Michael Walters celebrates one of his goals against Carlton at Etihad Stadium
CARLTON'S hopes of pushing into the AFL's top eight suffered a setback as Fremantle shook off the Blues in the final term to win Saturday night's clash by 36 points.
Fremantle slipped into the top four midway through round 19 following their 17.14 (116) to 12.8 (80) win over Carlton in front of a crowd of 30,457 at Etihad Stadium.
The Dockers led by eight, nine and 10 points at each change but flexed their muscles in the final term as they outscored Carlton five goals to one.
Fremantle's record now stands at 13-and-a-half wins from 18 games, while the Blues have slipped to 9-9 with four rounds to play.
Small forwards Michael Walters (four goals) and Hayden Ballantyne (three goals) were match-winners for Fremantle while Walters' opponent Zach Tuohy kicked three goals for the Blues and Heath Scotland was busy across half-back.
The cheeky small forward had earned the wrath of the Blues after winning a free kick and 50m penalty, and then exchanging words with his opponents after converting the resulting set shot.
Nathan Fyfe, with 31 disposals and seven clearances, was a star for the Dockers, while Ryan Crowley tagged Carlton skipper Marc Murphy out of the game, holding him to just 13 touches.
He described the performances of small forwards Eddie Betts and Chris Yarran, who managed a combined 19 disposals and no goals, as "horrible".
Fremantle led by nine points at half-time after the Blues were forced to sub out midfielder Andrew Carrazzo early in the second term with what Malthouse said was a badly bruised calf.
But the Dockers replied immediately with a devastating five-goal burst in 10 minutes to move 28 points clear.
Three late goals from the Blues, including one from Jeff Garlett after the siren, cut the margin to 10 points at three-quarter time after both sides scored five goals for the term.
Fremantle's defensive pressure all over the ground took its toll as Carlton conceded five goals in the final term, scoring a solitary major through Lachie Henderson on the siren.
The Dockers will await scans on a right calf injury to Clancee Pearce, who was subbed off during the final term.
David Mundy battled an ankle problem throughout the second half, with coach Ross Lyon saying the midfielder was "sore" after the match.
Fremantle made two late changes before the game, with Garrick Ibbotson failing to get over an Achilles complaint in time, and Matt Taberner left out for team balance.
Carlton plays the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium next Saturday while Fremantle will host Greater Western Sydney at Patersons Stadium the following day.
The Dockers will regain star forward Matthew Pavlich from suspension.
Hayden Ballantyne was an electric presence against Carlton, booting three goals. Picture: AFL Media
CARLTON 3.1 6.2 11.6 12.8 (80)
FREMANTLE 4.3 7.5 12.10 17.14 (116)
Carlton: Tuohy 3, Garlett 2, Henderson 2, Watson, Rowe, McLean, Judd, Armfield
Fremantle: Walters 4, Ballantyne 3, Hill 2, Neale 2, Suban 2, Sandilands, Mzungu, Barlow, Pearce
Carlton: Scotland, Robinson, Tuohy, Simpson, Judd, Gibbs
Fremantle: Fyfe, Walters, Ballantyne, Barlow, Neale, D Pearce, Crowley
Carlton: Carrazzo (bruised calf)
Fremantle: Ibbotson (achilles) and Taberner (team balance) replaced in selected side by Sheridan and Sutcliffe; C Pearce (right calf)
Carlton: Kane Lucas replaced Andrew Carrazzo during the second quarter
Fremantle: Tom Sheridan replaced Clancee Pearce in the fourth quarter
Umpires: Meredith, McInerney, Mollison
Official crowd: 30,457 at Etihad Stadium