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Round 3 2013
Round 3
Fri April 12 6:40m* Patersons
Fremantle v Essendon

*Time shown is Perth time

Bombers back from the brink

ESSENDON has staged a remarkable second-half comeback to down Fremantle by four points at Patersons Stadium on Friday night and continue its unbeaten start to the season.

The Bombers, who came into the match after a tumultuous week off the field, trailed by 37 points in the second quarter but rallied with seven consecutive goals after the main break, eventually running out 10.12 (72) to 9.14 (68) winners.

After scores were locked at 66 with five minutes remaining, Paddy Ryder kicked the match-winner, the Bombers ruckman threading a left-foot snap with 90 seconds remaining to leave the majority of the 35,963 in attendance at Patersons Stadium stunned.

Both Paul Duffield and Chris Mayne had last-minute chances to steal back the lead for Fremantle, but Mayne’s shot hit the post with just seconds remaining.

The siren heralded scenes of wild celebration from the Bombers, whose coach James Hird has come under heavy pressure to resign over the drugs controversy.

The Bombers, who kicked 28 goals against Melbourne last week, managed just one goal in the first half on Friday night as skipper Jobe Watson was held to just seven disposals.

But it was a different Watson and a different Essendon that took control in the second half, squeezing the life out of the home side.

It took Essendon until the nine-minute mark of the second quarter to register their first goal.

After losing All Australian defender Luke McPharlin to concussion in an incident with Ryder that is likely to come under the scrutiny of the match review panel, Fremantle took until the 11-minute mark of the first term to record the first goal of the match.

The home side then proceeded to kick another four before quarter-time and added a further two goals in the second quarter.

Hayden Ballantyne, Mayne, Nathan Fyfe and Michael Walters combined to good effect to help Fremantle kick away, though Matthew Pavlich was well beaten by Jake Carlisle.

The home side had planned well for Essendon’s midfield, forcing Watson to handball rather than kick thanks to the pressure of both Ryan Crowley and Matt De Boer.

But Brent Stanton did break free at times, while Michael Hibberd snuck under Fremantle’s guard.

Everything changed in the third quarter, and it was only through some errant Bombers’ kicking that Fremantle was able to retain its lead at the final change.

ESSENDON       0.3    1.5    6.10    10.12 (72)
FREMANTLE   5.3    7.5    7.7     9.14 (68)

Essendon: Crameri 3, Hurley 2, Kavanagh, Howlett, Kommer, Heppell, Ryder
Fremantle: Mayne 3, Fyfe 2, Walters 2, Ballantyne, Duffield

Essendon: Hibberd, Carlisle, Hooker, Crameri, Ryder, Hurley
Fremantle: Duffield, Fyfe, Mundy, Barlow, Ballantyne, Walters

Essendon: TBC
Fremantle: McPharlin (concussed), Bradley (cut head)
Essendon: Dustin Fletcher replaced by Travis Colyer in the third quarter
Fremantle: Luke McPharlin (concussion) replaced by Cameron Sutcliffe in the first quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Margetts, Farmer, Mollison

Official crowd: 35,963 at Patersons Stadium

Source: fremantlefc.com.au

Ballantye returns

Freo have swapped Hayden’s for the second week running, with Ballantyne replacing Crozier in the 22 to face Essendon in Friday night’s Starlight Purple Haze Game at Patersons Stadium.

Ballantyne was suspended for the club’s round 2 match against the Western Bulldogs but returns for the clash with the undefeated Bombers.

The emergencies are Crozier, Jack Hannath and Tom Sheridan.

Fremantle general manager of football Chris Bond said Ballantyne would be a welcome participant in any game Freo played.

“The way he goes about it is really what we stand for,” Bond said.

“We’re really expecting him to have an impact. He’d be disappointed to miss a game through suspension, so he’ll be very keen to have a go on Friday.”

Bond added that the club was very happy with the progress Crozier had made in his second AFL season and that the 20-year-old was unlucky to miss out on selection.

“He’s certainly contributed every time that he’s played, but at the moment, it’s a quality player that’s coming back into the team", Bond said.

“We’ve got no doubt that young Crozier has a good a really good future at this club.”

On the Bombers, Bond said James Hird’s side was a quality outfit in top form because their best players were fit and available.

“They’ve got great pace and some good hard ball winners,” he said.

“Obviously, Jobe Watson leads from the front and they’ve got some key targets up forward.”

One of those targets was brilliant young tall Michael Hurley, who kicked six against Freo in round 13 last year and has been the second-most targeted player inside 50 in the AFL this season.

But Bond said Freo couldn’t concentrate on just one player.

“Hurley’s a very talented player who’ll have to be watched, but they’ve got other players who’ve been kicking goals for them as well,” the football GM said.

“It’s across the board and that’s why they’re improving and they’re playing good footy.

“They’re not relying on one or two players.

“It’s going to be a huge, challenging game, but these are the games that we want to play.”

Source: fremantlefc.com.au

 Fremantle Team Round 3
 B Spurr Dawson Duffield
 HB Johnson McPharlin D. Pearce
 C Hill Barlow Fyfe
 HF de Boer Pavlich Ballantyne
 F Walters Bradley Mayne
 R Griffin Mundy Crowley
Suban C Pearce Mzungu Sutcliffe
Sherridan Hannath Crozier  
In: Ballantyne
Out: Crozier (Omitted)



The latest in the Forum
The Ladder after round 3
Pos Team P W L D % Pts
1 Essendon 3 3 0 0 200.54 12
2 Port Adelaide 3 3 0 0 159.75 12
3 Sydney 3 3 0 0 145.64 12
4 Richmond 3 3 0 0 135.56 12
5 Geelong 3 3 0 0 109.09 12
6 Hawthorn 3 2 1 0 134.88 8
7 Fremantle 3 2 1 0 122.61 8
8 Collingwood 3 2 1 0 93.37 8
9 St Kilda 3 1 2 0 116.34 4
10 West Coast 3 1 2 0 104.72 4
11 Adelaide 3 1 2 0 91.99 4
12 Western Bulldogs 3 1 2 0 91.00 4
13 Gold Coast 3 1 2 0 89.47 4
14 Brisbane 3 1 2 0 73.02 4
14 Carlton 3 0 3 0 88.89 0
16 North Melbourne 3 0 3 0 82.95 0
17 GWS 3 0 3 0 58.42 0
18 Melbourne 3 0 3 0 35.02 0