FREMANTLE is into the Premier Cricket preliminary finals despite losing to Subiaco Floreat at Stevens Reserve over the weekend.
The Port Boys survived being knocked out at the semi-final stage thanks to their second-placed ladder position, with the lowest- ranked losers in the semis bowing out.
In a dose of good fortune, minor premiers Claremont-Nedlands defeated sixth-placed South Perth to ensure Fremantle would live to fight another day.
It was positive news after Fremantle had suffered a first-innings loss to Subiaco-Floreat in seesawing circumstances.
The Port Boys stuttered to 155 after a solid start, before the visitors got across the line thanks to an incredible match-winning partnership of 124 from Andrew Holder and captain Chris Hansberry.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Jake Carder and Anthony Collova set what looked a solid foundation by sharing in a 78-run opening stand.
But when Collova was removed for 26 and Carder a short time later for 63, Fremantle was about to crumble.
Ashley Blake (3-33) and Holder (6-41) were in sensational form, reducing the hosts from 1-100 to 6- 104.
A gritty 28 from 69 from Matt Micale and Jarryd McPhee’s 20 from 44 helped push the score to a more defendable 155.
In response, the visitors were reeling at 7-79. Jhye Richardson and McPhee decimated the top order, taking three wickets each to give Fremantle hope.
But Hansberry (67 from 159) and Holder (52 from 153), batting at number eight and nine respectively, came together to form a match-winning unbeaten partnership of 124 to steer their side to a famous victory.
The loss means Fremantle will host Joondalup in a two-day clash at Stevens Reserve this weekend.
Subiaco tackles minor premiers Claremont-Nedlands at Cresswell Park.