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Dockers smother Swans to reach first Grand Final

Alex Malcolm  September 21, 2013 11:55 PM

Highlights: Fremantle v Sydney Swans Freo and the Swans clash in preliminary final 2
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Michael Walters celebrates a goal in Fremantle's preliminary final win over the Sydney Swans

FREMANTLE has qualified for its first Grand Final with a comprehensive 25-point victory over the reigning premiers the Sydney Swans.

The Dockers produced the most extraordinary display of team pressure to suffocate the Swans and win 14.15 (99) to 11.8 (74) in front of 43,249 fans, the second-biggest crowd Fremantle has hosted at Patersons Stadium.  


The deficit stood at 54 points midway through the last quarter before the Swans massaged the margin by kicking six of the last seven goals.

Nathan Fyfe and David Mundy were both outstanding contributors for the Dockers, while Michael Walters was electric up forward with three goals and a spectacular mark. 

"It’s pleasing that we get the opportunity to go to a Grand Final," Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said. 

"They’re hard to get to and even harder to win."


The Swans' All Australian midfielders were shut out of the game. Ryan Crowley dominated Kieren Jack, keeping him to just 11 disposals. Josh Kennedy and Jarrad McVeigh worked hard but could not find the space and time to have a significant influence.

"Their pressure was outstanding and we couldn't move the ball out of our back half the way we wanted to," Swans coach John Longmire said.

"Their pressure in that part of the ground gave them repeat entries and we could get the ball going our way."


The Dockers set the game up with a devastating opening half. 

The home side dominated the opening term but could not capitalise on their multitude of opportunities and inside 50s, kicking 2.9 for the quarter.

The Dockers had 10 more entries and eight more scores but only managed an eight-point lead after missing six of eight set shots. 

Meanwhile, the Swans remained in touch courtesy of two brilliant snaps from Lewis Jetta and Harry Cunningham.

"I thought the game almost could have been over at quarter time," Lyon said. 

"It was a concern because we’d dominated, and we kicked 2.9 in the first quarter, and a lot of them were gettable."


But the dam wall broke in the second term and Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich led the charge. He nailed his second goal from a set shot in the opening minutes of the quarter that led to an unbroken five-goal burst to blow the margin out to 31 points at half-time. 

The Swans were swamped by an avalanche of Fremantle pressure. They failed to register a possession inside attacking 50 for the first 27 minutes of the second term as they were pinned deeper and deeper in defence. 

Their half-time score of 2.2 (14) was the club's lowest score at the main break in a final.



The Swans responded in the third term but, like the Dockers in the first, they couldn't capitalise on their momentum. Jude Bolton kicked a goal with his first kick of his 325th and last match. Gary Rohan was subbed in for Craig Bird and he had an immediate impact with a goal.

But two pieces of individual brilliance from Walters - firstly a quick crumb and snap and then a high-flying mark and goal - kept the Swans at arm's length. 

Matt de Boer was subbed out in his 100th match for Lachie Neale, who came on and kicked a goal immediately before Fyfe added his second to extend the margin to 43 points at the last change.

The last term was about injury management for Fremantle. Luke McPharlin and Michael Johnson both nursed calf problems throughout and Danyle Pearce copped a late knock. 

The Dockers will now prepare for the biggest game in their 19-year history: an inaugural Grand Final appearance, where they will face a Hawks outfit that has clearly been the league's benchmark in 2013.


Nat Fyfe soars for a mark during Fremantle's prelim final win over the Sydney Swans. Picture: AFL Media

FREMANTLE             2.9   7.11  11.12  14.15 (99) 
SYDNEY SWANS          2.1   2.2   5.5    11.8 (74)  

GOALS
Fremantle: Walters 3, Pavlich 2, Fyfe 2, Suban 2, Crowley, Duffield, Neale, Barlow, Ballantyne
Sydney Swans: Rohan 2, Cunningham 2, Jetta, Parker, Bolton, McGlynn, Pyke, Hannebery, McVeigh

BEST
Fremantle: Mundy, Fyfe, Crowley, Walters, Duffield, Mzungu
Sydney Swans: McVeigh, Kennedy, Parker, Malceski, McGlynn, Mumford

INJURIES
Fremantle: Spurr (cut head), Johnson (calf), Pearce (shin)
Sydney Swans: McGlynn (cut head)

SUBSTITUTES
Fremantle: Lachie Neale replaced Matt de Boer in the third quarter
Sydney Swans: Gary Rohan replaced Craig Bird in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Meredith, McInerney

Official crowd: 43,249 at Patersons Stadium