Freo edged in thriller
Fremantle 3.2 5.6 10.6 13.9 (87)
Sydney Swans 2.5 5.8 9.9 14.12 (96)
Fremantle: Walters 2, Hasleby 2, Bradley 2, Johnson, de Boer, McPhee, Morabito, Broughton, Schammer, Suban
Sydney Swans: McGlynn 3, Dennis-Lane 2, Mumford, Moore, Bevan, Jack, Pyke, Mattner, Jetta, White, O’Keefe
Fremantle: Broughton, de Boer, McPharlin, Walters, Pavlich, Duffield, Grover
Sydney Swans: Mumford, Jack, Hannebery, McGlynn, Shaw, Jetta
Sydney Swans: McGlynn (facial injury), Moore (concussion)
Umpires: Vozzo, McBurney, Nicholls
Official crowd: 34,087
Fremantle’s push for a top-four finish was cruelled by the Sydney Swans at Subiaco Oval on Saturday.
In a thrilling final term that included five lead changes, the Swans kicked the last two goals of the game to snatch a 14.12 (96) to 13.9 (87) win that Fremantle had its chances to seal.
Jesse White emerged as an unlikely hero in the final minutes, kicking the goal that gave the Swans the lead after a dirty day against Antoni Grover.
Fremantle then went into attack but couldn’t snare the goal they needed before Ryan O’Keefe, who had also been well-held all day, marked on the goal-line and sealed the Swans’ gutsiest win of the year.
The visitors played out most of the second half without Ben McGlynn (three goals, 17 possessions), who had been a star up to the point he collided with Zac Clarke and sustained a facial injury.
Jarred Moore suffered a similar fate when he fell into Luke McPharlin’s knee and had to be taken from the ground on a stretcher.
Shane Mumford took advantage of Aaron Sandilands’ absence and drove the win from the centre square, dominating Kepler Bradley and Zac Clarke to finish with 30 hit-outs and five clearances.
Dan Hannebery (38 possessions) and Kieren Jack (26 and a goal) gave the side its drive at ground level, while O’Keefe sacrificed his game to shut-down Fremantle playmaker David Mundy.
With Mundy and Stephen Hill well-held, Fremantle lacked run in the middle, and the home side’s better players lay in defence, with Greg Broughton and Matt de Boer courageous.
The Swans comprehensively outplayed Fremantle in the first quarter – winning all but two clearances for the term and monopolising possession – yet they entered the first break three points down.
A stagnant Fremantle was being dominated in the centre, and they moved forward with little purpose, but Michael Walters, playing his first game for the season, manufactured two goals for the quarter to give his side an unlikely lead.
A tight second term was played largely on the Swans’ terms, with a glut of stoppages giving ruckman Mumford a distinct advantage against his shorter opponents.
After being well-beaten by Rhyce Shaw, Hill was sent to half-back in the second quarter, but Fremantle desperately missed his run in the middle as most of the side’s drive came form half-backs Broughton and Paul Duffield.
Fremantle travels to Launceston to face Hawthorn next week, while the Swans host the Western Bulldogs at the SCG.