Gold Coast secures thrilling win | Photos Suns player Will Brodie is sprayed with Gatorade as he celebrates victory against the West Coast Eagle. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
The Suns players celebrate victory after the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Sam Mitchell of the Eagles in action during the round 11 AFL match against the Gold Coast Suns. Photo by Jason O’Brien/AFL Media/Getty Images
West Coast Eagles player Mark Lecras takes a mark during the round 11 AFL match at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Suns player Peter Wright celebrates with team mate Gary Ablett after kicking the winning goal against the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Suns coach Rodney Eade congratulates Tom Lynch after the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Jason O’Brien/AFL Media/Getty Images
Suns player Peter Wright takes a mark before going on to kick the winning goal during the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Will Brodie and Pearce Hanley of the Suns are sprayed with Gatorade as they celebrate victory. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
West Coast players look dejected after losing the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Suns player Steven May and West Coast Eagles player Jeremy McGovern compete for the ball. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
West Coast Eagles player Eric Mackenzie attempts to break away from the defense of Suns player Sean Lemmens. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Suns player Tom Lynch gets above the pack during the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Suns player Jarrod Harbrow attempts to break away from the defence at Metricon Stadium. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
TweetFacebook Suns edge out EaglesHighlights of the round 11 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium on June 3, 2017. Photos: Getty ImagesThe Gold Coast Suns have held out the West Coast Eagles for their fourth win of the year, in a tight but mostly tame contest that, for long periods, it seemed neither side wanted to win.
It is the first time the Suns have beaten the Eagles since entering the competition in 2011.
The hero was Peter Wright, who snatched back the lead for his side with just 90 seconds remaining after being hit by Jarrod Harbrow, who played a superb game off half-back.
Gary Ablett also responded to renewed criticism of his form and commitment with 36 possessions, playing a critical role to get his side over the line in the dying minutes, while Pearce Hanley played his best game in the Suns colours since crossing fromthe Brisbane Lions.
Forward Tom Lynch provided excellent leadership and kicked three goals.
But boy, did they make hard work of it.
After taking a 15-point lead into the final quarter and dominating the Eagles around the ground for most of the game, they watched the Eagles cut the margin and then take a seven-point lead with JoshHill kicking his second with 20 minutes gone.
From there, the Suns finally found some urgency.
They squandered multiple opportunities, but eventually Brandon Matera chopped the lead back to four before Wright’s winner.
West Coast had been flat, with a long list of passengers, but the Suns would have only had themselves to blame had the Eagles pinched it.
The Suns had the better of the run of play in the first quarter, trouncing the Eagles’ disposal count and bettering them for clearances thanks to the dominance of Jarrod Witts in the centre square, but were inefficient with the ball, with the Eagles doing well to stymie their run off half-back.
When opportunities presented themselves, they were too often squandered.
Wright, normally a beautiful kick, hooked a long set shot; Michael Barlow attempted a banana from a set shot when a drop punt would have sufficed and Adam Saad and Lynch missed regulation snaps that both should have eaten.
Without Josh Kennedy at the other end, the Eagles made the most of half-chances.
Elliot Yeo threaded a snap from deep in one pocket while being corralled by Jesse Joyce; LukeShuey was left alone outside a contest for another and full-back Will Schofield crept forward and got away from Lynch for the Eagles’ third.
The visitors began to creep away early in the second quarter, with Jamie Cripps and Jeremy McGovern extending the Eagles’ lead to 14 points, McGovern ramming the latter shot home from 55 off a step.
But the Suns dominated possession again for the rest of the quarter, albeit much of it chipping across half-back and around the centre.
They had a stroke of good fortune when Lynch was the beneficiary of an absurd ruling against Eric McKenzie for rushing the ball out of bounds as he was all but falling over the line (the square-up came 10 minutes later when McGovern escaped sanction for a blatant handball out of play in the opposite Suns pocket).
Jarryd Lyons got another back for the Suns from a sharp handball into the corridor by Aaron Hall, and Wright gave the home side the lead when he converted from a pass by former Eagle Matt Rosa as the Suns began to break the Eagles’ defensive lines.
The third quarter see-sawed for 12 minutes, with multiple lead changes as both sides tried to press their claims on the match.
Yeo kicked two more for the Eagles, the first a clean set shot after a very short Sam Mitchell chip, while the second found him on the end of a coast-to-coast chain of possessions through the middle.
It was the Suns who were able to wrest the initiative and the advantage, with Lynch snapping truly for his third and Aaron Hall pinning Brad Sheppard in the goal square.
Then Lynch found a running Ablett in the centre, whose kick found an open Alex Sexton.
Harbrow extended the Suns lead to a game-high 15 points late in the quarter, and he was also instrumental in defending that lead to the end of the quarter.
They’ve got a favourable run home, but on the evidence of this game neither of these aspirants look like genuine finals quality.
GOLD COAST 2.5 5.10 9.10 11.14 (80)
WEST COAST 3.3 5.5 7.8 11.11 (77)
GOALS:Gold Coast –Lynch 3, Wright 2,Lemmens, Lyons, Hall, Sexton,Harbrow, Matera.West Coast–Yeo 3, Hill 2,Schuey, Schofield, Cripps, McGovern, Petrie,Jetta.
BEST:Gold Coast–Ablett, Hanley, Lyons, Harbrow, May, Lynch.West Coast–Mitchell, Yeo,Shuey, Sheed, Jetta, Gaff.
UMPIRES:Stephens, Nicholls, Hay, Glouftsis.
CROWD:11,402 at Metricon Stadium
The story,Peter Wright kicks late winner, first appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.