With the Hawthorn-Sydney, Collingwood-Port Adelaide and Richmond-Carlton finals booked for this weekend at the MCG, the AFL fixtured Simonds Stadium to host the Geelong-Fremantle clash on Saturday afternoon.
Despite Fremantle supporters and staff of the club doing plenty of complaining, clearly Fremantle's players didn’t mind having to play in Geelong and after falling 20 points down in the first quarter, the Dockers were on top the rest of the afternoon running out 12.15 (87) to 9.18 (72) winners.
Geelong was well on top in the first quarter and kicked four goals to two, but from that point it was all Fremantle and the Dockers outscored the Cats 10 goals to five for the rest of the day to secure the 15-point victory.
The result means that Fremantle is through to its first ever home preliminary final in a fortnight's time to face the winner of next week's clash between Sydney and the winner of tomorrow's clash between Richmond and Carlton.
The victory is also just Fremantle's second ever at the Geelong venue in 14 attempts and it's only the second loss the Cats have lost at home in their last 45 matches.
Geelong will now have to win its way through to a preliminary final the hard way taking on either Collingwood or Port Adelaide on Friday night at the MCG to earn the right to face Hawthorn who beat the Sydney Swans impressively to earn a week's break.
The Cats also look set to be without triple-premiership defender Corey Enright who injured his knee in the first half on Saturday after Tom Hawkins was a late withdrawal after waking up with further problems with his on-going injured back.
Michael Barlow was clearly best afield for Fremantle finishing with 32 possessions, 18 of which were contested, to go with five clearances and three goals.
Ryan Crowley started the match tagging Matthew Stokes, but he moved onto Steve Johnson after quarter-time after the Geelong star had 12 possessions and two goals in the opening term, and Crowley kept him to just eight disposals for the last three quarters.
Fremantle's defence was rock solid with Zac Dawson having a fascinating battle with James Podsiadly while Luke McPharlin returned to dominate Hawkins' late replacement Josh Walker.
Lee Spurr was outstanding providing plenty of run with 29 possessions and rebounds from the defensive 50 with Paul Duffield and Tendai Mzungu also providing good drive out of the back-line.
Nat Fyfe also gathered 25 touches for the Dockers, Stephen Hill 21 to go with two goals with Lachie Neale finishing with 21 possessions, Danyle Pearce 20, Cameron Sutcliffe 18 and David Mundy 18 while getting the better of his battle with Geelong captain Joel Selwood.
Experienced Geelong pair Joel Corey and Jimmy Bartel were outstanding with Corey finishing with 22 possessions and 11 tackles while Bartel had 29 disposals.
Stokes ended up with 27 touches, Mitch Duncan 22, Selwood 21, Travis Varcoe 20, Steven Motlop 20 and James Kelly 18 to go with nine strong tackles.
Cameron Guthrie was a late inclusion for Taylor Hunt and he did a terrific job in the back-line holding Michael Walters to just one goal and having 17 touches and eight marks himself.
Andrew Mackie also had a strong game in defence and finished with 25 possessions and a goal.
Paul Chapman came on as the sub at half-time to replace the injured Enright and he picked up 11 possessions and laid five tackles in a half of football.
The two teams have had a history of heated clashes and that's exactly how the final started with Dawson reported and giving away a free-kick in front of goal after an altercation with Podsiadly before the ball was even bounced.
However, Podsiadly missed that shot on goal and that was fair enough given the umpire certainly appeared to jump the gun by paying the free-kick, and indeed by laying the report.
Geelong then continued to dominate play but couldn’t put a goal on the board until unlikely goalkicker Corey kicked truly.
Pavlich then missed a golden opportunity for Fremantle's first goal of the afternoon, but Walters made up for that shortly after before Johnson booted two goals in a minute and-a-half for the Cats.
The first came from another poor umpiring decision but he slotted his second when left in space in the forward pocket.
Geelong led by 15 points at that stage before Pavlich pulled off a clever snap for the Dockers. Vardy took a strong mark and kicked truly to the Cats back up by 14 points and it was still 13 at quarter-time after Chris Mayne missed a set shot after the siren.
Geelong then kicked 20 points clear to start the second quarter with Podsiadly kicked truly but Fremantle wouldn’t be deterred.
Consecutive goals to Barlow quickly had the Dockers back within seven points before Ballantyne made the margin two points and then surprise goalkicker Spurr put the Dockers in front for the first time for the afternoon.
Captain Pavlich stretched that margin out to 10 points and it remained four at the main break after Podsiadly sneaked a goal back for the Cats just before half-time.
Geelong briefly regained the lead when Motlop kicked truly five minutes into the second half, but the Dockers got the next majors through Barlow and Hill to regain the advantage.
Podsiadly's third had the Cats in front by a point again, but Aaron Sandilands put Fremantle back on top and that's where they would stay.
Fremantle kicked the opening goal of the last quarter through Mayne to lead by 12 points and then in an amazing play, Hill kicked the sealer at the 23-minute mark.
Sandilands hit the ball towards the boundary near the interchange gates and Hill just ran onto the ground to grab the ball, and run all the way from the wing to inside-50 and coolly slot the goal.
FREMANTLE 2.5 7.9 10.12 12.15 (87)
GEELONG 4.6 6.11 9.13 9.18 (72)
Goals: Fremantle – Barlow 3; Hill, Pavlich 2; Walters, Sandilands, Maybe, Spurr, Ballantyne. Geelong – Podsiadly 3; Johnson 2; Corey, Motlop, Duncan, Vardy.
Best: Fremantle – Barlow, Spurr, Hill, Crowley, Fyfe, Mundy, Neale. Geelong – Corey, Bartel, Stokes, Mackie, Guthrie, Duncan.
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Troy Pannell, Shane McInerney.
Official Crowd: 32,815 at Simonds Stadium.