Dockers Overcome Brave Hawks – 3BA
NAT Fyfe was the draw card but it was Andrew Brayshaw who ended up being the hero as Fremantle overcame a plucky Hawthorn to claim a 13-point AFL victory at Optus Stadium.
Brayshaw had 37 eliminations, seven tackles, and he scored the game-sealing goal five minutes from time to help the Dockers to a 14.11 (95)-12.10 (82) victory on Saturday.
Fyfe started in midfield in his first AFL game for over 10 months, but he also made important forward stints.
Two-time medalist Brownlow finished with 21 eliminations, five clearances and 1.2 in a promising display.
Brennan Cox, Hayden Young and Luke Ryan combined for 32 points in defense as the Dockers improved their record to 10-3 to climb to the top of the standings with Melbourne.
Jaeger O’Meara finished with a team-best 30 eliminations and nine clearances for the Hawks, while James Sicily (nine points) was a rock on defense.
Dockers defender Blake Acres was in tears on the bench after appearing to tear his right hamstring in the final quarter.
Hawthorn’s Sam Frost, who played as a forward, was also substituted last season due to a knee injury.
The Dockers scored the first two goals of the game, but Hawthorn worked their way through the competition and made the most of their chances on offense.
The Hawks had four set pieces from long range to go with Chad Wingard’s final major from close range to take a three-point lead in the quarter.
Fyfe had the chance to produce a memorable moment late in the second quarter when he got the ball back in the pocket, but his dribble shot was never on track and crossed for a behind.
Hawthorn’s 10-point half-time lead was set up by their 32-21 advantage within 50 seconds, with their half-time pressure proving crucial.
Griffin Logue’s effort to stage a fight up front netted a pair of Dockers goaltender Michael Walters early in the third quarter.
Fyfe bounced back later in the season, sending the crowd of 39,428 into a frenzy when he took a strong contested lead.
Although his shot went just wide, he scored his first goal of the game a minute later with a volley from the goal line.
Fremantle turned home with a practical advantage of 14 points, but the margin was just six when Luke Breust netted his second goal of the game with six minutes remaining.
Brayshaw stood tall when his team needed him most, sending a ball five yards while holding his opponent back.
The match was set to test whether Fremantle could overcome its wet weather demons, but the rain stayed away and the contest was played in relatively dry conditions.
(C) AAP 2022