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Dockers ease past Bombers

Freemantle ran out 53-point winners over Essendon at Paterson's Stadium on Sunday.

PT1M31S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36m4z 620 349

FREMANTLE 2.1 6.3 13.4 18.5 (113) ESSENDON 2.1 4.2 5.4 9.6 (60)
GOALS Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Pearce 2, Neale 2, Taberner 2, Hill 2, Mundy, Ballantyne, McPharlin, Suban, Crowley, Mzungu, Clarke. Essendon: Hardingham 2, Stanton, Daniher, Melksham, Watson, Winderlich, Jetta, Gleeson.
BEST Fremantle: McPharlin, Sandilands, Johnson, Pearce, Pavlich, Hill. Essendon: Heppell, Stanton, Gleeson, Baguley, Howlett, Watson.
INJURIES Goddard (thigh)
UMPIRES Nicholls, Margetts, Hosking.
CROWD 36,722 at Patersons Stadium.

Fremantle's premiership credentials have been restored after it beat Essendon by 53 points at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

The Dockers' 58-point loss to Hawthorn in round three can quickly be put behind them after the 15.5 (113) to 9.6 (60) victory over the Bombers.

Dyson Heppell and Matthew Pavlich contest for the ball.

Dyson Heppell and Matthew Pavlich contest for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

Time
FT
Team
FRE
Score
18.5.113
Team
ESS
Score
9.6.60
Fremantle versus Essendon
View Match Statistics
Players Pavlich (3.1), Pearce (2.1), Hill (2.0), Neale (2.0), Taberner (2.0), Ballantyne (1.1), Clarke (1.1), Crowley (1.0), McPharlin (1.0), Mundy (1.0), Mzungu (1.0), Suban (1.0), Crozier (0.1) Scorers Hardingham (2.0), Jetta (1.2), Melksham (1.1), Daniher (1.0), Gleeson (1.0), Stanton (1.0), Watson (1.0), Winderlich (1.0), Colyer (0.1)

And now it's Essendon that has the work ahead of it to recover in time to play St Kilda next Saturday.

The Dockers kicked 10 consecutive goals - from the 13-minute mark of the second term to the 27-minute mark of the third quarter - to blow the game apart.

The Bombers tried to keep up the high possession style of play that has been so effective in the early rounds of this season, but it was a big ask.

The mercury was still showing 32 degrees at half-time and for most of the second half players sought comfort from ice vests.

The loss of Essendon's key playmaker Brendon Goddard early in the game after he'd collected just two possessions didn't help.

Goddard first left the ground with a groin complaint after just two minutes of the opening term, suggesting he may not have been right when he ran out from the rooms.

But it wasn't until seven minutes into the second term that he finally submitted and changed vests with Leroy Jetta.

By the way he was moving, his availability for this week's clash against the Saints must be in doubt.

Essendon went into the game game without Paul Chapman, who didn't get up after injuring his ankle against Carlton last week, and Dustin Fletcher was left out due to general soreness.

They also lost David Myers on Sunday morning because of illness, which tipped the scales in favour of the Dockers before the first centre bounce.

"Anyone, anywhere, anytime."

The words have been coming out of Fremantle coach Ross Lyon's mouth for more than two seasons.

And on Sunday the Dockers overcome the loss of gun midfielder David Mundy with concussion just before half-time to win the war of attrition.

The Bombers had won their previous three games at Patersons Stadium, including two against the Dockers.

With Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow already missing, Mundy's loss was a cruel blow.

The blow was actually courtesy of friendly fire. Fellow Dockers Luke McPharlin hit Mundy high in a contest and strangely, Fremantle received a free kick for the contact.

But even without the engine room in the midfield that pushed the Dockers to within 15 points of their first premiership last season, the run from the Dockers was too much for the Bombers, particularly after the main break.

In a dominant third term the Dockers had 20 more possessions and four more inside-50s (13-9). For their efforts they kicked 7.1 to the Bombers' 1.2.

Michael Johnson, Danyle Pearce and McPharlin provided most of that run, with McPharlin kicking his first goal in 35 games.

It's rare this season that fixturing will work in favour of Fremantle, with several six-day breaks. But yesterday it did.

The Dockers had nine days to recover from their 58-point loss to Hawthorn in round three, while Essendon had just a week to travel and be ready to face Fremantle after beating Carlton by 81 points.

And the benefits of those extra days of recovery were evident, mainly in the second half.

The Bombers needed much more reward for the high possession game style they played in the opening half.

The Bombers had 42 more touches before the main break, including 36 more uncontested possessions.

Brent Stanton had 23 touches for the half and Dyson Heppell had 17.

But they came out to start the third term looking like a side that had had enough of the conditions.

Fremantle kicked seven goals to start the term before Jetta kicked the Bombers' fifth.

The margin had gone from 13 points at the half-time break to 48 points and the result was no longer in doubt.

The lack of a recognised ruckman also started to take as much of a toll as the heat.

More of Aaron Sandilands' knocks started to go to Dockers hands and result directly in goals - Lachie Neale providing the best example of that early in the last term to take the margin to a game-high 72 points.