Freo fairy­tale will have to wait

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport - Bryce Luff

A WESTERN Derby grand fi­nal will re­main a sport­ing dream for WA football fans af­ter just one of the lo­cal sides was able to qual­ify for the AFL’s show­piece at the MCG on Satur­day.

At the start of the sea­son there was just a 0.65 per cent chance of the Dock­ers and Ea­gles play­ing off in a grand fi­nal, ac­cord­ing to Mur­doch Univer­sity sta­tis­tics lec­turer Doug Fletcher.

That was as­sum­ing each team went into round one on an even play­ing field and did not fac­tor in West Coast’s in­juries or Fre­man­tle’s ag­ing list, which many pun­dits be­lieved would be a stick­ing point for suc­cess.

Fast for­ward six months and only West Coast was able to hold up its end of the bar­gain af­ter it over­came a slow start to beat North Mel­bourne by 25 points on Satur­day.

Cross-town ri­vals Fre­man­tle will not be there af­ter be­ing bun­dled out 10.7 (67) to 15.4 (94) a night ear­lier by Hawthorn, the same team that beat them on grand fi­nal day in 2013.

The loss meant the City of Fre­man­tle has scrapped plans to host a fam­ily-friendly street fes­ti­val on grand fi­nal day, as it did in 2013.

On that day more than 40,000 peo­ple packed into the heart of Fre­man­tle, with fans putting an es­ti­mated $1.5 mil­lion into lo­cal busi­nesses.

Fre­man­tle Cham­ber

Pic­tures: Jon Hew­son and An­drew Ritchie

of Com­merce pres­i­dent Ra Stewart said a grand fi­nal win for the Dock­ers could set the City up for 12 months, sim­i­lar in style but smaller in scale to what the Amer­ica’s Cup did for the city in the 1980s.

But all that will have to wait another year, with the state’s eyes firmly fixed on West Coast and Hawthorn this Satur­day. HAVE YOUR SAY Add your com­ment at­mu­ni­

A tale of two teams... the Dock­ers rue what might have been (left) while the Ea­gles celebrate mak­ing their way to the AFL grand fi­nal (right).

Left to right: Dock­ers play­ers Chris Mayne, Nat Fyfe and Lee Spurr dur­ing Fre­man­tle’s game against Hawthorn at Su­bi­aco Oval. Far right: Josh Kennedy cel­e­brates with West Coast Ea­gles fans af­ter their win over North Mel­bourne on Satur­day night.

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