FREMANTLE 3.3 6.6 10.9 12.10 (82)
ADELAIDE 5.2 10.5 12.6 17.9 (111)
Adelaide have held off a plucky Dockers outfit, winning by 29 points at Patersons Stadium.
The Crows threatened to blow the scoreboard out on several occasions, but Fremantle continued to challenge, and much to their credit, appeared set for a big victory with only 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
Lead by Rory Sloane, who amassed 10 disposals, five clearances and a goal in the last quarter, the Crows responded and finally managed to secure the points.
Sloane finished with 33 touches and three goals in a clear best on ground performance.
The Crows kicked the first two goals of the game before Fremantle responded through David Mundy and Matthew Pavlich, taking the lead and making it clear that the Dockers were determined to bring some attacking flair to their gameplay after a few dour weeks.
The Crows would hit back however, kicking eight of the next 10 goals, and it was apparent that the familiar nightmare for Dockers fans was a distinct possibility once again. Fremantle managed to claw back some momentum to finish the half, but to all and sundry, it appeared that a routine Crows victory.
Ross Lyon made some adjustments, and the Dockers side that returned from the break was completely different.
Although the first 10 minutes were devoid of a goal, Fremantle dominated the game, working themselves back into the contest. Patrick Dangerfield – who finished with 32 disposals – and Sloane were quiet for the quarter whilst the Fremantle midfield lifted. At the final break the margin was nine points, and Fremantle looked like causing an upset.
The last started in similar fashion, with Fremantle quickly gaining the ascendancy through majors to Chris Mayne and Pavlich. The Crows midfield looked flat and were being beaten at the clearances, their defence was being swarmed and their forwards were being starved of opportunity.
Adelaide needed someone to lift and it was Sloane who responded, sparking the Crows into action. He kicked a magnificent goal to reclaim the lead and started winning clearances out the middle.
It resulted in the last five goals going Adelaide’s way, and although Fremantle were valiant, they will ultimately be disappointed they did not take the chances that were available when the game was truly in the balance.
3) Rory Sloane
2) Patrick Dangerfield
1) Matthew Wright
Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Crowley 2, Barlow 2, Mayne 2, Ballantyne, Mundy, Hill
Adelaide: Walker 4, Sloane 3, Wright 3, Callinan 2, Petrenko, Dangerfield, Jenkins, Porplyzia, Johncock
Fremantle: de Boer, Barlow, Crowley, Johnson, Pavlich
Adelaide: Sloane, Dangerfield, Wright, Walker
Fremantle: Stephen Hill (shoulder)
Fremantle: Hayden Crozier replaced Jack Anthony in the third quarter
Adelaide: Graham Johncock replaced Josh Jenkins in the third quarter
Reports: Bernie Vince (Adelaide) for striking Zac Clarke (Fremantle) in the third quarter
Umpires: Margetts, Stewart, Pannell (replaced by Dalgleish at quarter-time)
Official crowd: 31,392 at Patersons Stadium