Nat Fyfe looks up at the scoreboard after the draw between Walyalup (Fremantle) and Collingwood at Optus Stadium in round 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

A LAST gasp charge from Walyalup fell stunningly short in a Friday night thriller as the Dockers drew with a battered Collingwood at Optus Stadium. 

Trailing by 25 points as time on approached in the last term, the Dockers booted four straight goals in a thrilling run to the finish and could have stolen the win if wingman Jeremy Sharp had converted on the run with 45 seconds left. 

DOCKERS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

The point levelled scores at 11.9 (75) to the Magpies' 10.15 (75), and the visitors were not able to add to that when they charged forward one more time and got the ball locked in their forward 50. 

The run from Walyalup came seemingly from nowhere after Bailey Banfield cut the margin to 19 points 20 minutes into the quarter, with a rare goal from captain Alex Pearce coming after the key defender snuck forward.


There was also a contentious free kick to Walyalup ruckman Sean Darcy when the ball was not returned to the umpire by young Magpie Lachie Sullivan after a stoppage was called in the Dockers' forward line. 

Midfielder Hayden Young kicked a brilliant left foot goal off a step to continue the charge and fuel belief in an unlikely win that had seemed improbable minutes earlier.

Calling on all their depth and suffering more injuries to Mason Cox (leg and concussion) and Brody Mihocek (hamstring awareness), the Magpies had looked destined for a gutsy road win full of grit, given their availability.  


Their star midfielder Nick Daicos was brilliant for the fourth consecutive week and made the Magpies' lead possible, finishing with 35 disposals, 10 clearances and nine inside 50s. 

Harvey Harrison booted three goals as one of six young Magpies with limited experience, while Pat Lipinski (21 and seven inside 50s) was heavily involved in scoring chains.  

The Dockers were dialled in for a fast start and looked decisive with the ball early, handballing to their runners and playing on at every opportunity as Josh Treacy got them off to the perfect start from the pocket. 


They dominated general play and had 10 of the first 12 inside 50s, but inaccuracy quickly crept into their game when Jye Amiss, who kicked 2.5 last week against St Kilda, sprayed two set shots. 

Still, when Andrew Brayshaw converted on the run halfway through the quarter the Dockers were 13 points clear and looked to have the game on their terms, but the run of play shifted almost immediately as Josh Daicos pounced on a long-range opportunity himself. 


A questionable reversed free kick against Amiss just before the siren saw Harrison convert to give the Magpies a one-point lead at the first change, but it would be their last goal for more than a quarter. 


A run of three behinds to start the second term would have frustrated Craig McRae while his team had all the momentum, and the Magpies were inevitably punished once the Dockers adjusted to the visitors' pressure and created a run of chances of their own. 

Banfield, Sam Switkowski and Jaeger O'Meara all converted opportunities, with Walyalup ramping up its pressure and laying 28 tackles to 17 to change the complexion of the match and take a 13-point lead into the main break. 


The Magpies owned the third as they set up what looked like a match-winning lead, ramping up their own pressure, creating overlap run and kicking 5.3 to 0.4, with Mihocek influential with two goals before leaving the ground because of a recurrence of his recent hamstring issues. 

When Jack Crisp and Brad Hill continued the momentum to start the fourth, they were 25 points clear and seemingly home before the stunning late reversal.

Pies punished with rare free kick
It is not often a player is penalised for not returning the ball to the umpire when a ball-up is called, and Collingwood players were bemused when it happened on Friday night. Instead of returning the ball to umpire Mathew Nicholls deep in the fourth quarter, young Magpie Lachie Sullivan handed it to teammate Nick Daicos and gave away a free kick to Sean Darcy 15m from goal. Whether he was time wasting or just made an innocent mistake, it was a significant penalty. Technically, however, it was there, given AFL rules state a free kick can be paid if a player "fails to follow the instructions of the umpire". An explanation won't help the Magpies, but they'll await one.     


Young Pies impress
A mounting injury list meant Collingwood took a group of six players into Friday night's clash who had a combined 15 games' experience, but you would not have known based simply on how they played. The most experienced of them with eight games, Harvey Harrison, led the way with three goals and nine tackles, while Joe Richards (two games) was clean and damaging in the front half. Lachie Sullivan (three games) held his own in the midfield, with Charlie Dean (two games) and debutants Ed Allan and substitute Wil Parker all enjoying moments of influence. The performances should give the Magpies significant confidence in their depth and system. 


Schultz plays the villain on milestone night  
Just 12 games ago, Lachie Schultz was wearing a Glendinning-Allan Medal after a tearing apart the second Western Derby of 2024 with five goals and 24 disposals. A Dockers star that day at Optus Stadium, he returned on Friday night for his 100th game and was booed with every one of his 15 disposals. Well held on his return to Perth, the small forward went goalless and missed a golden opportunity in the fourth quarter to snap the goal he would have desperately wanted. Loved at Walyalup for the pressure he applied, he laid six tackles in a milestone game he'll certainly remember.

Lachie Schultz (centre) speaks with former teammates Sean Darcy and Sam Switkowski after the drawn game between Walyalup (Fremantle) and Collingwood at Optus Stadium in round 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WALYALUP              3.3    6.4   6.8   11.9 (75)
COLLINGWOOD       3.4    3.9   8.12   10.15 (75)

Banfield 3, Brayshaw, Darcy, O'Meara, Pearce, Sharp, Switkowski, Treacy, Young
Collingwood: Harrison 3, Mihocek 2, Crisp, J.Daicos, Hill, Lipinski, Richards

 Clark, Brayshaw, Banfield, Ryan, Sharp, Pearce, Young 
Collingwood: N. Daicos, Lipinski, J. Daicos, Harrison, Richards, Pendlebury 

Collingwood: Cox (leg and concussion), Mihocek (hamstring)

Walyalup: Corey Wagner (replaced Josh Draper in the third quarter)
Collingwood: Wil Parker (replaced Mason Cox in the third quarter)

Crowd: 54,035 at Optus Stadium