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How a Freo phone call changed history

Lyon Recall: How phone call helped sink the Cats Ross Lyon recalls two winning goals, Shane Kersten's in 2017 and Stephen Hill's in the QF in 2013

IT WAS one of the most famous goals in Fremantle history, but Stephen Hill's five-bounce, match-sealing major against Geelong in the 2013 qualifying final would never have happened if not for a phone call to the AFL.

In the frantic final minutes of an unforgettable contest in Geelong, the Dockers were clinging to a 10-point lead and pumped the ball high and long out of defence.

Aaron Sandilands fisted the ball towards the boundary line, just as Hill came onto the ground from the interchange bench.

As the ball fell into his lap, Hill turned on the afterburners, sprinting from half-back inside 50 and slotting the game-securing goal from 45m.

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Against the odds, the Dockers had sealed a spot in their first home preliminary final.

But coach Ross Lyon told AFL.com.au that moment wouldn't have been possible if Freo hadn't stood up to the League in the build-up to the Cats clash.

"We'd played there earlier in the year and our interchange bench was 15m from our dugout compared to the Cats' two metres," Lyon said.

"So we got on the phone to the AFL and said, 'We want parity and equity where the interchanges are'.

"It wasn't going to be done, but we stuck to our guns, so the interchange was moved and Stephen Hill came on and ran from the interchange and crumbed that ball."

While Fremantle suffocated Sydney by 25 points two weeks later at Subiaco Oval, the Dockers ultimately fell short of a maiden premiership, losing to Hawthorn in the club's one-and-only Grand Final appearance by 15 points.

Included in Lyon's video is his recall of a thrilling last-gasp victory over this Sunday's opponent North Melbourne in round five last season, when recruit Shane Kersten became a hero with the match-winning snap in the dying seconds.