K rock Football

Freo settles for fifth despite big win

FREMANTLE has fallen short of snaring a home final despite keeping its opponent goalless in a 37-point AFLW win over Gold Coast at Fremantle Oval.

The Dockers entered Sunday’s match needing a huge win to overtake North Melbourne in fourth spot, but they were two goals short of what was required in the 7.4 (46) to 0.9 (9) victory.

The result saw the Dockers finish in fifth spot, thrusting them into an away qualifying final against the fourth-placed Kangaroos.

Gold Coast finished the season in 10th spot with three wins and a draw in a much-improved display from last year’s winless wooden spoon campaign.

Fremantle’s principal goal for the match was snaring the win, but making up the 16.5 percentage points to leapfrog North Melbourne would have also been front and centre.

They appeared no hope after scoring just three goals in the first half.

But a four-goal burst in the final term sparked life into the equation.

The Dockers needed two more goals in the final 68 seconds of the match, but their hopes were ended when Roxy Roux was tackled while shooting for goal 20m out with just 43 seconds remaining on the clock.

In reality, it was Fremantle’s 88-point loss to Melbourne a week earlier that cost them a home final.

Star Fremantle midfielder Kiara Bowers marked her return from a knee injury with 18 disposals and 17 tackles, while Angelique Stannett was a rock in defence with 21 disposals.

Suns midfielder Alison Drennan tallied a game-high 25 disposals, while Kalinda Howarth (19 disposals) provided excellent run.

Dockers forward Gemma Houghton scored the only goal of a tight opening quarter, and the home side kicked two more goals in the second to open up a 20-5 lead at the long break.

That scoreline meant that even if Gold Coast were held scoreless in the second half, Fremantle would still need to reel off another 33 points in order to overtake the Kangaroos.

Despite the Suns wasting a series of golden chances in the third quarter, the Dockers weren’t able to score a goal themselves.

But a purple patch midway through the final quarter gave them a glimmer of hope of making up the percentage required.

In the end, Fremantle fell 4.1 percentage points short.

(C) AAP 2022