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Round 12 – Melbourne V Fremantle

Liam Chambers

The Dockers take control after a shaky start

The highlights of the game for Melbourne came in the initial five minutes as first Max Gawn took a contested mark in the pocket and converted the 35m set shot to open the scoring. Then Harrison Petty walked in the next goal when he was on the receiving end of a perfectly placed kick from Bailey Fritsch.

Demons were sitting back, thinking their team was going to put on a masterclass in front of the Traeger Park fans.

After six to one inside 50 entries in favour of the Dees, the Dockers were finally able to penetrate Melbourne’s defence, with key forward Josh Treacy also walking one in for his side. After the goal, there was a subtle change in Fremantle’s game. They were retaining possession and looking more confident.

When there was a small slip up in Melbourne’s defence, Michael Walters was able to pounce straight away and snapped an around the corner to make it a one point game. Fremantle took the lead when Jye Amiss found himself in possession of a chaos ball and snapped from 10m directly in front of goal.

The Dockers were now in control and their pressure was forcing errors from Melbourne. There were several more turnovers and potential shots on goal before Jordan Clark drilled from the pocket to extend the lead to twelve points. Josh Treacy got his second when he took a contested mark in front of goal before slotting the set shot.

Fremantle turn the screws on Melbourne

After scoring five goals in the opening term, the visitors resumed their attack when Jye Amiss took a controversial contested mark, just inside 50. His subsequent goal put the Dockers 24 points in front.

Melbourne were struggling to establish any momentum and Freo were well and truly in the drivers’ seat. In addition, any progress the Demons made in attack was compromised by their frequent ball turnovers, allowing their opponents a chance to regroup. Finally though, a flicker of optimism when Clayton Oliver’s wind assisted kick from just outside 50 landed in the goal square and bounced across the line.

The hope of a comeback was short lived however, as former Dees’ ruckman Luke Jackson converted form 45m in front to restore his side’s lead to four goals. Michael Walters then marked in the pocket and slotted his second with an around the corner snap.

Melbourne were being totally dominated and there was no letup in pressure, as Fremantle kept racking up the scoring opportunities. Sam Switkowski got in on the act, as he kicked the Dockers ninth goal from a 45m set shot and the margin was out to thirty six.

The Dees were now in serious trouble as they fought off the waves of inside 50 incursions. There was no stopping Freo though and eventually they broke through again when Josh Treacy was awarded a free kick and converted from 35m out. Then, a few minutes before the main break, Hayden Young was awarded a 50m penalty and made sure with his set shot from 45m.

No respite from the onslaught

Any Demon fans tuning in just after half time would have rubbed their eyes in disbelief that their team was so far behind. Surely the score was the wrong way around?

When Ed Langdon marked in the left pocket, then ran on, Demons everywhere gasped in horror. Fortunately, he was able to hand pass to Christian Petracca and the midfielder slammed it through the uprights. For a brief joyous moment, it seemed that Melbourne might launched a spirited renaissance, along the lines of the Round 8 fightback against Carlton.

Fans were immediately brought back down to earth when the Dockers responded by controlling the ball after the bounce, then getting it to Michael Frederick inside 50, where the forward made the most of his opportunity.

The ferocity of the blows kept raining down on the Dees, as Sean Darcy’s lumbering awkward kick just slipped behind the goal line. It was almost as if the footy gods had just decided to let Fremantle kick the sherrin in the general direction of the goal where it would assisted across.

As if to labour the point, Jye Amiss went for the contested mark in front of goal, missed it but when he turned around, the ball basically bounced into his hands, and he snapped his third of the afternoon. Michael Frederick had his second when he marked in the pocket, then kicked around the corner to convert his set shot. The Dockers were lining up to have a go at goal as Caleb Serong kicked his first of the season when he slotted from the pocket. That effort was also Fremantle’s fifth of the quarter.

Melbourne finally got their second of the term when Tom McDonald collected the ground ball in front of goal and found a way through the pack, kicking it over the line. The margin was back to seventy points.

Luke Jackson restored it to seventy six when he marked the ball 10m directly in front, then cleanly kicked the set shot. Michael Walters got his hat trick after marking in the pocket, then slotting Freo’s seventh of the term with his set shot.

Full time couldn’t come quickly enough

With no chance of victory, Dees everywhere would be happy now, just to win the quarter or at the very least keep the margin under one hundred points.

Fremantle’s first of the final term was way too easy though, as Sam Sturt, having marked inside 50, was then awarded a 50m penalty, just to be sure.

Finally, something for Demon fans to cheer, as Jack Viney launched a running shot form inside 50 that found the back of the net.

Melbourne’s hopes of winning the term were sorely tested when Luke Jackson took a contested mark 40m and kicked his hat trick off the set shot. Jye Amiss failed to live up to his surname when he marked, then kicked his fourth goal of the afternoon.

Nat Fyfe got in on the action when collected the ground ball and snapped from 35m to extend the margin to ninety nine points. With five minutes to full time, Fremantle increased the gap to one hundred points.

Tom McDonald became the only multiple goal scorer for the Demons when he took a contested mark directly in front and made sure of the set shot.

The final deficit of ninety two in favour of Freo is nothing to cheer about but there is some solace in the thought that it could have been worse. Our percentage has taken a battering but hopefully won’t count against us when the top eight is being calculated in September.

Round 13 is against arguably our greatest nemesis and we will want revenge for being kicked out at the knockout stages during last season’s finals. There will be an awful lot of nervous Melbourne fans on Monday afternoon.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!