Fremantle celebrated Matthew Pavlich’s 300-game milestone in grand style with a comfortable 32-point win over AFL heavyweights Geelong at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
Pavlich booted 3.3 from 16 possessions, and in the process passed the 600-goal mark in the 13.18 (96) to 9.10 (64) triumph in front of 38,565 adoring fans.
Geelong weren’t able to recover from their goalless opening quarter as Fremantle’s relentless pressure took its toll.
Mercurial Cats midfielder Steve Johnson could come under strife for his subtle headbutt on tagger Ryan Crowley.
Dockers ruckman Zac Clarke will also face scrutiny for his swinging elbow that collected Johnson high in the second quarter.
Fremantle’s fifth win of the year lifted them into fifth spot on the table ahead of next week’s bye.
And with a host of games against lesser sides to come over the next 10 weeks, the Dockers are well placed to make a charge towards the top-four.
Geelong (6-2) dropped to fourth spot ahead of next Friday’s clash with North Melbourne.
Pavlich, who became the first Perth-based AFL player to reach 300 games, enjoyed a dream start to the match.
It took him just 26 seconds to take a mark inside-50m, and he made no mistake with the resultant shot from the boundary line.
Pavlich had a hand in the next two goals, before nailing another of his own to bring his career tally to 600.
Not much went right for Geelong in the opening quarter.
Even the ultra reliable Jimmy Bartel was off the boil, with the 2007 Brownlow medallist dropping two easy marks and spraying two shots he normally would have nailed.
The Dockers led 33-3 at the first change, but they wasted the chance to kill off the game in the second quarter after booting a wayward 2.8.
Geelong closed to within 19 points with six minutes remaining in the match.
But Pavlich stood tall when it mattered most, with a clever chip off his left boot allowing Tom Sheridan to kick the sealer.
Dockers quartet Stephen Hill, Michael Barlow, Nat Fyfe and David Mundy ran rampant through the midfield, while Aaron Sandilands was a giant in the ruck and Hayden Ballantyne (three goals) a constant menace up forward.