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West Coast Eagles

WAFL: Gutsy Eagles fall short against Lions

Matthew Allen amassed 21 disposals and eight marks at Leederville Oval

West Coast's WAFL team fell just short of upsetting the league's powerhouse club, going down to Subiaco by 15 points at Leederville Oval on Friday.

It was a gallant effort by the Eagles, who pushed the reigning premiers to the brink beforea late surge saw the Lions  prevail 8.12 (60) to 6.9 (45).

Without star forward Jake Waterman, the Eagles fought from start to finish, giving the Lions their toughest test of the season.

The loss drops the Eagles to sixth on the ladder, with Subiaco taking top spot. 

Young forward Jarrod Brander was a standout for the visitors with 23 disposals and two goals, while midfielder Kurt Mutimer collected 23 disposals.

Ruckman Keegan Brooksby was also dominant with 42 hitouts. 

Lions captain Kyal Horsley led from the front, collecting 29 disposals, while Rhys Waters kicked three goals for Subiaco.

In wet and windy conditions, the first quarter proved to be a tight tussle.

Back-to-back goals by Waters saw the home side jump out to an early 12-point lead, before the Eagles fought their way back into the contest, controlling possession and territory for much of the first term.

Despite their dominance, the Eagles struggled to capitalise in front of goal, kicking five behinds as Subiaco took an eight-point lead into the first break.

Jarrod Cameron got the Eagles on the board at the start of the second term, kicking the side's first goal inside the opening minute.

Both teams struggled to hit the scoreboard for much of the second term, before late goals by Jack Beverley and Braden Fimmano helped the Lions establish a 16-point lead at half-time.

Brander kicked the first goal of the second half, before goals to Kieran Hug and captain Fraser McInnes levelled the scores at 32.

Brander edged the Eagles ahead with his second goal of third term, before Waters bagged his third to level scores before the final change of ends.

Luke Foley gave the Eagles the lead early in the fourth quarter, before a late surge saw the Lions kick the last three goals of the game to run out 15-point winners.

Despite the disappointing result, star recruit Brady Grey was optimistic about the team’s performance.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge. The fact we were down at half-time and then to be leading at the 20-minute mark of the last quarter was a great effort," Grey said.

"If we bring that effort every week we’re going to be in most games of footy."

Grey believed the team's chemistry would continue to build as the season went on.

"We’ll continue to learn and grow, but there’s a lot of positives out of the younger guys today and the guys pushing for selection in the AFL team," he said.

"To be in the contest with five minutes to go, a bounce of the ball either way and it’s a difference. But to their credit they’re a great side and we’ll learn from it, move forward and hopefully we see them at the crunch time of the year."