AFLW: Fremantle overcomes scoreless first quarter to beat Melbourne

Richelle Cranston is tackled by Fremantle's Evangeline Gooch during the round three AFLW match between the Dockers and Melbourne this afternoon. Picture: Will Russell/Stringer
Richelle Cranston is tackled by Fremantle's Evangeline Gooch during the round three AFLW match between the Dockers and Melbourne this afternoon. Picture: Will Russell/Stringer

THE Dockers have jumped into premiership contention after overcoming a scoreless first term to trump top-of-the-table Melbourne by five points at Fremantle Oval yesterday afternoon.

Fremantle fought off a late charge from the Demons to take their second straight win, 6.0 (36) to 4.7 (31).

Skipper Kara Donnellan finished with 17 disposals after not touching the ball in the first quarter.

Lisa Webb (17 disposals) and Hayley Miller (16) also saw plenty of the ball.

Debutant Emily McGuire was the perfect addition to the forward line, finishing with two goals.

Daisy Pearce led the way for the premiership front-runners with 23 disposals.

Demons forward Tegan Cunningham was a handful finishing with two goals.

Fremantle had targeted a fast start but were forced to play the role of brick wall for the whole opening term with Melbourne well on top.

But the visitors were unable to completely capitalise on their domination of the inside 50s, which they led 14-0, with inaccuracy meaning they only took an 11-point lead into the first term.

McGuire got the Dockers on the board in the second term after she snapped a goal from Fremantle’s first entry inside their attacking arc.

Ebony Antonio’s push forward from the back half paid off when she found space to mark before converting from 40m out to give the hosts a one-point lead at the main change.

The Dockers continued to ride a wave of momentum by opening the third term with two goals to jump out to a 13-point lead.

But Aliesha Newman burned the Fremantle defence to soccer home before Cunningham delivered her second and Karen Paxman goaled to give the Demons a one-goal buffer heading into the last quarter.

Fremantle’s Melissa Caulfield levelled the scores when she held off a tackling defender to bundle the ball home five minutes into last term.

McGuire then added another highlight to her first game in the league when she kicked her second to give the Dockers a six-point lead with seven minutes to play.

It was then up to some desperate Docker defending to keep the hosts just in front at the final siren.

The win puts the Dockers equal on wins with Brisbane, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and Carlton.

The Dockers next travel to Queensland to take on Brisbane at the South Pine Sports Complex on Saturday.

The Demons host Collingwood at Traeger Park in the Northern Territory on Saturday.