The Dockers were terrible in front of goal in the first half going into the main break having scored just 1.6 with another several set shots sailing out of bounds on the full.
Fremantle was also fumbly at ground level and in the air, and couldn’t put Hawthorn under the same intense pressure it had done to Geelong and Sydney in the finals to make the grand final, but still the Dockers got within three points in the second half and only lost by 15.
Even though the performance in the second half was encouraging and showed Lyon, the players and everyone at Fremantle that they could perform in the grand final, there continued to be chances missed and the opportunities blown in the first half will take a long time to get over.
Fremantle played like a team in its first grand final in the first half with Nat Fyfe kicking two set shots on the full in the opening minutes of the game and then Michael Walters, Matthew Pavlich, Zac Clarke, Hayden Ballantyne, Stephen Hill and Ryan Crowley all missed disappointing shots on goal.
There were players clearly overawed by the grand final occasion particularly small forwards Ballantyne and Walters while the poor disposal over the ground of Cameron Sutcliffe, Ballantyne, Crowley, Danyle Pearce and Michael Barlow also proved costly in the end.
Despite all of that, Fremantle only lost by 15 points and had its chances in the second half and even in the last 10 minutes if Ballantyne could have snaffled a couple of opportunities.
That gives Lyon some confidence that he had a team that didn’t play well on grand final day, but still wasn’t far away from a premiership and that gives him plenty to work on now looking towards 2014.
"It’s really hard for me to answer if it was because of the pressure or not. I think you’d have to speak to the players. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t handle it. On the surface, we didn’t execute with the aplomb that we can and should have," Lyon said.
"There were a couple of things we wanted to do, particularly structure in front of the ball was really important and for whatever reason, it was really costly in the first quarter, but once we fixed that I felt we were in the game.
"At the end of the day against quality opposition, off turnovers in the midfield they’ve kicked five straight and we’ve kicked 2.9, and a lot of those were set shots in a tight tough contest. In the conditions that were there today we all know and we’ve seen it, it’s occurred again today.
"Would we have won? I’m not sure, but hopefully we would have been able to put a little more pressure on them, particularly early and not as much effort to come from behind like we did. There’s a lot to like with the mechanics, reduce their marks inside 50.
"There were plenty of opportunities with almost equal entries, it’s a great lesson for our club, and it’s about the basics: dropped marks, missed targets, missed tackles, missed shots at the end of the day separate quality.
"To the club, particularly our playing group, led by Matthew, I’d like to acknowledge their work ethic and their growth and the effort that they put on today. It wasn’t perfect but there was a lot to like and hopefully for everybody it was a great grand final, but we sit here frustrated and disappointed that we weren’t good enough to take an opportunity."
While Lyon can't escape the record that he has now coached four grand final matches for three losses and a draw, the fact is he has at both St Kilda and Fremantle had teams playing his game style to a tee and who have got remarkably close to succeeding in the premiership decider.
With some luck, his St Kilda teams could have beaten Geelong in 2009 and then Collingwood in the drawn decider of 2010, and if his Fremantle team of 2013 kicked straight in the first half the result on Saturday could have been very different as well.
Lyon takes heart from Malcolm Blight coaching Geelong in losses in 1989, 1992 and 1994 before winning back-to-back flags at Adelaide in 1997 and 1998, and he certainly won't be giving up on his dream.
"You don’t feel them as a collective, I certainly don’t. Personally, I’m disappointed but I’m disappointed for the club and the players more so. I understand how hard it is to get back. Our whole attitude is, take the risk, do the work, keep turning up and keep improving," Lyon said.
"Malcolm Blight had the fortitude to keep working and keep backing himself in. I certainly see that I’m not going to crumble. My job is to lead and to work with the players and that’s what I intend to do.
"So, bitterly disappointed, but proud of the player's efforts. I take no satisfaction, we’re here to win premierships. We fell short, they were a bit better on the day but I thought we were right in it. There were plenty of opportunities once we made some adjustments and got it right."
Lyon thinks his three star veterans Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Luke McPharlin will all play on again in 2014 to have another crack, and with some increased opportunities for youngsters he remains confident the Dockers can get back to have another real go at success next year.
"It’s pretty difficult to extrapolate it out as we sit here today but they’re a really impressive group. We’re a list that can grow, three of our leaders are our oldest. Luke, Matthew and Aaron are significant, I think they’ll all go on next year. I hope so," Lyon said.
"There’s going to be some change coming pretty quickly as well. Injuries and form and attitude all goes into the mix, so there’s no guarantees here. I’m really expectant that they’ll commit to the work again. We have got some belief and momentum. There’s some great teams out there.
"Cam Sutcliffe really stood up today, Lachie Neale’s going to get better. We’ve got Tom Sheridan, and Nat Fyfe’s going to grow, Stephen Hill’s going to grow, Michael Walters is going to grow, Zac Clarke will grow.
"We think we’ve got some real growth in us, but everyone’s saying that. There’s no guarantees, but the aim is to do the work again. That’s a critical mix. Do the work."