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Dockers seal top spot with easy win over Dees

Highlights: Fremantle v Melbourne The Dockers and Demons clash in round 22

FREMANTLE has claimed the minor premiership for the first time in the club's history with a professional 54-point win over a lacklustre Melbourne at Domain Stadium.

The Dockers' 17th win of the home and away season, a new club record, was built on the back of a five-goal to none opening term as they notched 100 points for the first time since round eight.

Fremantle booted the first 10 goals of the match to cruise to the 17.6 (108) to 8.6 (54) result, which will allow Ross Lyon to rest players next week against Port Adelaide ahead of a home qualifying final.

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"If you'd have said we were going to secure top spot with one round to go, we would take that every day of the week," Lyon said post-match.

"It's the first time in the club's history, so we tick that box. But we understand it's just the starting point for the real season. It's really about getting a good grid position to attack the real season."

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The Dockers simply did what they needed to against a Melbourne side that failed to play with the anger and passion that coach Paul Roos had asked for during the week.

The Demons were held to just one point in the opening term, their lowest-ever first quarter score against Fremantle, although they did manage to kick more than six goals for the first time in six outings against the Dockers.    

"We slaughtered the ball early, which didn't help us," Roos said post-match.

"We did have opportunities to score – inside 50s, we just didn't create anything from them.

"I think we lose confidence when we don't score, which is understandable."

The result was compounded by a left ankle injury to skipper Nathan Jones. He spent the second half of his 200th game in a moon-boot and on crutches after he was subbed out early in the second term.

"He just rolled his ankle and possibly could have come back on," Roos said.

"But it was one of those things, if you jab it you probably do more damage to it. By not doing it, it gives himself a chance of playing next week. That was the decision we made."

Five talking points: Fremantle v Melbourne

Jake Spencer also suffered concussion after copping a knock to the head in a marking contest.

The Dockers also suffered an injury concern with defender Cam Sutcliffe dislocating his right shoulder in the last quarter. He had it popped back in shortly after coming off the ground.

Dockers skipper Matthew Pavlich was subbed halfway through the third term, after bagging three goals, as Ross Lyon began to manage his key players. Michael Walters was not risked at all, withdrawn before the match due to calf soreness.

The Dockers mauled the Demons all over the ground. Aaron Sandilands was dominant in the ruck with 43 hit-outs to feed a rampaging midfield. Lachie Neale (34 disposals and two goals) and David Mundy (35 disposals) had 19 clearances between them.

They also had 11 different goalkickers with Pavlich and Danyle Pearce leading the way with three goals apiece. The Dockers even used defender Garrick Ibbotson up forward for most of the day. He kicked the opening goal of the match, his first goal since round nine, 2013.   

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The Demons had 40 inside 50s but could not hit any targets. They took just four marks inside 50 for the day and it was the third week in a row they failed to register nine goals.

Jack Viney fought hard with 30 disposals and six clearances, Daniel Cross collected 39 touches playing mostly in the defensive half, while Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett kicked two goals each. 

FREMANTLE      5.1   11.3   14.5  17.6 (108)                  
MELBOURNE      0.1   4.2     6.5    8.6 (54)          

GOALS
Fremantle: Pavlich 3, D.Pearce 3, de Boer 2, Neale 2, Barlow, Mzungu, Ibbotson, Mayne, Sandilands, Hill, Sheridan
Melbourne: Garlett 2, Hogan 2, Grimes, Vince, Watts, Gawn

BEST 
Fremantle: Mundy, Neale, D.Pearce, Hill, Barlow, C.Pearce, Suban
Melbourne: Cross, Viney, Gawn, Dunn, Grimes, Vince 

INJURIES 
Fremantle: Walters (calf, replaced in selected side), Sutcliffe (shoulder)
Melbourne: Jones (ankle), Spencer (concussion) 

SUBSTITUTES
Fremantle: Paul Duffield replaced Matthew Pavlich during the third quarter
Melbourne: Jack Grimes replaced Nathan Jones during the second quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Farmer, Margetts, Brown

Official crowd: 33,529 at the Domain Stadium