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Eagle Review: Round 18

4:12pm  Jul 24, 2017

Hurn press conference 24.07.17

3:10pm  Jul 24, 2017

Ch 7: Teammates reflect on JK 200

9:38am  Jul 24, 2017

Eagles claim final derby at Subiaco Oval

Travis King, AFL.com.au  July 16, 2017 5:15 PM

Rd 17 highlights v Freo The Dockers and Eagles clash in round 17
MRJK17 portrait.jpg

Josh Kennedy kicked three goals in his return match

The final Western Derby at Domain Stadium won't live long in the memory, but West Coast banked four vital points as Fremantle blew a golden opportunity to claim local bragging rights. 

After a huge build-up to the 46th and, almost certainly, last confrontation between the bitter rivals at the soon-to-be defunct Subiaco venue, the error-riddled contest was a letdown as the Eagles claimed victory by 30 points.

West Coast's five-goal-to-nil opening burst and vastly-superior skills proved the difference in a clash marred by the Dockers' horrendous goalkicking.

Fremantle had the same amount of scoring shots but no winners in attack as the more efficient Eagles ran out 11.8 (74) to 5.14 (44) winners.

West Coast skipper Shannon Hurn was the unanimous choice as Ross Glendinning medallist after picking up 34 disposals across half-back.
The victory kept the Eagles (9-7) in the hunt for finals but their bonafides as anything other than an also-ran in the premiership race remain up for debate.

Freo's chances of finals football are now all-but extinguished at 7-9 and the loss could be soured after star Stephen Hill hurt his shoulder in the final term, although he returned to the action after receiving treatment.

Returning Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy booted three goals and kick-started the first-quarter salvo with the game's opening major, before giving his side a 29-point buffer after the three-quarter time siren.

Kennedy's long-time sidekick Mark LeCras (two) was lively and nailed his 400th career goal, while resurgent tall Jack Darling (two) iced the game late after a well-judged mark.

That trio's threat despite a lack of supply (46-57 inside 50s) offered stark contrast to the Dockers' attacking woes.

Talls Shane Kersten (one goal) and Brennan Cox were ineffective, while star Michael Walters (two, 14 disposals) was shut out by Eagles tagger Mark Hutchings.

Goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne booted one goal from eight touches, with Brad Sheppard taking the points in their duel.

Dockers wingman Bradley Hill (28 disposals) found plenty of the ball but had a day to forget in front of goal, missing some sitters as he kicked three behinds to sum up Freo's performance.

Superstar skipper Nat Fyfe (30, 19 contested) could hold his head high after fighting all match in midfield and helping Freo gain some ascendancy after trailing 25-3 at quarter-time.

The Dockers' vaunted onball brigade wrestled its way on top but some shocking delivery inside 50, combined with fumbling and bumbling around goals, saw them trail by 14 points at the long break.

Freo notched six behinds before Kersten finally broke the drought with a miraculous no-look snap midway through the second term.

The Dockers refused to go away in the second half, and closed the margin to 16 points in the final quarter, but the Eagles had enough answers.

Tireless onballer Andrew Gaff (35 disposals), maturing youngster Liam Duggan (31) and intercept marking star Jeremy McGovern (eight marks, one goal) were outstanding for the Eagles, who have now won the past five derbies.

West Coast wrapped up the history of crosstown rivalries at Domain with an overall 26-20 win-loss record after Sunday's win, and the Eagles are now back into eighth spot on the ladder with six rounds remaining.

More to come

FREMANTLE             0.3      2.8      3.13    5.14    (44)                  
WEST COAST            4.1      5.4      9.6      11.8    (74)           

GOALS
Fremantle: 
Walters 2, Kersten, Suban, Ballantyne
West Coast: Kennedy 3, LeCras 2, Darling 2, Petrie, Priddis, McGovern, Sheed 

BEST 
Fremantle:
 Fyfe, Neale, Suban, Blakely, Weller
West Coast: Duggan, Hurn, McGovern, Sheppard, Gaff, Redden 

INJURIES 
Fremantle: 
S.Hill (shoulder)
West Coast: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Hay, Findlay

Official crowd: 38,722