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Kelly stars as Eagles crush Dockers

Kelly stars as Eagles crush Dockers

TIM Kelly has tallied 42 disposals and 14 clearances to help guide West Coast to a 59-point win over Fremantle and an 11th straight AFL western derby victory at an empty Optus Stadium.

The Dockers trailed by just seven points early in the third quarter of Sunday’s match, but West Coast booted the final eight goals to secure the 20.12 (132) to 11.7 (73) win.

It represented a 156-point turnaround for the Eagles since last week’s 97-point loss to Geelong.

Eagles forwards Josh Kennedy, Jake Waterman and Jack Darling booted three goals each, while Andrew Gaff (35 disposals) and Dom Sheed (30) racked up big numbers through the midfield.

But it was Kelly who was the biggest star of the lot, with the former Cat dominating throughout the match to win the Glendinning-Allan medal as best afield.

Andrew Brayshaw (32 disposals), David Mundy (29 touches) and Nat Fyfe (27 possessions) battled hard for the Dockers, but ultimately were part of a losing midfield unit.

West Coast entered the match missing six of their best 10 players, with Luke Shuey, Jeremy McGovern, Liam Ryan, Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, and Elliot Yeo all injured.

A crowd of 45,000 was set to attend the derby, but those plans were scrapped on Sunday morning following a fresh COVID-19 scare in Perth that infected three people.

The two teams combined for a derby-record 20 goals in the first half as both went on all-out attack to make the most of the injury-hit defences.

Dockers forward Matt Taberner produced the highlight of the opening term when he sold the dummy to Eagles defender Alex Witherden, stepped inside and then snapped truly from the boundary line.

Fremantle defender Heath Chapman dislocated his right shoulder in the opening minutes of the match, and he appeared to dislocate it again later in the first quarter but bravely battled on.

The Dockers were dealt a further blow when Ethan Hughes injured his right shoulder early in the second term while dishing out a bump on Brad Sheppard.

Hughes attempted to play on, but was clearly in pain and was subbed out a short time later.

In between the injuries, it was goals galore.

Taberner and Kennedy had three to their name by half-time, with the accuracy of both sides also a highlight.

West Coast entered the break with a 13-point lead, and they broke the game open in the third quarter by dominating the contest.

Jamaine Jones, Jamie Cripps, and Nathan Vardy all kicked a goal in a three- minute blitz.

And when Waterman and Jarrod Brander also kicked truly, the Eagles headed for home with a dominant 39-point lead, with the Dockers failing to score another goal.

(C) AAP 2021

WEST COAST 4.2 11.4 17.8 20.12 (132)

FREMANTLE 4.0 9.3 11.5 11.7 (73)

Goals: West Coast: J Darling 3 J Kennedy 3 J Waterman 3 J Brander 2 J Cripps 2 J Jones 2 Z Langdon 2 A Gaff J Petruccelle N Vardy. Fremantle: M Taberner 3 R Lobb 2 C Serong D Mundy M Frederick M Walters T Colyer T Watson.

Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Dean Margetts, Dan Johanson.

Venue: Optus Stadium.