K rock Football

Eagles break through for first win

AFTER three challenging weeks to open their AFLW life, the West Coast Eagles are on the board after holding on for a four-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Leederville Oval in Perth.

The Eagles didn’t show a whole lot in their opening three losses to Collingwood, Fremantle and the GWS Giants. They only kicked five goals in total in those matches but they were a vastly more impressive looking team on home turf.

West Coast kicked three goals to one after half-time with Grace Kelly kicking what was ultimately the sealer early in the fourth term in the 4.6 (30) to 3.8 (26) victory.

Eagles captain Emma Swanson was brilliant with 22 possessions and six clearances. Dana Hooker also had it 19 times, Niamh Kelly 16 and her sister Grace 14 as the Irish pair showed exciting signs.

It was a tough loss to take for the Bulldogs, who now have one win from the opening four rounds. They also lost spearhead Bonnie Toogood to a knee injury before quarter-time.

Ellie Blackburn collected 19 possessions for the Bulldogs, Gabby Newton 16 (10 tackles), Kirsty Lamb 15 and Hannah Scott 15.

It was an impressive start for the Eagles. After a couple of chances, they got the game’s first goal courtesy of a clever snap from Ashlee Atkins.

That would be the only goal of the term despite a couple of strong marks in attack for the Bulldogs from Toogood before she left the field hobbling with a knee complaint.

The Bulldogs then kicked the only two goals of the second term, to Danielle Marshall from a free-kick in the goal square and then Kim Rennie after a strong contested mark.

That had the visitors up by five points at the major break.

West Coast took back control in the third quarter. It led to an early goal from Emma Swanson and then a stroke of luck when it came off Hayley Bullas’ back-heel as she was falling to the ground.

West Coast went into three quarter-time up seven and that became 12 early in the fourth when Grace Kelly ran into an open goal.

The Bulldogs clawed one back through usual defender Isabel Huntington. They continued to attack and had another golden chance courtesy of Kirsten McLeod. She missed her set shot and the Eagles held on for the four-point win.

© AAP 2020

WEST COAST EAGLES 1.3 1.4 3.6 4.6 (30)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.2 2.3 2.5 3.8 (26)

Goals: West Coast Eagles: A Atkins E Swanson G Kelly H Bullas. Western Bulldogs: D Marshall I Huntington K Rennie.

Venue: Leederville Oval.