Barlow stars as AFL’s Dockers bury Power

Port Adelaide’s finals hopes have taken a massive blow after an upset 17-point loss to Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow starred with 43 disposals and two goals in the 12.14 (86) to 9.15 (69) win on Saturday, while Matthew Pavlich turned back the clock with four goals.

The result left the Power (6-7) two wins and a sizeable percentage adrift of eighth spot.

Port have the bye next week then confront a tough run home that includes games against AFL flag fancies Hawthorn, North Melbourne, GWS, Sydney, and Adelaide.

In an added blow to the Power, young forward Dougal Howard suffered a suspected ACL injury to his left knee during the third quarter.

Fremantle forward Tanner Smith injured a hamstring.

The Power were left to rue a glut of easy missed shots throughout the match.

Robbie Gray, Charlie Dixon, and Ollie Wines sprayed sitters, while a number of other achievable shots also went astray.

Barlow tallied 12 disposals and two goals during a pulsating third quarter.

His first goal was the highlight, with the 28-year-old spinning through two opponents before nailing his dribble kick while being tackled.

Barlow also restricted Gray to just 18 disposals in another supreme tagging effort.

The opening term was an intriguing affair.

Fremantle dominated the possession count 119-56, but the Power made their rare moments count to take a six-point lead into quarter-time.

That margin would have been even more had Gray not hit the post in the dying moments from close range.

The second quarter featured one of the most bizarre free kicks ever seen after Dougal Howard’s boot came off before a ruck contest.

Dockers skipper David Mundy picked up the boot and hurled it 20m away, but the move was deemed illegal and Howard was awarded the free kick.

Fremantle dominated the term to head into halftime with an eight-point lead, and the third quarter became a shootout as both sides scored some memorable goals.

The Dockers turned for home with a nine-point buffer, and they held the Power goalless in the final quarter to secure their third win on the trot.

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