The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 19 – Fremantle v Essendon: The Dockers’ redemption run

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Fremantle versus Essendon

2.40pm, Sunday, August 12

Subiaco Oval, Perth



THERE WAS AN OMEN JUST AFTER THE TRAIN DEPARTED. Under the Fremantle Traffic Bridge was a fisherman in an Essendon jumper. It had to mean something.


Round 19 was the AFL’s designated women’s round and I arrived early to see a game between two teams of schoolgirls from Bunbury. One player, Gemma Triscari, was outstanding.


There’s always been a bit of a bond between Essendon and Fremantle, so it was no surprise to see sections of the crowd give Kevin Sheedy a standing ovation as he headed up to the coaches’ box. The Dockers played the Bombers at East Fremantle Oval in 1995 in their first scratch match against an AFL team. Sheedy began that game with 17 men on the ground and Fremantle won.


The 2007 Dockers, fresh from their rugged, emotional Derby win, began this game sluggishly. Essendon looked sharp and had three behinds on the board in no time. At quarter-time Fremantle led by a point – the Bombers hadn’t made them pay.


Matthew Lloyd was looking dangerous and Dustin Fletcher, towering over his direct opponent Jeff Farmer, was keeping things in check.


Matthew Pavlich provided a lesson for aspiring key forwards. Early in the game Adam McPhee was on top in this duel of former teammates so Pavlich started to move. He got kicks on the wings and backward of centre and then closer to goal as he became a devastating factor in the game.


Also worth noting was the performance of makeshift ruckman Daniel Gilmore. He is too short to ruck but competes well by leaping. He often wins the ball from the stoppages and runs audaciously. Gilmore, who had 31 disposals, and Robert Warnock, the club’s umpteenth and third-choice ruckmen, scored?a significant victory over David Hille and Jason Laycock.


Six unanswered goals from late in the first quarter to time-on in the second put Fremantle 31 points up and in control. But Essendon came back. Young midfielders Angus Monfries and Jason Winderlich were doing well and former Peel player Scott Gumbleton joined in to kick his first goal in the AFL. (Note to footy commentators: it wasn’t Gumbleton’s first goal in footy, it was his first in the AFL.) It was only 12 points the difference at half-time.


The Bombers had a sniff but it didn’t take long for it to be snuffed. Dean Solomon, playing with great intent, combined with Peter Bell and Paul Hasleby to take control of the midfield. Farmer started to wriggle free and Pavlich continued to dominate. Even Chris Tarrant joined the party and kicked a set shot goal from the boundary on the wrong side for a left-footer. The Dockers scored a wasteful 4.6 in the third quarter, Essendon managed just a goal.


Fremantle’s second surge wasn’t countered and they finished off the game with seven goals to three in the last quarter. The crowd gave Sheedy a nice send- off, Harvey ruffled his mentor’s hair, and the Dockers remained in the hunt for a finals berth.



Fremantle  5.2 10.4 14.10 21.14 (140)

Essendon  4.7 7.10 8.10 11.11 (77)



Fremantle: Pavlich 6, Tarrant, Farmer, Bell 3, Solomon 2, Warnock, Gilmore, J. Carr, McPharlin.

Essendon: Lloyd 5, Gumbleton 2, Lovett, Monfries, Lucas, Hille.



Fremantle: Pavlich, Gilmore, Bell, Johnson, Solomon, Hasleby.

Essendon: Lloyd, Monfries, Winderlich, Fletcher, Lovett-Murray, Gumbleton.



Monfries (Essendon) 50 games.



Foster (Fremantle), Reimers (Essendon).



Stevic, Grun, Goldspink.



Pavlich (F) 3, Gilmore (F) 2, Bell (F) 1.



Bell (F) 3, Gilmore (F) 2, Pavlich (F) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites and and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at

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