The Dockers have notched a five-point victory over AFLW flag fancies Melbourne at Fremantle Oval.A gallant Fremantle have overcome a scoreless first quarter to stun AFLW flag fancies Melbourne in a thrilling finale to round three.
The Dockers kicked the only two goals in the last quarter to notch a 6.0 (36) to 4.7 (31) victory at Fremantle Oval on Sunday.
With two wins apiece, the Dockers and Demons are part of five teams deadlocked on eight points on the ladder.
The Dockers’ hero was debutant Emily McGuire, who kicked two goals including the match-winner late in the last quarter.
She was supported by midfielder Kara Donnellan (18 possessions), while star Daisy Pearce (23 touches) led Melbourne and spearhead Tegan Cunningham bagged two majors.
The upset result looked unlikely after Fremantle endured a scoreless first quarter.
Aided by a strong breeze, a relentless Melbourne dominated the opening quarter against the Dockers, with the game almost exclusively played in their forward half as the Demons had the first 15 entries inside 50.
The Demons could have almost sealed the result early but they let the Dockers off the hook with wayward kicking at goal punctuated by set shot misses from Katherine Smith and Jasmine Grierson.
Early in the second quarter, the Dockers finally got the ball inside 50 and McGuire pounced with a spectacular snapped goal to register her first AFLW major.
The inspired Dockers served it up to their vaunted opponents and took the lead just before halftime through a long set shot from Ebony Antonio as the Demons were held scoreless in the second quarter.
Early second-half goals to Amy Lavell and Lisa Webb stretched the Dockers’ lead to 13 points.
The match became an arm-wrestle until the Demons’ broke their goal drought when Aliesha Newman ran onto a bouncing ball to reduce the margin to six points.
The surging Demons hit the lead after late goals from Tegan Cunningham and Karen Paxman gave them a six-point buffer at the last change.
Goals to Melissa Caulfield and McGuire restored Fremantle’s advantage and their defence held firm in the dying stages to secure a second straight victory.
Adding to the Demons’ woes, forward Catherine Phillips suffered a right ankle injury late in the third quarter.
Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan singled out the efforts of skipper Donnellan, who also laid eight tackles.
“Kara is a competitive beast and she gives it her all every week,” she said.
“She’s a workhorse and leads from the front with her actions.”
Melbourne coach Mick Stinear lamented his team’s waywardness in front of goal during an otherwise dominant opening quarter.
“At the time nearly everything was going right but the inability to convert on the scoreboard was the issue in that first quarter,” he said.
“You do have to make the most of it and credit to Freo for kicking six straight.”