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Michael Frederick delivers ‘touch of the season’ as Dockers smash Demons after Steven May gets KO’d

Michael Frederick amazes fans with a ‘backhand Roger Federer would be happy with’ as Fremantle hand Demons their first loss of the season with stunning second half

  • Frederick set up a goal for Lachie Schultz with an outrageous assist 
  • Commentators branded the no-look effort the ‘touch of the season’ 
  • Melbourne fell to their first loss since round 19 last year after losing Steven May
  • Dockers dominated the clearances as they came from five goals down 

Fremantle’s Michael Frederick pulled off the most incredible assist of the season as the Dockers ended Melbourne’s 17-match winning streak and sent a huge statement to the rest of the AFL with a come-from-behind win at the MCG.

With a minute left in the third quarter on Saturday night, Frederick gathered a loose pass from Michael Walters about 10 metres out the goal square under pressure from a defender and batted it backwards to Lachie Schultz without looking.

Schultz smashed it between the uprights to take Freo to a 16-point lead and they never looked back before running out winners 14.10 (96) to 7.14 (56).

‘That was a backhand Roger Federer would be happy with!’ said an incredulous Garry Lyon in commentary.

His co-callers could hardly believe it either, labelling the freakish display the touch of the season and the assist of the season. 

Frederick’s outrageous backhander was a no-look assist straight out of an NBA game

The midfielder/forward added two goals as the Dockers came back from five goals down to run riot against the Dees

The midfielder/forward added two goals as the Dockers came back from five goals down to run riot against the Dees

Fremantle reeled in a five-goal deficit to pull off the momentous and confidence-boosting 38-point upset win.

The Demons were cruising towards an 11-0 start in 2022 after leading by 30 points late in the second quarter before Fremantle slammed through the last 10 goals of Saturday’s match to make an almighty statement.

The Dockers, who were coming off disappointing defeats to Gold Coast and Collingwood, produced an eight-goal third-quarter burst to stun the reigning premiers.

Justin Longmuir’s team led by 17 points at the final change and soaked up Melbourne’s pressure to run away winners, 14.10 (94) to 7.14 (56), kicking 13 of the last 14 goals.

It was Melbourne’s first defeat since losing to the Western Bulldogs in round 19 last year.

The loss of Steven May (centre) after a sickening hit from teammate Jake Lever hurt Melbourne badly, but it was far from the only reason they got dismantled by the Dockers

The loss of Steven May (centre) after a sickening hit from teammate Jake Lever hurt Melbourne badly, but it was far from the only reason they got dismantled by the Dockers

Lachie Schultz kicked four goals as Freo came from behind by dominating the clearances

Lachie Schultz kicked four goals as Freo came from behind by dominating the clearances 

Melbourne were rocked by the early loss of superstar defender Steven May, who was subbed out at quarter-time following a friendly fire collision with fellow premiership backman Jake Lever.

In a major blow for the Demons, May will miss next week’s clash with the Sydney Swans under the AFL’s concussion protocols.

But Melbourne’s downfall and Fremantle’s revival did not solely stem from May’s absence as the Dockers ran riot around the clearances to embarrass the Demons’ all-star midfield unit.

The Demons’ defensive structure was undoubtedly rocked without May but Andrew Brayshaw, Will Brodie, Caleb Serong and Sean Darcy set up the comeback out of the middle.

Brownlow Medal favourite Clayton Oliver had 24 possessions by halftime but was kept quiet after the main break as the Dockers reigned supreme.

The Dockers faithful had a lot to cheer about at the MCG as their side put the rest of the comp on notice by doing what no other team had been capable of since round 19 last year

The Dockers faithful had a lot to cheer about at the MCG as their side put the rest of the comp on notice by doing what no other team had been capable of since round 19 last year

Oft-maligned ruck-forward Rory Lobb kept the Dockers in the contest early, booting two of Fremantle’s first three goals and asserting himself around the ground.

Lachie Schultz finished with a game-high four goals, Lobb kicked three, while the exciting Michael Frederick booted two and had an influential role in setting up many others, including a classy tap-on late in the third term.

The performance confirms Fremantle (8-3) as a genuine premiership contender, adding to the rare win they secured in Geelong in round seven.

The only downside for the Dockers was important forward Matt Taberner being subbed off in the final term for Bailey Banfield.

Fremantle face another huge challenge next Sunday when they host second-placed Brisbane at Optus Stadium.

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