EDDIE’S PIES RU N DOWN AS EAGLES FLY HI GH
WEST Coast spoiled the premiership party Collingwood fans had dreamt of, but helped deliver one of the greatest grand finals in AFL history.
The premiership cup is going west for the first time since 2006, after the Eagles crushed Collingwood’s hopes in a nail- biting triumph.
Thousands of West Coast fans were last night doing the ‘ Eagle Rock’ in the streets of Melbourne’s CBD and toasting their club’s fourth flag.
Norm Smith medallist Luke Shuey thanked Eagles fans and paid special tribute to the Pies’ efforts.
“To the Collingwood footy club, Nathan Buckley, Scott Pendlebury, you guys are a wonderful organisation,” he said. “Against a lot of adversity this year you made it to the big stage and you deserved the opportunity to be here.
“I’m sure you’re going to be here over the years to come.”
After rising from 13th last season to the brink of glory, Pies players and fans vowed to return bigger and stronger.
Skipper Pendlebury said the loss “hurts so much because we were so close. The reason it hurts is because we put ourselves on the line for the ultimate’’. He added: “We’ve got to use this now and drive it through pre- season, but at the moment it’s just ‘ Stay together’.”
Vice- captain Taylor Adams said what many loyal fans were thinking.
“I’m proud of the club,” he said. “We will bounce back.”
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire hailed the efforts of his Pies.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t win. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve done. We have a great springboard to launch from for the future,” he said.
“So we take the positives and we walk away. I look at the game and I don’t think there are too many negatives, to be honest … the Eagles were a little bit more sensational.”
Surrounded by players in tears in the Collingwood rooms after the match, McGuir e said they and their supporters should walk away with their heads held high. He said he was “extremely proud — there is no bitterness, no wallowing. We will pick up the pieces and go again”.
Before stepping into the West Coast rooms to congratulate the victors, McGuire added: “They got us by less than a kick, but they got us and they deserved it.”
In front of 100,022 fans, Dom Sheed became an unlikely hero for West Coast with a late goal to seal the win. The 23- year- old left- footer said he
West Coast’s Dom Sheed celebrates afterkicking the winning goalyesterday. Picture: PhilHillyard