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Kennedy eight not enough for Eagles

A stunning eight goal haul for retiring Eagles champion forward Josh Kennedy wasn't enough to get his team over the line, suffering a 16 point defeat at the hands of Adelaide at Optus Stadium in the final game of round 21 on Sunday.

Playing his 293rd and final AFL game Kennedy kept his side in the game in a superb swansong performance, only for the Crows to power to a 16.6 (102) to 13.8 (86) in front of 50,117 fans.

In a match between 17th and 15th it was the Crows who started impressively, kicking the opening 3 goals of the game including two to 200th gamer Rory Laird.

Kennedy got the Eagles on the board with a typically poised finish from the left forward pocket, his first of three goals for the term to single handedly keep his side in the contest.

Jack Darling and Jamie Cripps hit the scoreboard in the second term as West Coast hit the front, Crows defender Will Hamill knocked out in a collision with Darling.

Tom Barrass was keeping Taylor Walker quiet but Darcy Fogarty and Shane McAdam were hitting the scoreboard to keep their side in it, only two points in it at half time the Eagles way.

The Crows capitalised on an error riddled Eagles outfit in the third term to gain what would prove a decisive advantage, Kennedy with two late majors to take his tally to six and keep West Coast alive at the final break.

Early goals to Cripps and Darling again had the margin back to a goal before Darcy Fogarty responded, the crowd at fever pitch hoping for a win for their star full forward.

It became the Kennedy-Fogarty show in the final term, Kennedy kicking his seventh and eighth goals of a phenomenal final game performance, Fogarty with his third major between those two to keep his side in front.

Bailey Williams hit the goal post from only metres out storming n to an open goal before Kennedy missed a chance to kick his ninth goal to level the scores, Lachlan Murphy's checkside kick inside 50 finding Elliott Himmelberg who slotted a steadying goal for the Crows.

Fogarty sealed the game in the final minute with a sublime set shot from the boundary, his fourth goal of another strong performance from the young Adelaide forward.

While Kennedy didn't finish on the winning side he did kick the second most goals ever by a player in their final match, a fitting finish to a 293 game, 723 goal career.

In his 200th game Laird had 36 disposals to go with two goals, Jordan Dawson with 27, while Tim Kelly finished as West Coast's highest disposal getter with 26.

The Crows seventh win of season 2022 sees them jump to 15th spot on the table, while West Coast could yet win the wooden spoon with just two wins in a horrendous season.

The Eagles will face Fremantle in a Western Derby next Saturday night, while Adelaide return home to face North Melbourne in round 22.

IMAGE: West Coast Eagles Twitter.


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