Fremantle has returned to September in stirring style, mounting an incredible comeback against the Western Bulldogs to win by 13 points and advance to a semi-final against Collingwood next Saturday night. 
Ambushed by the Bulldogs at Optus Stadium in their first final for seven years, the Dockers were forced to come from 41 points down early in the second quarter to beat last year's Grand Finalists 11.7 (73) to 8.12 (60). 
The win was confirmation that the young Freo Dockers have arrived as a team to be reckoned with and locked in the Club's fifth semi-final appearance in its history, with an MCG date with destiny awaiting.


For the Bulldogs, who conceded 11 of the last 13 goals of the game, it marked their third elimination final exit in the past four seasons and mirrored their nightmare second half in last year's Optus Stadium Grand Final.  
It was a victory full of character for Freo, who had only four players with finals experience and looked down and out early in the second quarter. 
They dug in, however, and played some of the most desperate football of their breakout season to extend champion midfielder David Mundy's career by at least another week. 
Young midfielder Caleb Serong was enormous in his first final, finishing with a team-high 33 disposals (16 contested) and game-high 10 clearances to help change the tide when it mattered. 
Midfield leader Andrew Brayshaw (32 and six inside 50s) also held his nerve to get the game back on Fremantle's terms, while the back six was resolute and didn't give an inch in the second half.   
Veteran Michael Walters stood up in big moments to boot a game-high three goals, while Jye Amiss proved an inspired selection in just his second game.

The 19-year-old key forward missed a simple opportunity early on, but then recovered to prove himself in two clutch moments that were telling, including a final-quarter goal that levelled scores. 
Exciting forward Michael Frederick provided one of the moments of the match with a chase down on Ed Richards that set up Walters' third goal and gave Fremantle breathing room, before Nathan O'Driscoll sealed the win with a stunning set shot from the boundary. 
Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli set the tone for his team with a superb first quarter, marking and playing on from 45m to kick the opener after just two minutes and launch the ambush. 
If that didn't suck the air out of the frenzied Optus Stadium crowd, the next 30 minutes would as the Bulldogs attacked the contest with a ferocity that rattled the young Freo side.  
They played the game almost exclusively in their half as Freo went more than 18 minutes without a forward entry, rattling on four more goals, including another 50m gem from Bontempelli on the run. 
Their 34-point lead at the first break could have been greater after several missed opportunities, but when Josh Dunkley snapped out of a stoppage to extend the lead to a game-high 41 points, it didn't look like their wastefulness would matter. 
The most deflating moment for Fremantle came when Amiss took a contested mark 15m from goal but missed his set shot directly in front after a nervous approach. 
It took until the 20-minute mark for Walters to kick Freo's first goal, but it sparked the team to life. 
Brayshaw kicked a running goal 10 seconds after the re-start from 50m before Serong kept the roll going with a left-foot snap out of stoppage.

Amiss had his moment for redemption after the half-time siren and delivered, converting his set shot after taking an impressive contested mark and giving Fremantle all the momentum at the main break, with the margin cut to just 15 points.


The Bulldogs still had the edge in contested ball (87-74), tackles (48-29) and inside 50s (31-26), but Fremantle lifted in all aspects after the main break. 
Their pressure all over the ground went to a new level and Rory Lobb started to look dangerous as their ball movement gathered pace, with the key target converting from 40m. 
Walters was also electric and had another big moment when he tapped to himself and snapped accurately on his right foot, before Lobb again marked inside 50 and kicked accurately from a tight angle. 
At that point Freo had booted seven of the last eight goals but still trailed by four points, entering the final quarter with work to do.   
With their largest ever home crowd behind them, they continued gathering momentum to the end and secured a famous comeback win for the Club with four goals to one in the final term. 
FREMANTLE                                0.1   4.3   7.5   11.7 (73)
WESTERN BULLDOGS             5.5   6.6   7.11   8.12 (60) 
Fremantle: Walters 3, Lobb 2, Amiss 2, Brayshaw, Serong, Logue, O'Driscoll  
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli 2, Johannisen 2, Darcy, Dunkley, Weightman, R.Smith
Fremantle: Serong, Brayshaw, Walters, Young, Ryan, Clark, Darcy 
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Gardner, Dunkley, Treloar, Daniel, McLean 
Fremantle: O'Driscoll (left ankle) 
Western Bulldogs: Johannisen (hamstring) 
Fremantle: Bailey Banfield (unused)
Western Bulldogs: Robbie McComb (replaced Jason Johannisen in the fourth quarter)
Crowd: 58,982 at Optus Stadium

Fremantle will play Collingwood in a semi-final on Saturday 10 September, 7.25pm EST at the MCG. The Club will send members their unique codes via email on Sunday 4 September to purchase finals tickets within the member priority period, which will be Monday 5 September between 10am-2pm