Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth
The Collingwood Magpies flew into Domain Stadium and dominated in the first quarter to stun the slow starting Fremantle Dockers. It was only the poor goal kicking of the wayward Magpies that allowed the Dockers to remain in touch at quarter time as the visitors entered the attacking zone 17 times to score just three goals. The Dockers on the other hand made just six attacks but were more effective to score two goals.
With giant Docker ruckman Aaron Sandilands absent, and replacement ruckman Jonathon Griffin making several errors, the hesitant Dockers struggled to clear the ball from bounce downs. Taylor Adams won an outstanding six clearances for Collingwood as the Pies dominated in the midfield and Will Hoskin-Elliot, Tom Phillips and Jordan De Goey all scored majors (goals). The Magpies were far more desperate to touch the leather and won 39 contested possessions while the Dockers managed just 26 contested possessions in the opening stanza. The Dockers’ two goals came from a clever intercept mark and accurate running kick by Lachie Neale; and later, a chain of possessions finishing with Nathan Fyfe who snapped a goal under pressure.
The Dockers fought back in the second quarter and the game developed into a tight midfield struggle. Adam Treloar, second-year player Josh Smith, and Taylor Adams were prominent for the Pies and Michael Walters, Lachie Weller and Lachie Neale increased their work rate for the Dockers. The intensity of pressure around the ball caused numerous turnovers as players mishandled or mis-kicked the ball in attempts to open up the play. Josh Langdon and Brady Grey both scored goals from close range to give the home team the lead. However, Docker turnovers in the middle of the ground were punished by Collinwood when Scott Pendlebury marked in front of Nathan Fyfe and kicked truly from 50 meters; and then Lynden Dunn and Darcy Moore both kicked long goals as a result of turnovers and poor positioning by Docker defenders. An outstanding late goal by the speedster Brad Hill, as he burnt off Pendlebury and kicked low from the boundary, kept the Dockers in touch at the main break.
The Dockers began the third quarter by raising the intensity of their tackling and were rewarded by two quick goals from a Langdon snap and a McCarthy mark. At the seven minute mark Jamie Elliot showed strength to out-muscle Lee Spur to mark and goal from close range. Nathan Fyfe stepped up for the Dockers winning contested balls in the middle which resulted in goals to David Mundy and Grey, but Elliot booted two more for the Pies to give him three for the quarter to keep the Pies in front. By the end of the third quarter the Pies looked tired; and with injuries to Elliott, Daniel Wells, Tyson Goldsack and Levi Greenwood, it was expected that the home side would take full advantage and finish the game strongly.
The final quarter began like the two previous, with the Dockers kicking early goals through Shane Kersten and Crozier to give Fremantle the lead. It was a warm sunny afternoon and with just eighteen fit players the exhausted Collingwood team looked ready to fold, as so many visiting teams to Perth had done this year. But the Pies dug deep. Treloar, Steele Sidebottom, Smith, Adams and Pendlebury refused to surrender and competed with a lethal combination of desperation and skill as they bulldozed the ball forward from the midfield. The Dockers butchered their final shots on goal and Collingwood scored the last four goals of the game. Through pure determination, the Pies delivered their most courageous victory under Coach Nathan Buckley.
Collingwood are now poised to move into the top eight, but much will depend on whether they can recover from this energy sapping encounter at Domain, to match the Melbourne Demons at the MCG. Fremantle have a week to devise a way to overcome their slow starts, before they meet the lowly Brisbane Lions in Brisbane. A win in Brisbane is no certainty for the unpredictable Dockers.
Scores Fremantle Dockers 2.1 5.5 10.6 12.13 (85) Collingwood Magpies 3.5 7.9 11.13 15.15 (105) Best Fremantle Dockers: Blakely,Fyfe, Weller, Neale, B Hill Collingwood Magpies: Treloar, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Smith, Adams
Article last changed on Monday, May 28, 2018 - 5:36 PM EDT