Freo grand final one step closer: AFL

Dockers fans walked away happy after the Dockers held on against a typically spirited Swans outfit.
Freo grand final one step closer: AFL
Freo grand final one step closer: AFL
Freo grand final one step closer: AFL
Freo grand final one step closer: AFL
Dockers fans walked away happy after the Dockers held on against a typically spirited Swans outfit.

THE Fremantle Dockers are through to their second preliminary final in three years following a nine-point win over Sydney at Subiaco Oval on Saturday.

And with cross-town rivals West Coast impressively dismantling two-time reigning premier Hawthorn by 32 points a night earlier, there could be a scramble out of Perth come October as the chance of a derby grand final increases by the week.

Despite an early burst in the first quarter, the Dockers, who welcomed back a host of big names including Nat Fyfe, Aaron Sandilands and Michael Walters, were pushed to the end 10.9 (69) to 7.18 (60).

The Dockers had the crowd roaring in the first term, with the hosts carving through the middle, with Walters finishing the move from outside the 50m arc, before the returning Hayden Ballantyne put through his side’s second.

The Dockers piled on four goals before Sam Reid hit the scoreboard for the visitors.

But the Swans, already missing Lance Franklin, Kieren Jack, Luke Parker and Nick Smith, were dealt a blow in the second term when Reid was subbed off with a hamstring injury.

The Swans, led up forward by Kurt Tippett, never went away.

But their inaccuracy in front of goal would ultimately hurt them, particularly in the last term. Rhyce Shaw missed the goal face completely while on the run, and Tippett failed to hold on to a golden opportunity 15m out.

The win puts the Dockers on course to play either Adelaide or Hawthorn at home Friday week.

West Coast will host either Sydney or North Melbourne the following day.