K rock Football

Dockers upset Roos to stay in flag hunt

AN efficient Fremantle has upset North Melbourne by 38 points in its AFLW elimination final to earn a spot in the preliminary final against minor premiers Adelaide.

North had more inside 50s (31-28) but was wasteful in attack while the Dockers were clinical, highlighted by an unanswered five-goal run in the middle quarters to set up the 11.3.69 to 4.7.31 triumph at Arden Street on Saturday afternoon.

Dockers captain Hayley Miller was outstanding with 21 possessions, six tackles and a crucial second-term goal, while she was also heavily involved in several scoring chains.

Gabby O’Sullivan added 18 disposals with four tackles and a goal while reigning AFLW best and fairest Kiara Bowers worked into the game with 21 touches and three tackles.

Kangaroos onballer Ash Riddell, who had an AFLW record 42 disposals last week, managed 23touches but struggled for impact while Emma Kearney had 22 possessions for North.

The win was only Fremantle’s second-ever AFLW finals victory.

Saturday’s other elimination final between Brisbane and Collingwood was postponed due to a COVID outbreak within the Magpies squad.

The league is expected to make a decision on that game on Monday and could be forced to push the preliminary finals back a week.

North dominated the opening term against the Dockers with 10-3 inside 50s but failed to capitalise, with to each side from Ellie Gavalas and Roxy Roux meaning the Kangaroos held a three-point lead.

Fremantle upped their game around the contest in a seesawing second quarter and goals from Gemma Houghton and Miller in the final two minutes opened up a nine-point half-time lead.

The Dockers claimed a stranglehold in the third with unanswered goals from Mikayla Hyde, Bianca Webb and Aine Tighe, the latter two on the counter, making it five goals in a row.

North injected star Kearney into the midfield in the last quarter and she set up Jasmine Garner’s goal to offer some hope, but Kara Antonio replied immediately with a major of her own to snuff that out before Hyde sealed it after a 50m penalty.

(C) AAP 2022