Premiership hero Dom Sheed starred in a gallant Eagles' performance and fought hard all day in a 38-point loss to Claremont.
The Eagles’ returning stars – Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan – also drew a crowd as West Coast pushed Claremont all the way until dropping off in the final quarter.
Sheed racked up a whopping 34 disposals and six marks while Rioli was extremely influential around the ball as the Eagles led by nine points at the first break.
But Claremont didn’t lie down and piled on five majors in the final quarter – while holding the Eagles goalless – to finish the clash with a 13.10 (88) to 7.8 (50) victory.
It was exciting to see Rioli and Sheed again link up in the centre circle, with Rioli claiming the first possession of the match and sending it cleanly into the waiting arms of Ryan Ambrose.
Doubling down, Rioli managed the same feat just moments later to hand Liam Ryan his first goal of the match and the Eagles’ second.
Jai Culley also showed some signs in his first game in the blue and gold, sending the ball inside 50 three times, and doing some good things around the contest, while speedster Jack Petruccelle produced a scintillating performance and was one of the Eagles’ best.
Highlights include a penetrating torpedo kick to start the third quarter, as well as a terrific rundown tackle moments later to the excitement of Eagles’ fans.
The pacey utility also creating scoring opportunities aplenty to finish the game with five inside 50s and three tackles.
Crafty defender Ethan Hansen also starred in the backline with 18 disposals and 10 marks, and booted a terrific 55 metre torpedo in the final quarter.
When the Eagles were leading midway through the third quarter, Hansen was also used in the last line of defence and saved a sure goal attempt which would have handed Claremont the lead.
Peppering in the fourth quarter, the Eagles just couldn’t score, kicking three behinds while Claremont ran rampant.
Despite leading by 12 points in the first break – and trailing by just nine at three-quarter time – the Eagles couldn’t get the job done in a well-fought match against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium.
WEST COAST 3.2 5.4 7.5 7.8 (50)
CLAREMONT 1.2 5.7 8.8 13.10 (88)
West Coast: Ryan, Ambrose 2, Strnadica, Deegan, McCarthy
Claremont: Bennett, Smallwood, Mainwaring, Jackman 2, Rogers, Bolton, Buller, England, Sheldrick
West Coast: Sheed, Rioli, Ryan, Ambrose, Petruccelle, Hansen
Claremont: Rogers, Ryan, Bolton, Martinis, Mountford, Spyvee