Mon, Oct 1, 12:05pm by Staff Writer
The West Coast Eagles have been crowned AFL premiers after a five-point win against Collingwood last Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles trailed for much of the match, before Dom Sheed kicked a clutch goal from the boundary line with under two minutes to play to win the game for the Eagles.
The win caps off an impressive season for the Eagles, who finished second on the ladder and were undefeated during the finals.
Luke Shuey was immense in the centre of the ground for West Coast, amassing 34 touches and winning the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground.
It was the Pies that looked the goods early, kicking the first five goals of the game to burst out to a 28-point lead.
A couple of late Eagles goals in the first term steadied the ship and they went into quarter time trailing by 17 points.
It was an arm wrestle in the second quarter as neither side kicked a goal until late in the term. West Coast reeled the Pies in with two goals to one to cut the half-time deficit to just 12 points.
The third quarter was where the Eagles started to dominate, booting four goals to Collingwood’s two.
West Coast got the ball into their forward line more often and with more precision than the Pies.
Jack Darling kicked a goal and looked threatening in one-on-one contests, while Josh Kennedy had three goals for West Coast.
Scores were level at three-quarter time for the first time since the 1937 Grand Final, setting up a memorable finish.
There were goals aplenty at the start of the final quarter, as Collingwood burst out of the blocks with two goals in a minute.
Brody Mihocek and Jordan de Goey kicked truly for Collingwood, giving it a 12-point buffer.
West Coast responded immediately and held sway for the remainder of the final quarter. The Eagles missed countless opportunities to goal and take the lead, before a mark and goal by Yeo sealed the result.
It is the fourth Premiership West Coast has won since 1987 and their first since 2006.
It was a heartbreaking afternoon once more for Pies fans, who were unable to add a 16th premiership to their collection.
They have lost six Grand Finals by under a goal after last winning in 2010.
The Pies and Eagles are two of the teams set to figure at the pointy end of the 2019 season, with both among the market leaders for the 2019 premiership.
After finishing 13th in 2017, the Pies surged up the ladder to end their 2018 campaign in third spot. They are $6 to win the 2019 premiership.
The Eagles are also priced at $6 and will once again have the fortress that is Optus Stadium to play their home games.
There have been six different Grand Final teams in the past three seasons, so if history is to repeat, it does not bode well for those sides.
2017 premier and 2018 favourites Richmond are $4.50 to win the 2019 flag after being beaten in the preliminary finals this season.
The Tigers were favourites for much of the campaign and were as short as $1.95 to make it back-to-back flags in 2018.
They were defeated by Collingwood to the tune of 39 points after finishing the home and away season two games clear on top of the ladder.
Melbourne made its deepest run in the finals since 2000 after winning two finals and being thumped in the preliminary finals.
They are $7 to win the flag after finishing the 2018 regular season in fifth spot.
The GWS Giants have buckled in finals during the past three seasons, bowing out at the preliminary final stage twice and the semi final stage once. They are $9 to win the 2019 flag, which would be the clubs first premiership.
It was an up and down 2018 season for Sydney and Essendon, with the former bowing out in the first week of the finals and the latter struggling against poorer opposition.
Both are a short price considering recent form to win the 2019 flag, with the Swans priced at $11 and the Bombers at $14.
Geelong ($14), Adelaide ($16), Port Adelaide ($16) and Hawthorn ($18) round out the teams priced under $20, with plenty of recent success amongst them.
It was a disappointing campaign for 2017 Grand Finalists Adelaide, who didn’t make the finals after being pre-season premiership favourite.
Port Adelaide lost six of its last seven games to miss the eight, while Hawthorn surprised many by finishing in the top four, before losing two consecutive finals.
2019 AFL Premiership Odds
West Coast $6
Port Adelaide $16
North Melbourne $34
Western Bulldogs $34
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