Ea­gles fly back to their best in derby

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

WEST Coast for­ward Josh Kennedy booted six goals as the Ea­gles re­bounded from a week of scathing crit­i­cism to post a 41-point thump­ing of Fre­man­tle in last night’s western derby at Do­main Sta­dium.

The Ea­gles were la­belled mummy’s boys who lacked a ruth­less edge in the wake of last week’s 51-point AFL loss to Hawthorn at the MCG.

But West Coast re­gained their mojo against the Dock­ers, with Kennedy awarded the Ross Glendin­ning medal in the 16.7 (103) to 9.8 (62) win in front of 40,836 fans.

West Coast had the game vir­tu­ally sewn up by half-time af­ter rac­ing to a 45-point lead.

Fre­man­tle had scored only three goals up un­til that point — all to Cameron McCarthy.

Dock­ers vet­eran Aaron Sandi­lands was dom­i­nat­ing the ruck taps, but it wasn’t equat­ing to a win in the clear­ance bat­tle as West Coast’s mid­field took con­trol. Jeremy McGovern was al­most im­pass­able in the open­ing half, with the Ea­gles de­fender tak­ing nine marks — seven of them in­ter­cepts — to foil Fre­man­tle’s for­ward thrusts time and again.

El­liot Yeo (32 dis­pos­als, 14 marks) was also cru­cial in de­fence through­out the match, while Matt Prid­dis, Luke Shuey, Sam Mitchell and An­drew Gaff racked up big num­bers in the mid­field.

And up for­ward, Kennedy ruled the roost, with good sup­port from Jack Dar­ling, Mark LeCras and Josh Hill.

Dock­ers tag­ger Con­nor Blakely racked up 30 dis­pos­als and kept Shuey quiet in the first half, but Fre­man­tle had too many pas­sen­gers when the game was on the line early.

West Coast’s fourth suc­ces­sive derby win helps en­trench them in the league’s top eight with a 4-2 record, while Fre­man­tle are 3-3.

A mini scuf­fle broke out af­ter Ea­gles young­ster Liam Dug­gan booted the sec­ond goal of the match, but that was about as much fight as Fre­man­tle showed in the open­ing half.

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