Words: Tiana Bergmans – Photography: Lis Bergmans
The Eagles flew home after a 7 goal rampage in the first quarter of the Western Derby. This led them to win Derby number 42, securing 2nd spot on the ladder.
The Eagles started off with a bang, with leading goal kicker Josh Kennedy scoring within the first minute. It wasn’t till after 6 goals from the Eagles that the Dockers managed to put a goal on the scoreboard, courtesy of David Mundy. The Dockers were dismal in the first term, kicking only one goal and three behinds. The Eagles however, capitalised on their scoring shots, nailing 7 goals with only two behinds, leaving the Dockers trailing by 35 points.
The Dockers didn’t do much better in the second quarter. The only goal came from Michael Walters and 3 behinds from teammates. The Eagles weren’t particularly accurate either, they too only kicked one goal, coming from Matt Rosa towards the end of the quarter. West Coast’s inaccuracy continued, with them kicking 5 behinds. The second quarter was overall very disappointing from both sides, with both failing to do any significant damage to the scoreboard, leaving the 41,959 fans at Domain Stadium bitterly unexcited.
Post match at domain stadium.
As soon as the second half started, the Dockers began to gain a lot more possession of the ball. They dominated courtesy of stoppages, with Fyfe and Mundy sharing a combined 6 clearances within the 3rd quarter. This however was undermined by poor kicking efficiency from Freo, to the tune of 19% less efficiency than their cross town rivals. Despite pivotal goals from Walters, Mayne and Pav, the Dockers were still trailing by 38 points at the last change.
The Eagles also had a big third quarter, kicking 3 goals and 5 behinds, allowing them to pull ahead of the desperate Dockers who were trying to inch closer on the scoreboard. Their derby campaign was particularly assisted by Josh Hill, who slotted his 2nd major in the 3rd quarter, and went on to scoring a further two phenomenal goals in the last quarter.
Presentation of the Ross Glendinning medal to Josh Hill.
Determined to regain some dignity, the Dockers turned up the pressure in the last quarter. Goals from Pav, Sheridan, Griffin, Hill and 2 from Walters were powerful, and reduced the Docker’s deficit to 17 points at one stage, giving the purple army a sense of hope and excitement. However, it was a case of too little too late for the gallant Dockers, who couldn’t hold off the potency of the Eagles, who held out to win by a convincing 4 goals.
The brand of footy played by the Eagles was simply too good for the Dockers, who only found their mojo towards the end of the game.
Mundy and Hill stood out for the Dockers, both collecting 28 touches each, as did Fyfe, who, despite a quiet first half, had 26 disposals and made 5 tackles. As usual, Michael Walters was sensational in the forward 50, booting 4 goals for the Dockers and 1 behind.
Dockers and Eagles battling it out.
Josh Hill lead the goal tally for the Eagles, outdoing Coleman Medal leader, Josh Kennedy, who kicked 2, respectively. J.Hill scored 4 in a stunning performance. Luke Shuey was a key asset to the team, kicking a goal and making a game high 9 tackles.
WA is almost certainly looking at a top 2 finish for its teams, with the Dockers holding onto first place. September is forecast to be a mix of purple and white with blue and gold in WA, with the two teams potentially going head to head during the finals. Depending on ladder placements, the AFL could even see the first every derby final held in Western Australia, which will definitely stir a lot of football related banter and camaraderie in the West.
Sea of purple at Domain Stadium.