FREMANTLE has pulled off a nail-biting one-point victory over Richmond at Patersons Stadium, winning 12.9 (81) to 12.8 (80) on Friday night.
When Chris Mayne kicked his third goal at the six-minute mark of the last quarter to give Fremantle a 14-point lead, its biggest of the night, the Dockers looked like they might finally break-away from the Tigers. But the visitors refused to go away in a pulsating last 10 minutes.
Dustin Martin converted a remarkable set shot from deep in the left forward pocket to cut the margin to just eight before Tyrone Vickery took a contested mark and kicked his third to bring Richmond within two points with six minutes to play.
Matt White then nearly kicked a miracle goal from the boundary, but the ball controversially hit the goal umpire straddling the line to stay in play. Fremantle’s Stephen Hill then rushed it over to cut the margin to one point.
White then gave the Tigers the lead inside the final two minutes when he goaled after running onto the football with electric pace, with Fremantle in danger of relinquishing a lead late for the second straight match at Paterson Stadium.
But Fremantle gleaned the next clearance, and Ballantyne bobbed up with his fourth goal to reclaim the lead.
The siren beat the Tigers as the football was 15 metres from their attacking goal.
Earlier, Richmond silenced the vocal Fremantle crowd with a blistering start, kicking the first three goals before Fremantle scored.
The Dockers fought back in the second term, kicking five goals to two to lead by two points at the major change.
It was an arm-wrestle in the third, with Fremantle unable to take their chances to extend their lead, whilst Richmond kicked 2.2 from just four inside 50 entries for the term to stay in touch.
Luke McPharlin proved a pivotal inclusion for Fremantle. The All-Australian defender held reigning Coleman Medalist Jack Riewoldt to just two marks and one goal, which came from a free kick.
Chris Knights was outstanding for Richmond, kicking three goals to keep them in touch throughout the night.