FREMANTLE has lost a tense goal-for-goal shoot-out at Subiaco Oval, going down to St Kilda by 9 points this afternoon.
Josh Bruce snapped truly with a little under two minutes left on the clock to put the visitors in front by three points before signing off with a third major on the siren to give the Saints a 12.17 (89) to 12.8 (80) win.
Michael Walters had threatened to drive the Dockers back into the finals race with a dynamic performance that included six goals, 32 disposals and 12 score involvements.
But it was the Saints that came out on top, breaking a trend of 17 goal-for goal exchanges to move into the top eight.
Seb Ross gathered a game-high 33 disposals, with midfield support from Jack Stevens (28), Jack Billings (27 and one goal) and Jack Newnes (24).
Jade Gresham booted three goals and set up Bruce for the sign-off goal, while defender Jake Carlisle booted two massive goals.
For Fremantle, Ethan Hughes put in his best game at AFL-level with an assured 30 disposals in defence.
Brad Hill and Lachie Neale both had 29 disposals and kicked a goal each.
Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe finished with 23 disposals in a workman-like display that was short of his brilliant best, while Aaron Sandilands was grounded in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
Second-gamer Sean Darcy recorded 33 hit-outs and kicked his first career goal.
Fremantle took a 16-point lead into the opening break, thanks to a neat goal from Neale who finished off a set play in the pocket and Walters who converted from 50m after a swift Dockers transition from half back.
St Kilda got the opening two goals of the second term and from there it was blow for blow.
The visitors peppered the goal-face in the third term but it was not until Bruce kicked straight that the Saints were rewarded for their effort.
Sam Gilbert was stretchered from the ground in the third term after being tackled forward by Cam McCarthy.
Gilbert watched the remainder of the game from the bench.
But the Saints ended the term on a high, with Jack Steele saving a certain goal after catching Fremantle’s Brennan Cox (one goal) unaware late in the third term.
Walters looked to have delivered the final blow when he delivered his sixth goal late in the final quarter.
But Bruce found away and the Saints held strong against a final flourish before securing the points in a stunning end to round 15.