After a slow start and only four behinds in their first quarter, the Dockers paid the price for their poor kicking. They scored 8.16 goals in an impressive match that they controlled for long periods.
Patrick Cripps, the Carlton champion, survived a scary first quarter when he appeared as if he had injures an ankle but continued the game with courage. Jacob Weitering, a Blues hero with 10 marks in defense and a game-saver for late, was an inspiration.
Carlton began the game with more intention than the Dockers. He made Nat Fyfe a target and fought him to the ground at every opportunity. Matthew Kennedy's first tackle resulted in the Blues scoring their first goal.
Fremantle was not a target, and Paddy Dow played the kind of football Blues fans had hoped for, with lightning hands at the stoppages, and a burst in speed as he collected 11 possessions for the quarter.
The Blues were 22 points ahead at the first change. He extended that lead to 28 in the second term, scoring a well-deserved goal. Carlton nearly made the Dockers sick by that point, but Fremantle was able to recover their lost ground with Sean Darcy's influence on the ruck.
Carlton led and hung tough. They kicked three goals to Fremantle for the second quarter. But they were increasingly against the flow of general play. The Dockers wasted their chances once more.
They made their move in the third quarter. They kicked again four goals to three and seven behinds ahead, but the Dockers continued dominating both possession and field position for the remainder of the quarter.
Rory Lobb, an ineffective player, turned the tide for the Dockers with a crushing goal close to the boundary line. He then gave another to Michael Walters. The scores were even at the last change.
Carlton had to find something - anything - to stop the flow. With a run-down tackle against Griffin Logue, Eddie Betts gave them the lead. To lift his team, Weitering made a huge one-on-one tackle on Lobb.
The Blues held the Dockers off, and the air began to leak from their tires. Walsh's goal was a fantastic second-effort shot from the boundary that sent Blues fans into frenzy. Fremantle heads were also dropped.