Dockers dent Bombers' finals hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers dent Bombers' finals hopes

By Justin Chadwick 23/08/2009 09:39:20 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey predicted an exciting future for the club after watching his young charges romp to a 54-point AFL win over Essendon at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

The Bombers entered the match knowing a win would secure a finals berth but Fremantle ruined those plans, racing out to a 27-point lead by half-time before storming to the 21.15 (141) to 13.9 (87) triumph.

Essendon were simply outgunned at their own game, with Fremantle's relentless run and hunger around the stoppages proving the difference.

Hayden Ballantyne's chase and successful tackle on speed machine Alwyn Davey, which led to a Fremantle goal, summed up the home side's intensity.

It was in stark contract to the effort a week earlier when they meekly succumbed to Melbourne by 63 points.

Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands played a key role in Fremantle's sixth win of the season, amassing 42 hit-outs to set up Fremantle's 43-30 clearance dominance.

Defender Steven Dodd shut down the dangerous Angus Monfries and Chris Tarrant took care of Jay Neagle, while Paul Hasleby played a superb negating role on Jobe Watson, restricting the star Bomber to just six possessions.

Ballantyne (four goals), Luke McPharlin (three) and Clancee Pearce (three) got the job done up forward for Fremantle while lively spurts from Matthew Pavlich and Kepler Bradley helped spark the Dockers during their dominant runs.

But it was young Dockers defender Nick Suban (25 possessions, two goals) who pleased Harvey the most.

"I thought our best player was Nick Suban," Harvey said.

"When you look at his statistical output, forget about the disposals, if you look more at hardball gets and clearances (he was superb).

"On top of that he kicked a couple of goals.

"For him to still be doing that on the back of him playing every game is terrific.

"Today I think you saw our future.

"The all round performance, the spread of goalkickers, the spread of players being involved in the game for long periods of time (was impressive)."

Bombers coach Matthew Knights admitted his young ruck pairing of Tom Bellchambers and Cale Hooker simply had no answer to Sandilands.

"Around the stoppages Sandilands was just too much for us," Knights said.

"It was a great lesson for our two young boys in Hooker and Bellchambers but if you give them (Fremantle) first use they get momentum.

"(There were) not a lot of positives out of today's game.

"We toiled hard at best and were clearly outplayed by Fremantle."

The Bombers now face what is effectively an elimination final against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday, with the winner to sneak into eighth spot and the loser relegated to an early holiday.

Essendon, brilliant last week against the Saints, had few winners across the park, although Michael Hurley booted three goals and Nathan Lovett-Murray notched two.

Andrew Lovett and Ricky Dyson also battled valiantly in the losing cause.

Fremantle's ability to kick 10 goals against the breeze proved the difference, with three quick goals to start the third quarter effectively ending the contest.

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