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#31628 - 30 Sep 06 20:44 ABC/Eagles hold off Swans in thriller
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10792
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Not that I am one to gloat or anything, however ...

Saturday, September 30, 2006. 5:13pm (AEST)

Eagles hold off Swans in thriller

By Joe O'Shea

West Coast won the third AFL title in the club's history with a thrilling one-point victory over Sydney in Saturday afternoon's grand final at the MCG.

In what was the first grand final to be decided by a solitary point since 1966, the Eagles exacted revenge on the Swans for last year's four-point defeat in the decider, triumphing 12.13 (85) to 12.12 (84) in a pulsating encounter in front of 97,000 spectators.

After opening up a 25-point lead at half-time, West Coast survived a spirited second-half comeback from the Swans, who kicked eight goals to four in the final two terms.

The past four clashes between the two sides have been decided by an aggregate of 11 points, and today's match-up was no different as both sides fought tooth and nail in the dying stages of the final quarter with the Eagles leading by a point.

Adam Hunter kicked a decisive goal for the Eagles in the final quarter, and praised the efforts of his team-mates after the game.

"[It's a] very surreal sort of feeling," he told ABC Grandstand.

"It hasn't really sunk in, but the boys pulled something out of the bag in the last quarter and it's just a fantastic feeling now.

"They're [Sydney] a quality side and they threw everything at us, but to the boys credit they held on and we won."

Sydney fell behind early after a poor opening quarter, but Swans coach Paul Roos said he was pleased with his side's fightback in the second half.

"I couldn't be prouder of the players," he said.

"It comes down to one point, last year we were on the positive side and this year we're on the negative, but I'm really proud of the guys the way they acquitted themselves.

"I think in the first half we just went a little bit away from our structure and gave them too much footy. At half-time they had an enormous amount of ball, a lot of it uncontested, which is very unlike Sydney."

Andrew Embley was a stand-out performer for the Eagles, taking out the Norm Smith Medal for best-on-ground with 26 touches and two goals. He was given valuable support in the midfield from an injured Chris Judd, who racked up 28 disposals and one goal.

Big man Quinten Lynch was the Eagles' leading scorer with three majors, while Ben Cousins, Embley and Ashley Hansen all bagged doubles. West Coast's defensive unit was equally impressive in keeping Swans gun Barry Hall goalless and restricting the Swans' run through midfield.

Adam Goodes almost single-handedly got the Swans over the line with a fantastic final quarter and finished with 22 possessions and a goal. Brett Kirk also had a strong game with 27 touches, while Nick Davis and Michael O'Loughlin both kicked three majors.
Dominant start

Two goals each to Hansen, Cousins and Lynch helped the Eagles kick 8.7 (55) to 4.6 (30) in the opening half as they dominated possession against a Swans side that struggled to convert their opportunities in front of goal.

West Coast's win was set up with a four-goal first quarter as they made the most of a nervous opening display from Sydney to open up a 16-point lead at the first change.

After scoring just two goals in the first half of last year's decider, the Eagles kicked the first three goals of the match inside 12 minutes and dominated the midfield, while the normally unflappable Swans looked to suffer from a case of early stage fright.

Hansen booted the first goal of the match, while midfield aces Judd and Cousins also chimed in with goals of their own in a productive opening term.

The Swans wasted several opportunities in front of goal, with the normally accurate Hall and O'Loughlin both guilty of missing straightforward set shots.

After conceding the first three goals, O'Loughlin provided a steadier for the Swans in the 18th minute, before Hansen closed the quarter with his second.

The Eagles got off to the best possible start after the first change when Embley ran into a vacant forward 50 in the third minute to goal and open up a commanding 21-point margin.

Ben Mathews responded for Sydney, before Lynch made the most of his size advantage over defender Leo Barry to take strong marks inside 50 and kick the next two goals.

Cousins and O'Loughlin then traded majors, before Davis gave the Swans a boost just before half-time with a much-needed goal to reduce the gap to four goals.
Premiership quarter

Ferocious tackling from Sydney opened the premiership quarter and the Swans' commitment was rewarded after just one minute when O'Loughlin grubbered through for his third following an Adam Schneider tackle.

The sides then traded the next four goals, with Embley and Lynch goaling for the Eagles and Davis and Lewis Roberts-Thomson kicking home for the Swans.

With the Swans starting to gain some momentum late in the quarter, Hall was then given a major chance with three minutes left to reduce the gap, but again he sprayed his set-shot wide to let the Eagles off the hook.

Fortunately for the Swans, Davis stepped up with his third goal of the match, a wonderful kick from outside 50 that cut the margin to 11 points.

Sydney's two big guns combined for a goal inside 15 seconds of the final term, Hall dishing off for a running Goodes to bang home a six-pointer and get the Swans within five points.

The Eagles and Swans then fought out a frenetic next 15 minutes, with both sides looking for a killer blow but neither able to squeeze home a goal.

The roof of the MCG went close to lifting off when Schneider kicked truly to get the Swans to within a point, but a grubbered goal from Steven Armstrong less than two minutes later again put the Eagles out by more than a goal.

The twists kept on coming when Goodes engineered a kick to Ryan O'Keefe, who kicked a speculator from the right pocket and watched on as the ball snuck past five players in the square to roll through for a goal.

With less than five minutes left in the game, Hunter ran into an empty goal square after a smother from team-mate Daniel Chick and seemingly put the game out of reach for the Swans.

Nick Malceski's left-foot snap ensured the game would go down to the final seconds, but the Eagles hung on bravely for a stirring win.
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

#31629 - 30 Sep 06 22:53 Re: ABC/Eagles hold off Swans in thriller
Patung Offline

Registered: 11 Mar 06
Posts: 234
Loc: Indonesia
That Worsfold thug looked real worried towards the end, they fell over the line, good game though.

#31630 - 30 Sep 06 23:31 Re: ABC/Eagles hold off Swans in thriller
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10792
Loc: Centre of the Universe
johnny worsfold used to be my friendly neighbourhood pharmacist. such a mild-mannered gentleman wink
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated


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