Drama as Dockers beat Tigers by a point
Fremantle has kicked the winner with 90 seconds left to beat Richmond by a point in a thrilling Len Hall game at Subiaco.
Fremantle has broken into the top eight after beating Richmond by a point in a heart-stopper at Subiaco Oval on Friday night.
The Dockers lost their last home game against Essendon after leading by 36 points at half-time.
This time in the Len Hall match to mark Anzac Day, Fremantle came back to win 12.9 (81) to 12.8 (80) after trailing by 20 points at quarter-time to a confident Tigers outfit.
The home side were out-tackled and beaten in contested possessions, but still managed to beat a Richmond side that was trying to cement its place in the eight after a good start to the year.
Fremantle forward Michael Walters (two goals) told Grandstand that the team had been driven by the need to stand up after a couple of poor performances.
“We sort of focused on it (the Anzac spirit) coming into tonight,” he said.
We didn’t want to let our supporters down, our members down, considering in the last two weeks when we were in front of Essendon (we lost) and we let Hawthorn get over the top of us.Michael Walters
“We didn’t want to let our supporters down, our members down, considering in the last two weeks when we were in front of Essendon (we lost) and we let Hawthorn get over the top of us.
“So we knew once they got in front we had to work hard as a team, and try and get back in front.”
A five-goal second quarter wrested control back for the home side, but Richmond refused to go away.
The home side led by nine points at the final break, then Dustin Martin kicked a great goal to bring the teams closer early in the fourth quarter, and the Dockers missed a couple of chances to kick away.
When Tyrone Vickery took a mark inside 50 and goaled the Tigers were within two points with six minutes left.
There was plenty of drama in the closing stages, in particular when the goal umpire standing on the goal-line got in the way of a shot from Richmond which led to a point for the Tigers.
The visitors shrugged off their disappointment, and Matt White kicked an amazing goal from near the boundary with two minutes to go to put the Tigers in front.
But goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne produced the snap of the game with 90 seconds left to wrench back the lead and one last Tigers attack fell just short.
Walters told Grandstand the players were unsure how much time was left when the Tigers kicked their final goal.
“We weren’t sure what the time was, I looked up at the clock and I think it said 28-29 minutes, so I wasn’t sure how many seconds to go, it was just lucky we could sneak another goal,” he said.
“The forward group weren’t too good, particularly myself, I didn’t kick the goals when I should have, (I) put us under pressure.”
Chris Knights turned the clock back to his days at the Crows with three well-taken goals for Richmond, and big man Vickery matched him with three majors.
Ballantyne kicked four and Chris Mayne kicked three for the Dockers.
The bad news for Fremantle was the loss of another tall player in Kepler Bradley who was helped off in the second quarter with a knee injury.
The win puts the Dockers in seventh at this stage of round five, just behind the Tigers on percentage.
Next week Fremantle will travel to the Gold Coast to play the Suns, while Richmond has a tough assignment against Geelong at the MCG.
Fremantle: 12.9 (81) – H Ballantyne 4, C Mayne 3, M Walters 2, S Hill, R Crowley, N Suban
Richmond: 12.8 (80) – C Knights 3, T Vickery 3, L McGuane 2, J Riewoldt, S Grigg, D Martin, M White