The West Coast WAFL side saw the return of some prominent players to the field on Saturday, namely that of Eagles AFL captain Luke Shuey, who helped inspire a drought-breaking first win.
In about 80 minutes of game time, Shuey finished the match with 22 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.
Brendon Ah Chee (17 disposals, five marks, three tackles), Alex Witherden (26, six, two) Bailey Williams (18, eight, four), and Jarrod Brander (21, eight, two) were also seasoned additions to the star-studded line-up.
The injection of these AFL players ensured the match was hotly contested until the final minutes, with Shuey, Ah Chee and Brander inflicting a dominant brand of football in the midfield.
Despite the one-point deficit at the half-time break, the Eagles worked their way back to a strong finish, winning the match 12.9 (81) to 11.10 (76).
The Eagles side ran out with an air of confidence today, epitomised by Williams snapping the first major of the match in the first two minutes of the game.
From there, Nathan Vardy snared a thriller, fending off three Subiaco players and snapping the ball across his body.
After a couple of rushed behinds for the Eagles, Jarrod Garlett followed suit with a goal of his own, handing West Coast the lead 20 to zero.
The Lions returned serve with two rushed behinds and a late goal, but it wasn’t enough, with the Eagles heading into the quarter-time break leading 21 to eight.
Subiaco fought back hard in the second semester, with repeat inside 50 entries countering Ah Chee’s early goal.
Despite the intensity lift from Subiaco, Shuey was a domineering presence in the midfield, when, halfway through the second he pulled off a ground-ball turned double-disposal manoeuvre which drew audible “wows” from the crowd.
But, regardless of the constant effort from the Eagles outfit, Subiaco were too strong in the second, with their non-stop goal onslaught giving them a one-point lead at the half-time break.
However, an incredible burst from West Coast saw the side topple the Lions in the third quarter, with an unbelievable screamer from Garlett, a monstrous hanger from Ah Chee inside 50, a fantastic intercept mark from Connor West, and a one-handed grab from Nathan Vardy all amongst the best of the term.
Mark Hutchings, Kieran Hug, Joey Deegan, Ah Chee, Garlett, Hamish Brayshaw and Vardy were also in the thick of it, with a goal apiece in the third quarter.
Subiaco were held to two goals in this term, and two rushed behinds, which gave the Eagles a 23-point lead at the break.
In the fourth quarter, The Lions were keen to come out with a bang with a quick tap in the circle leading to a speedy clearance and a rushed behind, with West Coast’s defensive pressure too strong.
From there it was a back-and-forth effort through the midfield, with Subiaco surging in the final moments, but the Eagles held their lead, bolstered by a goal from Hug, and won the game by five points.
This makes the Eagles’ last two matches their best, against the two top-tier sides of the WAFL competition.
This only further exemplifies the growth and resilience shown by the side as they continue to improve throughout the season.
WEST COAST 3.3 5.5 11.7 12.9 (81)
SUBIACO 1.2 5.6 7.8 11.10 (76)
West Coast: Ah Chee, Vardy 2, Brayshaw, Deegan, Gartlett, Hug, Hutchings, Robilliard, Williams
Subiaco: Sokol 4, Braut 2, Hickmott, Martin, Putt
West Coast: Hutchings, Shuey, Witherden, Brander, Ainsworth, Ah Chee, Vardy, Garlett
Subiaco: Kitchin, Marsh, Rohde, Sokol, Brauts