Under-fire Fremantle recruit Shane Kersten booted a goal with just 44 seconds remaining to guide his side to a pulsating five-point win over North Melbourne in Saturday night’s AFL clash at Domain Stadium.
The Dockers had trailed since the 20-minute mark of the first quarter but went on to win 9.13 (67) to 9.8 (62).
They looked dead and buried after the Kangaroos opened up a 29-point lead at the eight-minute mark of the third quarter.
But for the second time in the space of a week, Fremantle launched a courageous comeback – following on from their thrilling win over Melbourne.
The Dockers twice closed to within a point in the frantic final term.
And Kersten, who had copped plenty of flak for his poor form since crossing from Geelong during the off-season, ended up being the hero.
With the clock winding down, the ball fell to Kersten in the pocket, and his right-foot snap bounced in the goalsquare and went through for a goal, sending the 33,319 crowd into raptures.
The Dockers then held on in the dying seconds as North Melbourne launched a final bid for victory.
The loss is a cruel result for the Roos, who have lost three games by less than a kick to sit at 0-5.
In contrast, the Dockers are daring to dream of a finals berth after improving to 3-2.
Both teams suffered injuries in the final term.
Dockers speedster Stephen Hill hurt his right hamstring, while North ruckman Todd Goldstein rolled his right ankle after landing on Aaron Sandilands’ foot.
The Kangaroos also suffered a huge pre-match blow when Shaun Higgins was left behind in Melbourne after being ruled out with hamstring tightness.
North Melbourne youngster Jy Simpkin could be in strife for his swinging punch to the ribs of Nat Fyfe during a first-quarter melee.
The fracas began when Docker Brady Grey and Roo Luke McDonald wrestled on the boundary line, with a host of players then rushing in to trade fire.
The Dockers booted the opening two goals of the match, but the rest of the half belonged to North Melbourne as the visitors piled on six unanswered goals to take a 23-point lead into the long break.
Fremantle only had themselves to blame for the deficit after missing a number of golden opportunities.
Third-gamer Griffin Logue was the biggest culprit, spraying two set shots to let the Kangaroos off the hook.
Jack Ziebell sent a huge scare through North Melbourne’s camp when he limped off midway through the second quarter after Garrick Ibbotson crashed into his legs.
Ziebell received lengthy treatment on his right leg, but was able to return to the field late in the half.
Forward Ben Brown needed treatment on his left knee, but was able to play out the match.
The highlight of the half belonged to North Melbourne’s Taylor Garner, who used Garrick Ibbotson as a step ladder to take a contender for mark of year.