Fremantle goes fourth
Fremantle 6.3 9.8 10.10 11.16 (82)
Melbourne 1.2 3.5 9.8 10.11 (71)
Fremantle: Ballantyne 4, Mundy 2, Hasleby, Duffield, Fyfe, Palmer, Crowley
Melbourne: Bennell 2, Jurrah 2, Davey 2, Johnson, Sylvia, Jones, Green
Fremantle: Ballantyne, Duffield, McPhee, McPharlin, Broughton, Hill
Melbourne: Davey, McKenzie, Scully, Sylvia, Bail, Green, Jones
Fremantle: Bradley (knee), Roberton (ankle)
Melbourne: Moloney (corked thigh)
Umpires: Margetts, Rosebury, Dalgleish
Official crowd: 32,816 at Subiaco Oval
FREMANTLE has survived a desperate fight-back from Melbourne to notch a thrilling 11-point win at Subiaco Oval and maintain its hold on fourth spot.
Melbourne, down by 44 points late in the second term, staged a remarkable turnaround and kicked seven goals to two in the second half to draw within one point of the home side.
Only two goals were kicked in a high-pressure final term – with both sides missing gettable opportunities. Hayden Ballantyne sealed the important win, 11.16 (82) to 10.11 (71), with a superb roving goal.
Fremantle maintains a one-game break on next week’s opponents the Western Bulldogs, while Melbourne slips three games adrift of the top-eight.
Mark Harvey’s side rediscovered the high-pressure, highly-skilled game that had driven them into the top four and kicked nine of the first 11 goals, appearing destined for a comfortable win.
They dominated possession in the opening term and enjoyed clean entries inside 50, kicking six goals to Melbourne’s sole major. When the Demons did go into attack it was rushed and they crumbled under relentless forward pressure.
Ballantyne kicked three of his four goals in the second term and was the difference in a low-scoring game, while young midfielder Anthony Morabito (17 possessions and six clearances), returning defender Luke McPharlin and Paul Duffield were important.
David Mundy had 14 first-half possessions and two goals, but he was shut down in the second half by Jordie McKenzie, who restricted the key midfielder to a further five disposals.
Brad Green (20 possessions and a goal) was inspiring in the Demons’ second-half fightback, while James Frawley kept Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich goalless.
Tom Scully (22) was impressive in an even battle with Stephen Hill and Nathan Jones had the better of Rhys Palmer in the second half.
Melbourne faces the Sydney Swans next week at the MCG while Fremantle travels to Etihad Stadium for its top-four showdown with the Dogs.