AFL News

Kennedy hurt as Eagles see off Roos

Kennedy hurt as Eagles see off Roos

WEST Coast’s wretched run with injury continued as they ground out an uninspiring 15-point win over lowly North Melbourne that kept their AFL top-four hopes alive.

Leading goal kicker Josh Kennedy landed awkwardly in a marking contest before halftime and limped off the field with a left ankle concern, seeing out the game on the bench.

Oscar Allen, Liam Ryan and Liam Duggan did enough to help ensure a 7.7 (49) to 4.10 (34) victory at Metricon Stadium that saw the Eagles move up to third spot on the ladder.

They now wait to discover their top-four fate over the weekend.

But the loss of spearhead Kennedy could be a bitter blow to West Coast’s finals prospects as they continue to sweat on the fitness of Luke Shuey (hamstring), Jeremy McGovern (hamstring), Elliot Yeo (groin), Jack Redden (thumb) and Lewis Jetta (calf).

Winless in their previous seven outings, the Kangaroos stunned West Coast in the first quarter and kept them scoreless.

North’s players ran harder and smarter, dominated the contest and stoppages, and were more dangerous going forward.

The 16-point margin at quarter-time could have been greater but for some wasted chances in front of goal.

It was the Eagles’ third scoreless first quarter in club history and first since 1998.

Ryan was one of four Eagles players who didn’t have a touch in the first term, but he injected himself into the game before halftime.

He sparked his team into life, kicking one goal and setting up another for Brayden Ainsworth.

North forward Nick Larkey was crunched by Shannon Hurn and assessed for a shoulder injury but returned after the main break.

The Kangaroos wouldn’t go away in the third term but consistently let themselves down with poor goal kicking, none worse than Todd Goldstein’s hooked shot from 25m.

It ultimately proved costly as two final-quarter goals from Allen put a wedge between the sides.

The 21-year-old finished with three majors and Ryan two as the only multiple goal kickers in a scrappy contest played in slippery conditions.

Jy Simpkin, Jed Anderson and Shaun Higgins were North’s best in a vastly improved performance to finish their season.

But the loss means the Kangaroos will collect their first wooden spoon since 1972 if Adelaide upset Richmond on Saturday.

(C) AAP 2020

WEST COAST 0.0 3.1 4.4 7.7 (49)

NORTH MELBOURNE 2.4 2.6 3.10 4.10 (34)

Goals: West Coast: O Allen 3 L Ryan 2 B Ainsworth J Darling. North Melbourne: C Zurhaar J Anderson N Larkey S Higgins.

Umpires: Leigh Haussen, David Harris, Brendan Hosking.

Official Crowd: 724 at Metricon Stadium.