Fyfe stars as Dockers down Crows

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe put on a five-star performance as Adelaide’s finals hopes went up in smoke in Saturday night’s AFL clash at Patersons Stadium.


Fyfe booted four goals from 29 possessions to inspire Fremantle to the 22-point win – 11.9 (75) to 7.11 (53).

In an added blow for the Crows, forward Josh Jenkins was stretchered off in the final quarter with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

Jenkins was left writhing in pain after his ankle twisted at a bad ankle after he landed awkwardly following a marking contest.

Fellow big man Shaun McKernan was also left nursing an ankle injury and was subbed out at three-quarter time.

The defeat means Adelaide (7-10) will end the round at least two wins and percentage adrift of eighth spot.

That gap will be three wins if Port Adelaide beats Brisbane on Sunday.

Adelaide enjoy a soft run home with games against Port Adelaide, North Melbourne (home), Bulldogs (away), Melbourne (home) and West Coast (away).

But they will need to win all of them and rely on other results to fall their way if they are to scrape into the top-eight.

Adelaide only had themselves to blame for the loss.

They won the inside-50m count 45-33, had more tackles, more disposals, and won the clearances 34-25.

But their return of 3.8 from set shots was their undoing.

Fremantle’s 12th win of the season brought them back to within percentage of fourth spot, although Sydney can extend that gap with a win over Richmond on Sunday.

Fyfe was simply sensational throughout the match, with the 21-year-old particularly important when Adelaide threatened to take the lead in the third quarter.

The Dockers led by 23 points at half-time, but saw that advantage whittled down to five points on the back of an inspired performance from Crows midfielder Rory Sloane, who tallied 10 disposals in the third term.

However, Fyfe was up to the challenge, booting two crucial goals late in the quarter to give Fremantle vital breathing space.

Sloane finished with 30 possessions and seven clearances, but it was Fyfe who snared the honours as best afield.

Dockers defender Michael Johnson was also important in the win, while midfielders Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill also played their part.

Crows midfielder Bernie Vince was counting his lucky stars after escaping with just a minor cut despite copping a knee to the head while running back with the flight of the ball.

Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley restricted Richard Douglas to just 16 possessions in the absence of star Crows midfielder Patrick Dangerfield (shoulder).

Jenkins was sent to hospital for scans to determine whether he’d broken either his ankle or leg.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson conceded his team’s wayward kicking for goal cost them dearly.

“They weren’t really hard shots either. That’s the thing that was most disappointing,” Sanderson said.

“Fremantle won the game, but you shouldn’t win a game when you have 33 inside 50s.”

Dockers coach Ross Lyon thought his team made the most of their chances.

“I thought we counter-punched them really well,” Lyon said.

“Both teams had a number of players back all night, so it was whoever used the ball best would be able to find targets inside 50.”

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