FREMANTLE has overcome a club injury crisis and a spirited Sydney to secure a hard-fought 14-point victory at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a heated contest between two teams that started the round occupying the bottom two spots on the ladder until the Dockers skipped away to a 6.6 (42) to 4.4 (28) win.
SWANS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats
The Dockers have suffered seven season-ending injuries, but in a big boost welcomed back Ebony Antonio for her first game of the year and 50th AFLW appearance after recovering from a PCL injury.
Antonio eased her way into the game but showed her class in the second half to finish with 14 touches and a goal in a rousing return.
But it was Hayley Miller that led the way for the Dockers in a dominant display to gather a game-high 27 disposals and one goal, including a record-equalling 14 disposals in the opening term.
Airlie Runnalls (25) and Kiara Bowers (19) were also influential, while Bianca Webb slotted two goals to ensure the Dockers made the most of controlling the ball in tricky conditions.
The Swans matched the Dockers through the first half as they searched for their first victory, but were unable to take advantage of kicking with the breeze in the third term.
Young guns Sophie Hurley (15 disposals, one goal) and Montana Ham (13, one) were again among the best for the Swans and kicked their opening two goals.
Ham, the Swans' prized No.1 draft pick, had to be helped from the field in the first term after landing heavily in a tackle but returned to boot her first AFLW goal and kick off jubilant celebrations.
Bella Smith and Paige Sheppard battled hard for the Swans, while Brooke Lochland added her usual spark with 12 disposals and a goal.
Swans head coach Scott Gowans missed the match due to illness with senior assistant Baker Denneman taking the reins for the day.
"Whenever Ebony Antonio is on the ground, you feel like you have a chance to win, she's an incredible presence. She has lacked a bit of confidence in her knee so for her to bounce back and compete is great." - Fremantle coach Trent Cooper
"We went out and executed the game plan we wanted to, it was just unfortunate Freo were too good today ... I think it was just lapses in concentration for us and the ability to stay focussed for the four quarters, that's something we'll continue to work on." - Sydney senior assistant coach Baker Denneman
The Swans will end their season away to Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon, while the Dockers host Hawthorn that night at Fremantle Oval.
SYDNEY 2.0 2.1 4.3 4.4 (28)
FREMANTLE 2.0 3.2 5.4 6.6 (42)
Sydney: Ham, Hurley, Privitelli, Lochland
Fremantle: Webb 2, Miller, Antonio, Gore, East
Sydney: Ham, Smith, Hurley, Szigeti
Fremantle: Miller, Bowers, Webb, Runnalls
Fremantle: Miller (hip)