West Coast Eagles vs Melbourne Demons
Tonight’s match of AFL will be called by our 6PR call team, Adam Papalia, Karl Langdon, Glen Jakovich and Lee Spurr.
Bouncedown at 6.10pm AWST, the 7th placed West Coast host a struggling Melbourne Demons, who currently sit in 15th. It is a re-match of last year’s Elimination Final, which the Eagles won by 66 points.
One late change for the home side, Eagles have replaced Will Schofield (general soreness) for Tom Hickey, and will go into tonight’s clash with two ruckmen.
Willie Rioli was named during the week for his first game of the season, after a stress injury in his left foot has seen him sidelined this year. He replaced Jake Waterman (omit.) in the side.
“A hot tempo” out there at Optus Stadium despite the cold weather, and as we head into the quarter time break Melbourne lead by 2 points. Rioli has a goal in his first quarter back and Josh Kennedy has 2, while Hunt, Petracca and Jones all have singles for Melbourne, who lead 3.2.20 to 3.4.22. Eagles have piled the pressure on to the Demons, leading the tackle count 18 to 9, but the Demons will be disappointed after missing some very kick-able goals in the first term.
Melbourne still maintain ascendancy, and are up by 9 in a tight contest with 8 minutes to play in the second quarter. It has been a long quarter, after Daniel Venables required a stretcher after he appeared to be knocked out quite severely in an incident. Venables was going back with the flight and made contact with a Melbourne player’s hip. Eagles will now have to finish the match with 1 less rotation.
Tom Hickey also went down in the second term, but runs out with the side to start the third quarter. He has been valiant against Max Gawn tonight, and Eagles will want his presence if they are going to come back in this match. The Eagles trail at half time 38 to 34.
A second concussion, this time it is Melbourne player Alex Neal-Bullen who has been concussed and looks like he will not return to the game. Both benches now down to 3 rotations.
With a minute to play in the 3rd quarter, Josh Kennedy scores his fourth and pegs the margin back to 13 points, after Melbourne had gotten it out to a game high 19 points. A much needed goal before the final break.
The intensity has lifted in the last quarter, some desperate tackles in the Eagles back line and it looks like they’ve lifted. The first goal from Luke Shuey, a tough shot from the boundary seems to have inspired his side, and then Jamie Cripps capitalizes at the top of the square to tie up the match! Two quick goals from the Eagles to start the last quarter.
A phenomenal fight back from the Eagles, a 6 goal to 1 final term sees West Coast win by 16 points. Melbourne had four more scoring shots, but kicked 9.15 to 13.7. Liam Ryan has taken what could be the mark of the season, Josh Kennedy kicks 4, but it was Shannon Hurn and Elliot Yeo who led from the front with massive performances to help carry the Eagles over the line.