K rock Football

Dockers pull away from flat Cats

FREMANTLE remains in the hunt for an AFLW finals berth with Gemma Houghton and Ashley Sharp booting two goals each to help the Dockers to a 36-point win over Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.

The visitors overcame a sluggish start on Saturday afternoon to record a 6.13 (49) to 2.1 (13) win in front of 4125 fans that keeps them in the finals fight with Adelaide and North Melbourne at the top of the hotly contested Conference A.

Fremantle pulled off their fifth win of the season down a player in the second half, Alex Williams suffering a knee injury in the second quarter.

She will be sent for scans amid fears she has ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament.

The Cats were up by six points at the opening break, but Sharp and Houghton both kicked truly to help the Dockers to a one-point lead at halftime.

Paul Hood’s side failed to register a score in the second half, while Fremantle finished full of running in the warm conditions.

“The key stat for us at quarter-time was our tackles were up so our pressure was there,” Dockers coach Trent Cooper said.

“They were just getting to the ball first, so that was the thing that we had to address.

“The girls responded really well. It didn’t feel like we dominated but we sort of did have control of the game.”

The Dockers won the tackle count 90-71 with Kiara Bower, who also had 16 possessions, laying 19 of them in the bruising encounter.

Sharp converted a set shot for her second goal to put Freo up by 10 points at three-quarter time.

Geelong didn’t look like scoring in the final term while the Dockers ran amok, Stephanie Cain, Hayley Miller and Houghton all kicking majors.

The Cats could have secured a finals berth with a win, but they are still top of Conference B, a game clear of Carlton and Brisbane who play each other on Sunday.

“I think we just need a little bit more composure with the ball,” Hood said.

“We’re doing a good job, for the most part, defending. And, when we get the ball inside 50, we’re competing quite well.

“But we just weren’t able to get enough entries today.”

Megan McDonald led the way for the Cats with 22 possessions, with Madaleine McMahon also important with 17 touches.

© AAP 2019

FREMANTLE 0.1 2.2 3.5 6.13 (49)

GEELONG 1.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 (13)

Goals: Fremantle: A Sharp 2 G Houghton 2 H Miller S Cain. Geelong: K Darby M Clifford.

Best: Fremantle: K Bowers D Hooker G Houghton A Sharp H Miller. Geelong: M McDonald R Cranston O Purcell M McMahon R Garing.

Injuries: Fremantle: A Williams (knee). Geelong: Nil.

Reports: Nil.

Umpires: Jack Edwards, Patrick Burns, James Strybos.

Venue: GMHBA Stadium.