St Kilda has suffered a heart-wrenching last-minute defeat at the hands of the unbeaten Fremantle at RSEA Park, Moorabbin.
In just their fourth AFLW match, the gallant Saints led the experienced Dockers for most of the day, before an untimely concentration lapse from defender Molly McDonald resulted in a 50-metre penalty and an easy goal to level the scores with two minutes to go.
Minutes earlier, McDonald had snapped truly through congestion, giving the Saints some breathing space to begin the last term.
Docker Gemma Houghton kicked three points for the day, but her crucial poster in the dying stages gave the Dockers a 3.6 (24) to 3.5 (23) win.
The Saints' gutsy display was marred by injuries to key Saints Kate McCarthy and Tarni White.
White went down in the first quarter with a suspected ACL injury, while McCarthy awkwardly got her leg caught underneath her in a tackle from Angelique Stannett in the third quarter.
After a goalless first term for both sides, Dockers midfielder Jasmin Stewart ended the drought with a sharp finish from a stoppage early in the second quarter.
The third and fourth quarters started in an eerily similar fashion, as Caitlin Greiser put the Saints in front with a goal less than 30 seconds into the second half.
The Saints head to Ikon Park next Saturday at 7.10pm to face the Blues.
ST KILDA 0.1 1.1 2.4 3.5 (23)
FREMANTLE 0.2 1.3 1.3 3.6 (24)
St Kilda: Greiser, Vesely, McDonald
Fremantle: Stewart, Bowers, Flood
St Kilda: Vesely, Drennan, Watt, Dillon, Greiser, Lucas-Rodd
Fremantle: Miller, Bowers, Grieve, K.Antonio, Seth, E.Antonio
St Kilda: Tarni White (knee), Kate McCarthy (knee)
St Kilda: Nil