Point win could be pivotal: Connolly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Point win could be pivotal: Connolly

By Tim Clarke 29/04/2007 09:20:27 PM Comments (0)

A single point twenty seconds from time by Luke Webster could be the moment Fremantle's AFL season turns from woeful to wonderful, according to relieved Dockers coach Chris Connolly.

Webster's snapped behind was just enough to beat an undermanned Adelaide 7.16 (58) to 8.9 (57) at Subiaco Oval, ending a day which started disastrously with the arrest and suspension of forward Jeff Farmer.

After revealing his disappointment at the loss of his main small forward until at least round 13 - and possibly for good - Connolly said the win taking them to two wins and three losses could be a turning point in the season.

"It was a vital game - we are now four points from third position," Connolly said.

"I would like to think that has put our season back on track, because you do end up vulnerable at the bottom of the ladder.

"We would have been third or fourth last."

With scores tied in the final minute, a boundary line throw-in deep in Adelaide territory was punched by Chris Tarrant, finding Webster in space in front, following a long day playing on Andrew McLeod.

Webster's behind gave Freo revenge for their defeats at the hands of the Crows at home and in last year's qualifying final, plus their first home win for the year.

And although Connolly said he was not satisfied with the method, the result was huge.

"I am sure Adelaide would not be happy with the way we played and we are certainly not happy," Connolly said.

"What there was was a lot of pressure around the contested ball and that is what big games are all about .. but there was a little bit of luck involved because it was quite an even contest."

In a game as ugly as it was important, Adelaide shackled the home side by any means necessary and so nearly prevailed.

Ben Rutten was outstanding on Matthew Pavlich, keeping him goalless, while Nathan Bassett was similarly good on Tarrant.

But on the day Shaun McManus celebrated 200 games, it was another Freo stalwart, Troy Cook, who proved the unlikely goalkicking hero, kicking three that in the context of the game were worth double.

Stricken again by injuries, Adelaide coach Neil Craig said he was proud of his side's efforts in difficult circumstances.

"All things considered I thought it was a fantastic effort by our football club," Craig said.

"We were a bit limited in what we could do. The reality is it is a one point loss and I have said it before and I will continue to say it that when games are that close there is an element of luck."

Rutten, who kept Pavlich goalless and frustrated, had put in an exceptional performance Craig said.

"Matthew has been in really good form so to hold him to no goals - sensational," Craig said.

The Crows coach said Matthew Bode and Scott Welsh were possibilities to play against Collingwood next week, while Ken McGregor was ready but has not played since Freo beat Adelaide at AAMI Stadium in August.

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