MICHAEL Walters was the hero as Fremantle pulled its season back from the brink in a thrilling after-the-siren one-point victory over Brisbane at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
After trailing the gutsy visitors by 11 points early in the final term, the Dockers had the Lions under siege and levelled the scores through Nat Fyfe's miss inside the last two minutes.
Surging towards the finish line, Fremantle staved off the Lions' attempt to win the clash before Ed Langdon found Walters 40m out from goal on a worse than 45-degree angle with just seconds remaining.
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The final siren sounded as Walters lined up his shot, which cannoned into the goalpost to secure a remarkable 10.13 (73) to 10.12 (72) triumph which keeps Fremantle's finals flame flickering.
Dockers fans erupted as Walters' kick hit the upright, and the star forward – who kicked the only goal of the final quarter at the 18-minute mark – was mobbed by his teammates as they improved to 5-5 this season.
Fremantle climbed back into eighth spot at the end of round 10 after ending a three-game losing skid, while the Lions will be bitterly disappointed after dropping four valuable points they had well within their grasp.
Chris Fagan's men are now 6-4 and are hanging onto sixth spot – a win off the top-four pace.
In Brisbane gun Lachie Neale's return to face his former side, the Lions burst out of the blocks and led by 17 points late in the opening term.
It was the Charlie Cameron show early as Brisbane's star small forward ran riot in a three-goal opening term.
Cameron snapped two beauties – his second after sprinting past Joel Hamling and rolling through a shot on the run from 40m – before outmuscling Taylin Duman and running into an open goal.
The Lions' efficiency was in stark contrast to Fremantle, which yet again wasted a glut of opportunities to apply scoreboard pressure.
The Dockers had 17 inside 50s to 13 for the term but trailed by 16 points before Adam Cerra drilled his second on the siren.
The second stanza was an armwrestle, with Freo kicking the only two goals of the term to draw within a point at the major break.
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It was a see-sawing contest throughout the third term as the lead changed hands four times.
The Dockers hit the front at the 20-minute mark after Fyfe shoved Neale aside and marked at the top of the goalsquare, but Brisbane answered with two quick goals to Oscar McInerney and Dayne Zorko to take all the momentum into the final change.
However, the Lions lost their dare in the last stanza, as Fremantle piled on the pressure with 15 inside 50s to six for the term.
It looked like Brisbane would hang on as Fremantle peppered the goals but only managed 1.5 for the quarter before Walters stepped up with the last kick.
Hard-running wingman Bradley Hill was instrumental for the home side, scything through the Lions' zone and finishing with 31 touches in a superb performance.
Usual suspects Fyfe (26 disposals) and Walters (25) powered the engine room, although the Lions took the points from centre clearances with Neale (five) at his best at the restarts.
The two-time Doig medallist ended with 26 touches – eight fewer than his season average – but Hugh McCluggage was the standout through the midfield, while impressive defender Andrews stood tall with 10 marks.
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Without spearhead Matt Taberner (foot) by his side, Freo forward Jesse Hogan cut a frustrated figure after being blanketed by Andrews and went scoreless from just eight disposals - all of them handballs. It was the first time the former Demon had gone without a kick in his career.
However, Brennan Cox (two goals) bounced back from a quiet performance to help guide the Dockers home.
Fremantle: Nat Fyfe came to the bench in the first term and appeared to have his neck checked out by medical staff but returned soon after. Rory Lobb appeared to hurt his left ankle or shin late in the game but played on.
Brisbane: The Lions appeared to get through without any major issues. Eric Hipwood came off for some treatment on his hip in the final term.
The Dockers face one of the toughest tasks in football next Saturday afternoon against Collingwood at the MCG, while the Lions return home to host Hawthorn that evening.
FREMANTLE 3.4 5.6 9.7 10.13 (73)
BRISBANE 5.2 5.7 10.9 10.12 (72)
Fremantle: Cerra 2, Cox 2, Walters 2, Brayshaw, Lobb, Matera, Fyfe
Brisbane: Cameron 3, McStay 2, McCluggage, Taylor, Hinge, McInerney, Zorko
Fremantle: Hill, Walters, Hamling, Ryan, Mundy, Fyfe
Brisbane: Andrews, McCluggage, Rich, Neale, Zorko, Cameron
Umpires: Dalgleish, Hosking, Hay
Official crowd: 36,383 at Optus Stadium