Mitchell who oiled the Hawk midfield machine with his slick work inside packs. Mitchell’s goal just before half-time brought the Hawks back into the game.
A fiery third quarter turned the game into a ferocious struggle. The visitors were out to unsettle the younger Dockers with the Hawk's trademark ‘unsocial football’. The Dockers were criticized the week before, for not protecting teammates roughed up by Carlton. This time though, the Dockers returned as good as they received. Tom Mitchell showed wile and exploited the opportunity to milk a free kick, for high contact, from an increasingly frustrated James Brayshaw. Defender Michael Hartley took the ball for Mitchell and booted a rare goal, to bring the Hawks within seven points. A highlight of the quarter was a footrace between young Docker speedster Michael Frederick and Hawthorn youngster Changkuoth Jiath. Frederick managed to get a toe to the ball to boot an inspiring soccer-style goal. Despite this setback, Kiath maintained concentration and was one of his team’s best defenders.
In the final quarter, Fyfe moved back into the midfield. He and Mundy dominated clearances. A goal from Sam Sturt pushed the Dockers' lead to eighteen points. Brayshaw finally broke free from Worpal in the midfield and provided the additional drive for the Dockers. The determined Hawks were unable to bridge the gap.
Next week the Dockers travel to Adelaide to meet the rejuvenated Adelaide Crows. The inconsistent Dockers will find the Crows a massive challenge in Adelaide. The Hawks return to the MCG to meet the undefeated Melbourne Demons. The Hawks have been competitive in their games, but now face the prospect of keeping the North Melbourne Kangaroos company at the bottom of the table, for at least a couple of weeks.
Scores Fremantle: 5.6 6.11 10.12 13.18 (96) Hawthorn: 0.2 5.4 8.8 12.9 (81) Best Fremantle: Mundy, Fyfe, Cerra, Serong, Darcy Hawthorn: Mitchell, O’Meara, Impey, Hartley, Jiath
Article last changed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 - 9:52 PM EDT