Barlow injured in big win
Fremantle 5.4 8.7 12.11 17.13 (115)
Port Adelaide 1.1 7.3 7.7 8.10 (58)
Fremantle: Crowley 5, Hill 2, Haselby 2, Morabito, Barlow, Grover, Sandilands, Pavlich, Mundy, Ballantyne, Roberton
Port Adelaide: Schulz 2, Pearce 2, Carlile, Banner, Thomas, Ebert
Fremantle: Sandilands, Crowley, Palmer, Barlow, Ballantyne, de Boer
Port Adelaide: Banner, Cassisi, Rodan, Pearce, Broadbent, Carlile
Fremantle: Grover (hamstring), Fyfe (nose), Barlow (leg), Tarrant (achilles) replaced in selected side by Silvagni
Port Adelaide: TBC
Umpires: Stevic, Jennings, Pannell
Official crowd: 32,442 at Subiaco Oval
FREMANTLE has moved two games clear inside the top four with a 57-point win over Port Adelaide at Subiaco Oval on Saturday afternoon, but has lost star midfielder Michael Barlow to a broken left leg.
Late in the fourth quarter, with Fremantle cruising to its 10th win of the season and a 17.13 (115) to 8.10 (58) result, Barlow collided with teammate Rhys Palmer when running with the flight of the ball.
The 22-year-old rookie sensation, who is among the top three Brownlow Medal fancies, tried to stand up but couldn’t support himself and was taken from the ground on a stretcher.
It took the sting out of an important win for Fremantle, which will remain in the four irrespective of round 14’s other results and is in a great position to earn a double chance in its first finals series since 2006.
Fremantle entered half time with a shaky 10-point lead and already missing Antoni Grover (hamstring) and Nat Fyfe (concussion), as well as late withdrawal Chris Tarrant.
However, Ryan Crowley emerged as an unlikely game-breaker, booting five second-half goals.
Aaron Sandilands (22 hit-outs and 18 disposals) was dominant in the ruck, while Palmer (31 possessions) played his best game since returning from a knee reconstruction.
Fremantle kicked the first five goals of the game and appeared destined for a big win as its midfielders did as they pleased.
The home side moved the ball quickly and precisely, and when it didn’t have possession its zone defence held Port scoreless for the first 20 minutes.
Matthew Pavlich, who was generally well-held by Troy Chaplin, was quick to extend the 27-point quarter-time lead, but a more committed Port responded with six of the next eight goals.
Mitch Banner (23 possessions) and Dom Cassisi (26), who were strong performers for the visitors, made sure the Power were getting their fair share of clearances, and there was a clear directive to move the ball quicker.
When Danyle Pearce kicked a superb running goal from the boundary, Port was just 10 points behind and had a golden opportunity to overrun an undermanned Fremantle in the second half.
However, it folded catastrophically for its seventh straight defeat, the worst losing run in Port Adelaide history.