First quarter: Fremantle 3.2 (20) to Melbourne 2.5 (17)
After Melbourne’s inaccuracy on the scoreboard cost it dearly against Geelong last round, the red and blue again started sluggishly in front of goal, with 2.5 to 3.2 in the first term.
Demon duo Tom Bugg and Mitch Hannan landed the first two scores of the day, but both were behinds, allowing Fremantle to secure the first major via Shane Kersten.
Jake Spencer, playing his first AFL match since round 22, 2015, got Melbourne’s first on the board at the five-minute mark. But when Cam McCarthy and David Mundy kicked truly for the visitors, Freo claimed a nine-point lead.
Jack Watts landed Melbourne’s second at the 21-minute mark, reducing the deficit back to three points at quarter-time.
Bugg, playing his first game for the season, had nine touches by the first break; McCarthy had 10 for the Dockers.
Second quarter: Melbourne 9.7 (61) to Fremantle 6.4 (40)
It was goal-for-goal early in the second term, with several lead changes occurring.
Although James Harmes booted the opening goal of the quarter, and Dean Kent snared a beauty, with a checkside from the boundary line, Fremantle was back in front at the 12-minute mark when Mundy became the first multiple goalkicker of the match. But the pendulum soon swung Melbourne’s way, when it broke the trend with five consecutive majors.
It started with Jeff Garlett, who kicked his first of two for the term, at the 14-minute mark. Christian Petracca followed up soon after, before three came in time-on via Alex Neal-Bullen, Harmes (his second) and Garlett, who made it a couple.
Melbourne had broken away to a 27-point lead at the 28-minute mark, but that was reduced to 21 points at half-time, when Lachie Neale ended the five-goal streak after the siren.
Dom Tyson had 16 disposals by the main break - the most for the match - and Clayton Oliver had 14 possessions and Bugg 13. Nat Fyfe also had 13 for the Dockers.
Third quarter: Fremantle 13.8 (86) to Melbourne 9.10 (64)
After booting 7.2 to 3.2 in the second term, Melbourne had a poor third term, managing just three behinds.
Harmes landed a behind to start the third term, but Fremantle took full control and kicked seven in succession – or eight in a row, when including the final major of the second quarter.
Neale booted two for the term to have four by three quarter-time, as Mundy notched up his third.
At the final change, Freo led by 22 points.
Oliver had 22 disposals entering the final term and Tyson had 21. Lachie Weller had 24 for Freo.
Final quarter: Fremantle 16.10 (106) d Melbourne 15.14 (104)
Melbourne needed a big final term, if it was going to get back into the match – and it answered accordingly with two in two minutes to start the quarter.
Watts and Spencer booted their second goals each to peg the margin back to 10 points.
Stephen Hill landed Fremantle’s first at the 10-minute mark, but when Petracca claimed his second and Garlett kicked his third, Melbourne trailed by just three points.
Brady Grey answered for Freo and it was back out to a nine-point lead, but when Christian Salem dribbled a goal – it was back to within three points.
Jack Viney then put the Demons in front at the 27-minute mark, before McCarthy landed the final blow, giving Freo a two-point victory.