Dockers down Roos in NAB Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers down Roos in NAB Cup

By Guy Hand 28/02/2010 10:02:16 PM Comments (0)

Six seconds away from a soul-destroying defeat, Fremantle instead salvaged a thrilling four-point victory over North Melbourne to set up a showdown with St Kilda in the AFL pre-season cup semi-final next weekend.

Dockers forward Ryan Murphy booted the winning goal in the dying seconds to seal a dramatic 1.12.13 (94) to 0.13.12 (90) quarter-final win at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night after Fremantle looked to have thrown away victory inside the last 10 minutes.

Fremantle led at every change and held the upper hand throughout, but North fought back from three goals down inside the final few minutes to take a two-point lead.

As another Docker shocker loomed, instead the club famed for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory regrouped to do exactly the opposite.

Dockers wingman Stephen Hill, who had been influential with 17 important touches, swooped on a loose ball to start the move which sent Murphy running to goal.

Fremantle also achieved the win without captain Matthew Pavlich and midfield gun Paul Hasleby - something which pleased coach Mark Harvey almost as much as the nail-biting win.

"From a morale and self-belief point of view hopefully it holds us in good stead," Harvey said of a side which featured 12 first and second-year players.

"It's just pleasing we're not relying on too many of our star players.

"Just to see the faces of some of our first and second-year players to win on the road ... we're improving in the some of the areas we've had issues with.

"We're starting to get a little bit more mature and we're starting to handle a lot of those stronger situations better, but we've still got a long way to go."

Fremantle had looked set for a far more comfortable win and a rare victory in Melbourne, until things threatened to unravel spectacularly in the final few minutes.

Successive goals to David Hale, Todd Goldstein and Drew Petrie drew the Kangaroos within a point after they had trailed by 18 with 10 minutes left.

Then two behinds to Ed Lower and another to Ben Warren pushed the Roos into what had seemed an unlikely lead before Murphy kicked the winning goal.

Fremantle forward Chris Mayne booted five goals.

Rookie-listed midfielder Michael Barlow was also outstanding for the Dockers, doing his chances of promotion to the senior list no harm by gathering 27 possessions.

Hale finished with three goals for the Kangaroos, who were best served by skipper Brent Harvey with 25 touches.

Fremantle now take on St Kilda in the semi-final at Etihad Stadium next Saturday night.

The Saints beat Sydney by a point in another quarter-final thriller at the weekend.

Port Adelaide will face the Western Bulldogs in the other semi on Friday night after both won their quarter-finals.

Port thumped West Coast by 78 points at Subiaco Oval, while a Barry Hall-inspired Bulldogs outfit hammered Hawthorn by 57 points at Etihad Stadium.

Hall booted six goals in his Dogs debut.

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