NORTH MELBOURNE 2.4 5.6 7.11 10.14 (74) FREMANTLE 4.4 6.8 8.8 8.13 (61)
GOALS North Melbourne: Petrie 2, Gibson 2, Black, Mullett, Thomas, Daw, Dal Santo, Nahas. Fremantle: Pavlich 2, Fyfe 2, Sandilands, Mayne, Mundy, Neale.
BEST Fremantle: Fyfe, Mundy, Johnson, McPharlin, Pavlich, Neale North Melbourne: Gibson, Harvey, Dal Santo, Cunnington, Goldstein, Ziebell
UMPIRES Stevic, Dalgleish, Harris.
CROWD 37,624 at Patersons Stadium.
North Melbourne managed to do something on Friday night that not many teams have done over the past few seasons - beat Fremantle at home.
North come from behind
Fremantle flew out of the blocks for a strong first quarter lead, North Melbourne slowly coming back, scoring the only three goals of the final term to win by thirteen points.
The Roos' 13-point victory was only the Dockers' third loss in 22 home games at Patersons Stadium and their first since Essendon came back from nowhere to beat them in round three last season.
The 10.14 (74) to 8.13 (61) victory was also North Melbourne's first win over the Dockers in Perth since round 15, 2007. Lindsay Thomas sealed the upset with a goal with four minutes left, handing coach Brad Scott his first success against Ross Lyon.
All of that aside, North Melbourne is now 4-2 for the season, while the Dockers fell to 3-3.
It could have been so much different if Stephen Hill had done better with two shots on goal in the final term. He managed just one point, while the other went out of bounds on the full.
Danyle Pearce also hit the post with five minutes left on the clock and North leading by 10 points.
Cruelly, Hill's direct opponent for much of the game, Sam Gibson, kicked the first goal of the final term to give the Roos the lead. It was his second for the night.
Friday night's clash was a great example of how sides can ill afford to lose key players to suspension.
The Kangaroos were without defender Scott Thompson after he was sidelined after last week's clash with Collingwood.
And the home team's gun small forward, Hayden Ballantyne, was in the stands at Patersons Stadium after he digressed against Sydney.
Both players were missed.
It was Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich who stopped the Kangaroos' run midway through the third term.
Despite having trailed earlier by as much as 26 points, Nick Dal Santo put the Roos in front.
But five minutes of class by Pavlich gave Fremantle back the lead, which it narrowly held on to until the final break.
Pavlich, who would have usually been manned up by Thompson, kicked one goal and then gave another away to out-of-form teammate Chris Mayne.
It was a rare period of play that the home side looked capable in attack. The Dockers were pushing forward, but didn't look as dangerous as usual.
With Michael Walters sidelined with an ankle injury and Mayne out of sorts, Ballantyne was severely missed.
Too often North Melbourne were able to mop up in defence and run the ball out of danger.
Not that the Roos were any better in attack. In the third term when they started to get on top, they kicked 2.5 and had another shot go out of bounds on the full. Two of those points were due to shots hitting the post.
So many times over the loud speaker came the call, "age shall not weary them". Well, they may as well have been talking about North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey, as well as the Anzac heroes.
The last time Harvey was opposed to niggling Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley, he was kept to 11 touches for the game and the Dockers kept the Kangaroos to just 4.5 (29). The Dockers won that round-13 game last season by 38 points.
On Friday night, Harvey, 35, had 11 possessions in the first term and 19 at the main break. He finished the game with 29 and had a massive impact on the crucial result.