Fremantle have again defied the odds, downing Melbourne by two points in an AFL thriller at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.
The Demons led by three points in the dying minutes after skipper Jack Viney took a strong contested mark and kicked truly.
But Dockers recruit Cam McCarthy put the dagger through Melbourne hearts when he gambled at the back of a pack to kick a close-range goal and snatch a 16.10 (106) to 15.14 (104) victory.
It completed a remarkable turnaround for Fremantle, who trailed by 27 points late in the first half but booted eight unanswered goals in the third quarter.
Melbourne fought back with goals to Viney, Christian Petracca and Jeff Garlett but the Dockers held on to improve their record in 2017 to 2-2.
After recording just four wins last season, Ross Lyon’s men were thrashed in the opening rounds by Geelong and Port Adelaide and looked doomed for another long year.
Lyon responded by bringing in a group of youngsters, who repaid him with a stunning win over the Western Bulldogs, and the unchanged lineup was inspired against the Demons.
Right from the beginning, the Dees looked to be struggling for composure and the Dockers made them pay for their overuse of the ball.
Melbourne lifted in the second quarter, booting five straight goals on the back of some improved play in transition.
Young midfield stars Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca stamped their influence as the Demons took a 21-point lead at halftime but the Dockers’ big guns weren’t far behind.
Nat Fyfe was barely seen in the early going but showed his superstar quality with a sensational performance after quarter-time.
The 2015 Brownlow medallist was instrumental around the ground, finishing with 25 disposals, six marks and a goal.
Lyon’s decision to play Lachie Neale in the forward line initially seemed flawed but proved inspired, the ball magnet booting four majors to go with his 22 disposals.
With the Demons missing injured ruck star Max Gawn, the Demons called in Jake Spencer for his first game since round 22, 2015.
The 203cm Spencer competed hard but was out of his depth against Fremantle’s Aaron Sandilands, who all too often gave his midfielders first use at the stoppages.