West Coast edges over Swans at Subiaco - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast edges over Swans at Subiaco

By Tim Clarke 15/07/2006 10:57:48 PM Comments (0)

It wasn't exactly consolation for last year's grand final heartbreak but West Coast did get one back on Sydney with a stirring come from behind win in an AFL classic at Subiaco Oval.

The Eagles triumphed 9.13 (67) to 9.11 (65) after being behind for all but the final four minutes.

In a game which matched last season's finale between the two sides for drama and intensity, a blistering start by the Swans saw them kick six first quarter goals and lead by 32 points by half time.

But the Eagles launched their seemingly weekly comeback, whittling away at the Swans and taking the lead in the dying minutes through makeshift forward Tyson Stenglein.

Even then there was time for more drama, with Jude Bolton missing a falling shot which would have won the game.

Instead the Eagles kept their top two aspirations alive with a victory against the odds, while Sydney now face a hard task to defend its 2005 title.

West Coast's worrying trend of going the opposition a start continued, with Sydney's pressure giving them the distinct early advantage.

Barry Hall, goalless for the Swans in the last two weeks, was given a boost before the first bounce when his would-be opponent Darren Glass withdraw with a knee injury.

Within two minutes the skipper put his recent goalkicking yips behind him with the opening salvo. The Swans' positive start was momentarily blighted when ruckman Darren Jolly was left prone following a heavy clash with teammate Ben Mathews, forcing Ted Richards into the ruck.

But the enforced change did nothing to halt the Swans intensity and pressure.

If the first quarter was free flowing, Sydney blocked the dam in the second, with the pressure from front to back which typified last year's triumph.

With the Eagles Chris Judd re-assigned forward in attempt to take Adam Goodes away from the ball, the superstar found himself watching the action from 150m away - and was nowhere to be seen when the Sydney star kicked the decisive first goal of the term.

It took nearly 20 minutes, but when David Wirrpanda failed to find his target, Bolton quickly reversed the flow and found Goodes in an acre of space.

When Hall then proved too quick for both Shannon Hurn and Rowan Jones and kicked his third, the lead was more than five goals and more disappointment loomed for Eagles fans.

But once again, John Worsfold's men refused to lie down, and were inspired by Quinten Lynch, the man who was dropped for last year's grand final.

His two goals got West Coast rolling and set up the dramatic denouement.

Stenglein's move into the forward line finally appeared to have rattled the Swans and with massive pressure raining on the Sydney backline, Hall's fourth was a welcome relief to take the gap to 14.

But that was to prove Sydney's only goal in the second half, and with defenders desperately tired, Beau Waters' left foot soccer, and Hunter's mark from Ash Hansen's torpedo brought the gap back to two points with time running out.

Debutant Simon Phillips missed a chance to seal a memorable debut with a sealing goal before Stenglein's right footer edged agonisingly over the line, despite Craig Bolton's desperate lunge.

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