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Eagles bounce back against Crows



The West Coast Eagles have recorded their first win since round 13, defeating Adelaide by 42 points at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.


Small forward Jamie Cripps played one of the best games of his 194 game career, kicking five goals to be the star inside 50, Liam Ryan with 3.4 as the Eagles kicked ten goals after half time to prevail 14.14 (98) to 8.8 (56).


The win steadies the Eagles position inside the top 8, although skipper Luke Shuey failed to finish the match due to a calf injury in the latest soft tissue injury concern for the 31 year old.


In a scrappy start to the contest the home side kicked the only goal of the first quarter through Taylor Walker, leading by six points at quarter time.


Jack Darling snapped truly to get the Eagles on the board early in the second term, 200th gamer Nic Naitanui giving his team first use of the ball at the stoppages as Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly and Luke Shuey found plenty of the ball.


Jamie Cripps kicked two goals in two minutes to give the visitors a 14 point lead, Darcy Fogarty kicking two goals of his own to leave the margin at half time.


West Coast broke the match open in the third quarter, Cripps, Ryan and Petruccelle sharing the five goals the side would kick on the term, the highlight a Naitanui tap that Cripps sharked from a boundary throw in to snap truly from 35 metres.


There was no comeback from the home team in the final term, the Eagles taking their 21 point margin at the final change and extending in to 42 by the final siren, Cripps with another sublime snap to equal his career best of five goals.


Skipper Shuey was substituted out of the contest early in the final quarter with what coach Adam Simpson described post match as 'calf awareness', the only concern from a strong second half performance that broke a three game losing run.


"He's got calf awareness, and we didn't want to take any risks. It's minor," he said.


Simpson was pleased with his team's ability to bounce back.


"It's been a difficult 3-4 weeks. Both teams were really keen. Overall, we played 4 quarters."


Debutant Connor West didn't look out of place in his first game in blue and gold, registering 19 disposals and a team high 13 contested possessions.


Andrew Gaff worked tirelessly to collect 34 disposals for the Eagles, Tim Kelly (26) and dependable veteran Shannon Hurn (24 disposals and 9 marks) also outstanding.


But the day belonged to Cripps, who had 23 disposals to go with 5.2 to lead West Coast to a crucial victory.


The Eagles will face St Kilda at Optus Stadium in round 19, while the Crows will face the Western Bulldogs as their season peters out towards a disappointing conclusion.


IMAGE: J News.