Freo falls to narrow loss
Fremantle 4.4 7.9 8.12 10.18 (78)
Geelong 5.3 8.6 10.9 13.11 (89)
Fremantle: Bradley 3, Ballantyne 2, Mayne, Mundy, Walters, Pavlich, Hill
Geelong: Menzel 3, Stokes 2, Varcoe 2, Podsiadly, Johnson, Ling, Chapman, Duncan, Bartel
Fremantle: Mundy, Pavlich, McPharlin, Suban, Hill, Bradley, Sandilands
Geelong: Enright, Corey, Varcoe, Bartel, Ling, Stokes, Menzel
Fremantle: Nick Lower replaced by Rhys Palmer in the third quarter
Geelong: Cameron Guthrie replaced by Allen Christensen in the third quarter
Umpires: M Vozzo, M Stevic, J Armstrong
Official crowd: 37,004 at Patersons Stadium
Fremantle will rue some errant kicking for goal, especially in the second half, after falling by 11 points to Geelong on Saturday night.
The Cats won 13.11 (89) to 10.18 (78) at Patersons Stadium, with the match in doubt until the last minute when a Mathew Stokes goal sealed the Geelong victory.
The critical moment came in the last term when a Matthew Pavlich snap from the forward pocket that would have brought Fremantle within a goal was touched on the line by teammate Michael Walters, whose decision to try to mark brought groans from the home fans.
Despite missing Matthew Scarlett, Cameron Mooney, Tom Lonergan, Joel Selwood and Shannon Byrnes, the Cats, who were celebrating Paul Chapman’s 200th match, got home over a Fremantle team that was marking captain Pavlich’s equalling of the club’s games record of 238.
David Mundy starred with 29 possessions for Fremantle, Pavlich racked up 28, Nat Fyfe 21, Greg Broughton 21 and Stephen Hill 20. Luke McPharlin was rock solid in defence and Kepler Bradley kicked three goals in a lone-hand performance up forward.
Fremantle was behind from the 10th minute of the first term, and despite drawing level late in the third term, could never snatch the lead from the Cats.
Twice in the game Geelong pushed out to a three-goal margin, but Freo was always able to fight its way back into the contest. In the end, kicking for goal proved the crucial difference between the teams.