Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Australia
With the Fremantle Dockers looking to regroup after a thumping at the hands of the cross town Eagles and Adelaide aiming to get back on track after a final quarter fade out against Collingwood last round, the clash at Patersons Stadium promised to be a battle between two teams trying desperately to set themselves up for a serious crack at the Finals this year. The Crows have been one of the big surprise packets this season and their good form saw them travel over to Perth as the punters favorite for one of the first times in recent history.
Both teams made skill errors under pressure as the game started in scrappy fashion but Adelaide managed a couple of early goals against the flow of the play to get an early jump and skip to an 11 point lead at quarter time. Michael Johnson and Matthew Pavlich were continuing on with their good recent form but it was the Crows' midfielders who were impressing most. Ryan Crowley got the stopping job on Scott Thompson and was winning that battle but Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane were on fire and feeding the ball regularly into the forward line where Taylor Walker was making his presence felt after missing the last two games through suspension.
As the game went deeper into the second quarter the Crows looked more and more like they were going to run away with the game and a long goal from Sloane pushed the lead to what appeared an unassailable margin of 36 points but the Dockers had other ideas. Crowley moved from being the defensive gun to the offensive catalyst with two late goals and with 23 points the margin at the main break, the game was still very much up for grabs.
Third quarter action started as the second finished with Fremantle looking the better side. Matt de Boer and Michael Barlow were countering the quality work of Dangerfield and Sloane with solid performances of their own in the center of the ground and along with Johnson and Pavlich helped Fremantle get right back into the contest. This charge saw the margin trimmed to only 10 points going into the final quarter.
Chris Mayne and once again the champion Pavlich kicked early goals after three quarter time to give Fremantle the lead and with the parochial crowd well and truly behind them it looked like the home team was going to run away with an important win. It was at this point however that the Crows stamped themselves as genuine contenders for a Top Four finish and stepped it up once again to fight back and kick away with five goals for the quarter. Sloane took his game to another level and collected 10 possessions in the quarter with his four quarter effort being perhaps his best game for the club in his career. Jared Petrenko, Taylor Walker and Matthew Wright were all big contributors in the final 20 minutes of the game and when the siren went it was a 29 point win to the visitors.
Adelaide players now have a well deserved week off before they start the second half of the season with a genuine confidence that they can be right in amongst the action at the business end of the season. Fremantle however, backs up this week against a red hot Richmond side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in what is now a must win game for Ross Lyon’s team.
To check out Dave Woodley's photos from the game click on the link below:
Scoreboard: Fremantle 3.3 6.6 10.9 12.10 (82) Adelaide 5.2 10.5 12.6 17.9 (111) Best players Fremantle: Barlow, de Boer, Johnson, Crowley, Pavlich, McPharlin Adelaide: Sloane, Dangerfield, Walker, Wright, Petrenko, Jacobs
Article last changed on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 7:02 AM EDT