Dockers beat Bombers by 44 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers beat Bombers by 44 points

By Adam Cooper 04/04/2010 07:25:41 PM Comments (0)

Rarely have Fremantle felt as home as they did on Sunday at Etihad Stadium, and it showed, as the Dockers posted a commanding AFL away win with a 44-point beating of Essendon.

Fremantle have been flakey travellers away from Perth over the years, but such was their comfort on this trip they put on a clinic in the second half, by overturning a four-point deficit at the main break and winning 17.11 (113) to 9.15 (69).

Small forward Hayden Ballantyne kicked three goals, youngsters Chris Mayne, Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill led the surge in the third quarter and David Mundy's goal after five bounces was the highlight in a six-goal last quarter.

The win was Fremantle's first at Etihad Stadium since 2006 and their first in Melbourne since 2007, but Dockers coach Mark Harvey reminded his players before the game they had no excuses this time.

Where Essendon had not played at the Docklands stadium since late last year, Fremantle visited twice during the pre-season competition, and found the mild and sunny conditions to their liking.

"When the roof's open and it's 26, 27 degrees, all those sort of things make you feel like you're playing at home," Harvey said.

"We got challenged and the game was in the balance at half-time.

"We were able to extend and I think some of our better players had quieter games but ... we had some of our rookies play well ... that's what we need."

Fremantle's win came the hard way, as they lost Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder) early, made their share of mistakes and were behind during the second quarter.

But in the third, skipper Matthew Pavlich, Mayne and Barlow, who had 16 disposals for the term, stamped their influence.

Six goals to none in the last quarter gave Fremantle two impressive wins to start the season, after last Sunday's demolition of Adelaide at Subiaco.

Harvey was pleased with his side's showing, but immediately turned the focus to maintaining high standards over the next two rounds, when Fremantle play last year's grand finalists.

"We've got Geelong (home) and St Kilda (away) and whilst we can be emotional or excited about winning on the road for the first time in a while, how we rebound and regroup on the back of some injuries and some quality sides we're playing (is vital)," he said.

Fremantle suffered a late blow when defender Chris Tarrant, who shut out Essendon forward Mark Williams, rolled an ankle in the dying seconds.

Williams and the limited impact of the Bombers' key players underlined a bad day for Essendon, but it was poor kicking across the ground that most disappointed coach Matthew Knights.

"It's just not acceptable and you can't expect to win footy games if you don't capitalise when you've got decent disposal," Knights said.

"We paid the price for the second week in a row for not (getting) value for disposal when we've had momentum."

Apart from missing targets, Knights also lamented the Dons' unwillingness to move the ball quickly by hand, which made them look stagnant.

"That's what happens when you go back to playing slow, pedantic footy," he said.

"It doesn't suit our group and it doesn't suit where we're going."

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