Broughton ‘thought it went through’
Greg Broughton admits he initially thought Hayden Ballantyne’s drop punt on goal after the siren would sail through and secure a stunning come-from-behind victory for Fremantle.
The Dockers midfielder was standing just 30m out from the goal line at Patersons Stadium and had an ideal view as he watched Ballantyne’s set shot from beyond 50m out in the left pocket, fly towards home.
Ballantyne had earned the chance after umpire Dean Margetts chose to penalise West Coast’s Matt Rosa for deliberately knocking the ball out of bounds.
The kick initially appeared on target, but faded late and struck the right goal post to leave Fremantle one point shy in a western derby classic.
“As he hit it, I thought it was a good chance, but it fell short,” Broughton said. “It was pretty disappointing. It definitely came very close. If it was early on in the game, he probably would’ve kicked it.
“Nine times out of 10, he’d kick them.”
Fremantle had slotted three unanswered goals before Ballantyne’s nail-biting attempt and Broughton said he felt they had the momentum to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Broughton labelled it as a missed opportunity in the run home to finals, with the Dockers having slipped to seventh spot on the ladder.
“It was pretty shattering in the end, but to the Eagles’ credit they got the four points,” Broughton said.
“To our boys’ credit, it was great to see a fight-back in that last five minutes. We had the belief that we could get over the line, but the siren sounded a bit too early.”
The role of Broughton, 24, was not inconsequential in just his fifth derby.
The defender-turned-midfielder equalled a game-high 26 possessions achieved only by fellow Fremantle on-baller Michael Barlow and Eagles playmaker Luke Shuey in a contest marked by its physicality.
He said he had noticed the lift in intensity compared to other matches this season.
“It was a very tough game in and under and more stoppages than usual,” Broughton said. “I came out very sore. It was good for the crowd to see a close game like that.
“I think on both sides the teams would be feeling very sore, but we’ve got to regroup this week.
“We’ve got Hawthorn next week and (we’ll need to) refresh our minds and look forward.”
Barlow’s third match back in Fremantle colours and his second full AFL game completed on the recovery trail from a broken leg was one shining light.
Broughton welcomed his own opportunity to swing through the midfield as cover for both Barlow and injured clearance specialist
David Mundy this season, but said he was happy to have another class midfielder back in their ranks.
“It’s good to see Micky back playing four quarters and getting through it,” Broughton said.
“It’s very good. I’m looking forward to him playing throughout the rest of the season.”