No Fyfe no problems, Freo fly past clipped Crows

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Fremantle have answered their detractors with a show of toughness, grit and determination to keep the flickering hopes of their season still alive.

The match was as close as the scoreline suggested, and it was Fremantle who came out firing in the first quarter, to take a 22-point lead into quarter time.

Adelaide responded as you knew they would, controlling the second term with a six-goals-to-nil showing, and an 11-point lead at half-time.

The third quarter was the quarter that mattered the most, as Fremantle kicked four goals to nil, and took what would turn out to be an insurmountable lead at three-quarter time.

Much was made during the week about the absence of Nat Fyfe, and whether or not the Dockers could limit the damage to be applied by Adelaide, let alone win.

The likes of Connor Blakely, Adam Cerra, Ed Langdon, and Brennan Cox (who gave a best on ground performance) stepped out of the great Fyfe’s shadow to lead the team around the park, and ultimately to victory.

Michael Walters was at his enigmatic best, coming in and out of the contest, and while getting heavily involved in scoring, late in the game he gave away what at other times might have been a game-turning free with a stomach punch, and then to make matters worse, a 50m free kick for remonstrating. He was placed on report and taken from the field by Ross Lyon.

Walters sat and watched on nervously as Adelaide pressed for a win, and while Myles Poholke kicked a goal after the siren, Fremantle managed to steal a win that their performance deserved.

For the Crows, Bryce Gibbs was a standout, the team always looking stronger when he was on the field, while Sam Gibson played strongly.

Eddie Betts had a lively game, though he will look back on his wastefulness in the fourth quarter, and know that he could have done more.

So each team will travel to Melbourne next weekend with differing confidence levels. Fremantle will like their chances against Carlton, while Adelaide must now pull themselves together for a daunting journey to the MCG to face Hawthorn, for Shaun Burgoyne’s 350th.

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