Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Eagles win AFL Grand Final by one point

eagles premiers 2006On the weekend, the AFL Grand Final was played, with the West Coast Eagles beating the Sydney Swans by one point!

This was a grand final even more nail-biting than their thriller last year, with the Eagles reversing the result to hold on this time to win 12.13 (85) to 12.12 (84). This is West Coast's third premiership, following its flags in 1992 and '94.

The Swans, who won last year's decider by four points, reduced the margin to one point three times during the last quarter but only led at the very start of the game when they opened the scoring with a rushed behind. It is the first one-point grand final since St Kilda won its only premiership, at the expense of Collingwood, in 1966, and the fourth in history.

The redeveloped MCG held 97,431 fans, the biggest grand final crowd since 1997. The atmosphere was amazing, really emphasizing the size of the spectacle, with masses of supporters from both sides.

Sydney was trailling by seven points 17 minutes into the final term when Swan Adam Schneider snapped a goal to make the margin just one point. The two sides then went goal-for-goal for the rest of the match, with Adam Hunter kicking the Eagles' last goal to put them seven points up.
Nick Malceski's scored goal at 26 minutes again made the margin one point and was the last score of the match.

Amazingly, the two sides now have an 11-game run of alternate winners, with the last five games being decided by a combined total of 12 points! The Eagles almost secured the game during the third term, when Quinten Lynch's third goal gave them a 25-point lead.
Andrew Embley had a set shot from in front shortly after, but his kick went wide and Ben Cousins also kicked a behind to take the lead to 27. A goal to either Embley or Cousins could well have killed the Swans, but they kept coming.

Sydney was nervous and made too many errors and the Eagles often made them pay for their mistakes. Eagles midfielder Andrew Embley won the Norm Smith Medal as best afield for his 26 disposals, six marks and two goals. Quinten Lynch kicked three goals for West Coast, while Nick Davis and Michael O'Loughlin kicked three apiece for the Swans.

Watching from home this was a huge game, and an absolutely crazy final 8 minutes. For all the Swans supporters out there, well fought, and for all the Eagles fans like myself, congratulations on a huge win!

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