Eagles hold off late Saints charge

Eagles hold off late Saints charge

ONBALLERS Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo and Luke Shuey have spearheaded West Coast’s workmanlike three-goal AFL win over St Kilda.

Despite the Saints kicking four goals to one in the last quarter, the Eagles held sway to win 12.16 (88) to 10.10 (70) on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.

The reigning premiers remain well off their best but did what was needed and improved to 5-3 for the season.

After winning four of their opening five games, the Saints are mired in a three-match losing streak.

Sheed, Shuey and Yeo were all prolific, while captain Shannon Hurn was solid in defence and small forward Liam Ryan was a constant threat but sprayed his shots for a 1.4 return.

Saints key forward Josh Bruce returned to form with 10 marks, seven of them contested, and a goal.

The Eagles kicked the opening two majors and led by eight points at the first break after a goal on the siren from St Kilda’s Jade Gresham.

When West Coast opening the second term with two quick goals, a long night appeared to loom for the Saints.

But St Kilda impressively worked their way back into the game, kicking the only other two goals before halftime to trail by just seven points.

Saints fans were raging about the 7-3 free-kick count, with a string of calls going against their team.

The margin was only six points 12 minutes into the third term, after an excellent snap from Shane Savage and a goal to Dean Kent.

But Eagles key forward Josh Kennedy put a dagger through their hearts, kicking the last two goals of the third term after a quiet game.

That gave West Coast a five-goal lead at the last change and, while the Saints kicked the first two goals of the final quarter, they were always at long odds of overrunning the Eagles.

© AAP 2019

WEST COAST 3.3 5.6 11.8 12.16 (88)

ST KILDA 2.1 4.5 6.8 10.10 (70)

Goals: West Coast: J Cripps 2 J Kennedy 2 J Petruccelle 2 O Allen 2 D Sheed D Venables J Darling L Ryan. St Kilda: D Kent 2 J Billings 2 J Bruce J Gresham J Sinclair J Steele S Savage T Membrey.

Best: West Coast: D Sheed E Yeo L Ryan S Hurn D Venables L Duggan A Gaff. St Kilda: J Bruce J Billings J Battle N Brown L Dunstan.

Official Crowd: 20,236 at Marvel Stadium.