Eagles breeze past Dees
West Coast has defeated Melbourne by 27 points at Optus Stadium, in the final game of AFL football until at least May 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed by the AFL on Sunday.
The Eagles made a barnstorming start, kicking five goals to none in the opening term to set up the 12.6 (78) to 7.9 (51) triumph.
With a decision on the future of the season having being made two hours before bouncedown, both teams knew it was their last chance to make an impact for at least ten weeks, in what was an error riddled start to the match.
Liam Ryan opened the goal scoring inside 10 minutes, before two goals from Brendon Ah Chee helped the home side to a handy advantage.
Dom Sheed was gifted a goal through an errant handball, and when Lewis Jetta wobbled one through from beyond 50 the Eagles had a 27 point lead at the first break.
The second term was a more even affair as Alex Neal-Bullen got Melbourne on the board, but Adam Simpson’s men were still in firm control, defenders Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern patrolling the air and controlling on the ground.
A 21 point half-time lead ballooned out for 40 points in the third term as boom recruit Tim Kelly kicked his first goal in blue and gold, the game as good as over.
The last quarter went through the motions as both teams came to grips with what was to come, Andrew Gaff capping off a stellar day with a goal to go with his 30 disposals.
Demons vice-captain Jack Viney was magnificent for the visitors with 34 disposals, while former Docker Ed Langdon had 31 disposals in his first appearance in the red and the blue.
Liam Ryan kicked three goals (and three behinds) while Dom Sheed kicked two majors for the winners.
IMAGE: West Coast Eagles Twitter.