Ryan Crowley and Matthew Pavlich celebrate during Freo's win
A SCINTILLATING final term was enough for Fremantle to put away a gallant but undermanned Eagles outfit by 28 points in front of 39,839 fans at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
The Dockers won their third consecutive derby under Ross Lyon, 19.7 (121) to 14.9 (83).
They were made to earn it.
West Coast was missing eight senior players but through fanatical tackling pressure and an outstanding five-goal display from Jack Darling, led by two points at three-quarter time.
But the Dockers kicked eight goals to three in the final term to make a significant statement that they are unequivocally the No.1 team in town in 2013.
Fremantle's stars took control in the last quarter. Michael Barlow claimed his second consecutive Ross Glendinning Medal after collecting 26 touches and two goals, Nathan Fyfe had 30 disposals, David Mundy 28, and Stephen Hill 27 and two goals in a brilliant 100th game.
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"Players have been working really hard on their ball use at training and vision and all that and it paid off with really smart ball use as the game opened up.
"It was a really powerful response that counted at the right time."
Freo's bigger bodies were telling in a frenetic opening term.
West Coast elected not to tag any Fremantle midfielders and the Dockers feasted, collecting 22 more possessions for the quarter to lead by 11 points at the first change.
They extended the lead to 18 points by the seven-minute mark of the second term after Michael Walters and Matthew Pavlich converted set shots.
The momentum swung on a soft 50m penalty that led to Darling's third goal of the first half. Will Schofield then braved life and limb to take a mark going back with the flight that resulted in a goal to Jamie Cripps.
Schofield then drifted forward and jagged a freakish goal from the boundary and the Eagles deserved their one-point lead at half-time.
West Coast's tackling pressure was extraordinary. The Eagles laid 60 tackles to 37 in the first half. They finished with 86 tackles to 59 for the match.
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"The boys put a lot of heat and pressure on, and I thought we did that really well," John Worsfold said.
"Fremantle coped really well with it also and were good enough to then run away with the game.
"We were running on empty a bit late in the game, which took its toll on us."
The third term was pulsating, compelling viewing. The two sides traded 10 goals between them as the game went from a war of attrition to a shootout.
"Only saw it when it happened so I haven't seen a replay of it," Worsfold said.
"There is always a concern there. But we'll wait and see."
Players react to the final siren after Fremantle's win against the Eagles. Picture: AFL Media
EEST COAST 2.3 6.5 11.8 14.9 (93)
FREMANTLE 4.2 6.4 11.6 19.7 (121)
West Coast: Darling 5, LeCras 2, Schofield 2, Kennedy 2, Cripps 2, Embley
Fremantle: Walters 3, Mayne 3, Pavlich 3, Barlow 2, Hill 2, Mzungu, Crowley, D Pearce, Fyfe, Sutcliffe, Sheridan
West Coast: Darling, Glass, Embley, Mackenzie, Priddis, Hutchings
Fremantle: Mayne, Fyfe, Barlow, Hill, Mundy, Walters, Spurr
Fremantle: Suban (calf, replaced in selected side by Sutcliffe), C Pearce (concussion)
West Coast: Cale Morton replaced Matthew Rosa during the third quarter
Fremantle: Cameron Sutcliffe replaced Clancee Pearce during the third quarter
Reports: Matthew Pavlich reported for rough conduct against Mitchell Brown during the third quarter
Umpires: Farmer, Jeffery, McInerney
Official crowd: 39,839 at the Patersons Stadium