Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe marks in front of Hawthorn's Daniel Howe in Launceston on Saturday. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP
Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe marks in front of Hawthorn's Daniel Howe in Launceston on Saturday. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP

Hawks stay in finals hunt with win over Dockers

HAWTHORN have kept their AFL top-eight hopes alive and dealt Fremantle's finals chances a blow with a gritty 31-point win in Launceston.

The Hawks fended off a Nat Fyfe-inspired comeback from the Dockers, who conceded the first five goals in a low-scoring clash on Saturday afternoon.

They got within a point midway through the third quarter before Hawthorn rallied for a 12.12 (84) to 8.5 (53) victory.

Youngster Mitchell Lewis kicked three goals for Hawthorn, including two back-to-back at a crucial juncture late in the third term.

It opened a 62-41 lead heading into the final quarter, from where the Hawks shut down the game.

Hawthorn's Luke Bruest also snared three majors and Chad Wingard two, while James Worpel finished with a team-high 33 possessions.

The result leaves both teams on the fringe of the top eight with 28 competition points from seven wins and nine losses.

Fyfe single-handedly lifted Fremantle off the canvas with a three-goal burst in the second term after going off earlier in the quarter for treatment on a troublesome right shoulder.

He returned from the sheds with strapping and picked up 11 disposals, five tackles and two clearances for the quarter.

Buoyed by their skipper, Fremantle went on a run of five goals either side of half-time until Lewis pushed Hawthorn ahead.

In similar scenes to their heavy loss to West Coast last round, the Dockers had the yips in front of goal and missed their only three set shots in the opening quarter to trail 19-3 at the first break.

Bradley Hill was heavily involved with a game-high 37 touches for Fremantle, whose dismal record at University of Tasmania Stadium grew to 12 losses and just one win.

- AAP