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Drawn game (Dave Woodley/AFANA)

The Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies played out a dramatic draw in front of a heaving crowd of 54,035 at Optus Stadium. The contest wasn't spectacular but was a dour struggle of tough contested football where neither team was prepared to give an inch. The undermanned Magpies picked up two more injuries during the match (Mason Cox and Brody Mihocek), but the team fought to the very end against a desperate home side. The Dockers jumped the Magpies early, locking the ball in their forward half with the assistance strong defensive marks (catches) by their captain Alex Pearce. After three minutes of play, Fremantle forward Josh Treacy received a free kick for a high tackle and threaded the needle from the boundary, to give the home team a positive start. Two minutes later the Magpies transitioned the ball from defense finishes with slick handpasses from Bobby Hill and Patrick Lipinski which resulted in a clever goal by youngster Harvey Harrison. Three minutes later the Dockers pushed forward to a marking contest in their goal square, where wingman Jeremy Sharp swooped in for an opportunistic soccer-style goal when the ball came off hands. Three minutes later the Dockers brought the ball from defense with Andrew Brayshaw on the end of a chain of possessions and he finished with a polished a running goal from forty meters.

Both defenses stood strong for the next ten minutes, until Beau McCreery soccered the ball out of a stoppage on the wing, which was marked by Joe Richards who handpassed immediately to a running Josh Daicos, who slotted a ripper from fifty meters to bring Collingwood back into the game. The quarter finished controversially with a downfield free kick to Harvey Harrison after Collingwood defender Charlie Dean pushed into Docker forward Jye Amiss off the ball; and an umpire ruled that Amiss had infringed on the defender. Harrison goaled from the free kick to give the visitors the lead seconds before the end the quarter.

Nick Daicos
Nick Daicos (Dave Woodley/AFANA)

Collingwood improved their tackling pressure on the Dockers in the second term and had the home team fumbling and making errors with their ball movement. However, the Magpies were unable to capitalize from their forward thrusts and booted just five behinds (worth a point each) to creep further ahead of the Dockers. Collingwood used a midfield press to lock the ball in their attacking half. It took sixteen minutes for the Dockers to break free with Jaeger O'Meara kicking long to Bailey Banfield, who was infringed in a marking contest. O'Meara kicked a goal with his free kick to bring up the first goal for the quarter. This was followed a minute later with a center clearance finished by a good snap under pressure by Sam Switkowski, to lift the Dockers. Three minutes later the Dockers had bombed another kick into attack where O'Meara picked up a ground ball in a pack and snapped a goal while under pressure from three Magpie defenders. The game closed-up for the next nine minutes with defenses of both teams on top. The short burst of accurate scoring during the quarter gave Fremantle a welcome lead over the inaccurate visitors.

The third quarter was where Collingwood asserted their authority around the field. Darcy Cameron got the better of Sean Darcy in the ruck and Nick Daicos, Josh Daicos and Cameron began to win more clearances. In addition, the Magpies through Nick Daicos, Lachlan Sullivan and Cameron won contested possesions and ground ball gets across the field. Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw and Hayden Young were nullified by the Daicos brothers, who gave Collinwood frequent first use of the ball.  Brody Mihocek added two early goals for the visitors, which were followed by Harrison adding his third to put the Magpies back in front at the nine-minute mark. The Magpies goals early goals were not a result of spectacular play, but rather intense pressure around the ball where they pushed forward toward goal with sheer determination. Jordan Clark, Liam Ryan, Josh Draper and Alex Pearce were under siege in defense for Fremantle and were it not for their defensive work, the game would have been over at three quarter time. They restricted further scoring by the Magpies until the final four minutes when Patrick Lipinski and second-gamer Joe Richards snapped a goal each to complete a five-goal quarter for the visitors.

Jordan Clarke
Clark clears (Dave Woodley/AFANA)

The Magpies began the final stanza on fire with the speed and force of their tackling which kept the Dockers out of the game. After four minutes of play Scott Pendlebury chipped a pass to Jack Crisp who marked and kicked truly from fifty meters. Seven minutes later Tom Emmett passed to Banfield who marked and booted the Dockers first goal since the second quarter. The Pies replied with a Bobby Hill mark and goal as the clock ticked into time-on. A booming fifty-meter goal from Banfield initiated a stunning revival for the home team. The Dockers pushed forward again. At a stoppage close to the Dockers' goal, Collingwood fourth-gamer, Lachie Sullivan, handed the ball to a team mate Josh Daicos instead of the umpire. A technical free kick was awarded to Sean Darcy who booted an unexpected goal. The Dockers won clearances and with three minutes to play Banfield handpassed to Hayden Young who snapped a classy goal to pile further pressure on the visitors. With just over two minutes remaining Docker defender Heath Chapman marked between wing and half forward. His kick cleared a pack and full back Alex Pearce took a diving mark in attack to take a rare shot on goal. His kick was good and he dedicated the goal to recently deceased former player and friend, Cam McCarthy, by pointing to the heavens. The captain's goal brought the Dockers within a point of Collingwood with just under two minutes to play. With just fifty seconds left, the Dockers surged forward again. A handpass from Banfield found Sharp in the clear. Sharp missed a gettable shot to register a behind and level the scores. The Magpies rushed the ball into their own attacking zone but the Dockers' defense prevailed. A Lazarus-like comeback by the Dockers brought an unexpected draw in a fiercely contested game.  

Next Friday, the wounded Magpies take on the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. The Dockers have a nine-day break and fly to the center of Australia to meet the Melbourne Demons at TIO Traeger Park Oval, Alice Springs.  

Fremantle Dockers:   3.3 6.4 6.8  11.9  (75)
Collingwood Magpies: 3.4 3.9 8.12 10.15 (75)

Fremantle Dockers:   Ryan, Clark, Brayshaw, Serong, Young
Collingwood Magpies: N. Daicos, J. Daicos, Sullivan, Moore, Cameron

Fremantle Dockers:   Banfield 3, Brayshaw, Darcy, O'Meara, Sharp, Switkowski, Treacy, Young
Collingwood Magpies: Harrison 3, Mihocek 2, Crisp, J. Daicos, Hill Lipinski, Richards

Article last changed on Monday, May 27, 2024 - 4:27 PM EDT


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