The developing West Coast Eagles showed their progress in Saturday’s clash with Adelaide, and were competitive across all four quarters of the match, despite eventually falling to the Crows by 33 points.

It was a scorching day at Swinburne Centre (Punt Road Oval) and the Eagles were resilient in their efforts, but the 2019 premiers were too strong and took home a 6.6 (42) to 1.3 (9) victory and four premiership points.

The ball was hotly-contested early and after Erin Phillips booted Adelaide’s first goal of the match in the opening minutes, new recruit Aimee Schmidt showed her class with a snap on the run from 40 metres out to close off the term.

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Schmidt slots one from long range

Aimee Schmidt boots the Eagles opening goal against the Crows

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Evie Gooch also did some good things with the ball – including a crafty intercept – and spent time on one of Adelaide’s most seasoned players in Phillips later in the quarter, where she was incredibly effective.

West Coast showed how far they’d come this match and attacked the contest with fervour across all quarters of the game – thanks in part to debutants Sarah Lakay and Courtney Rowley – who spent time in the Eagles’ engine room and forward-line.

Lakay battled well against Adelaide’s hardened rucks to finish with seven disposals and 10 hitouts, while Rowley was positioned as a deep forward and moved the ball well with six disposals and three marks.

Rowley was also instrumental in a potential scoring opportunity late in the second quarter, intercepting a mark on the wing and sending the ball into Parris Laurie cleanly, who was able to take a contested mark inside 50.

Dana Hooker also played her part as stand-in captain, and was one of the best Eagles afield today with 18 disposals and four clearances, alongside midfielders, Aisling McCarthy (18, four), Mikayla Bowen (18, six marks) and Parris Laurie (13, seven).

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Hooker forced from the field

Dana Hooker lands awkwardly and is taken from the ground with a suspected leg injury

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It was also a solid showing from returning defender Ashton Hill who played her first match in 713 days after succumbing to an ACL injury in round one of the 2020 season.

Hill finished the day with four disposals and two marks and got the monkey off of her back, completing her first ever game of AFLW.

Highlights from the match include a brilliant coast to coast play by West Coast in the third term – started from an intercept by Amber Ward – and a terrific contested mark on the wing by Rowley later in that same quarter.

While the match remained relatively low scoring, West Coast bled spirit and were consistent with their efforts across all four quarters, namely across periods in the final term when both sides were fatigued.

Despite the loss, the West Coast Eagles showcased their improvement on Saturday, with the younger contingent of players beginning to rise to the occasion and mature in matches against some of the competition’s best sides.

DETAILS

Adelaide 1.1 3.2 5.4 6.6 (42)

West Coast 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.3 (9)

GOALS

Adelaide Mules, Woodland 2, Jones, Phillips

West Coast Schmidt

BEST

Adelaide Jones, Marinoff, Phillips, Thompson, Mules

West Coast Hooker, McCarthy, Bowen, Laurie, Lewis, Gooch, McDonald

INJURIES

Adelaide Hatchard

West Coast Nil

Reports Nil

Attendance TBC