Freo grand fi­nal one step closer


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORTS -

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 in- creases 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.

Dock­ers fans walked away happy af­ter the Dock­ers held on against a typ­i­cally spir­ited Swans out­fit.

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