West Coast have overcome a major scare to post a six-point win over Melbourne in Saturday’s AFL clash at Domain Stadium.
The Eagles entered the match as hot favourites, but struggled for fluency in the slippery conditions and trailed Melbourne by six points at three-quarter time.
However, the Eagles booted two unanswered goals in the final term to run out 10.6 (66) to 8.12 (60) winners in front of 33,908 fans.
The result ensures West Coast (12-5) stayed in the hunt for a top-four berth, while Melbourne (7-10) have lost 16 consecutive games in Perth, with their last win at Domain Stadium coming in 2004.
Although West Coast have won five games in a row, their patchy form is a concern.
They were lucky to beat the Demons after being thrashed 66-37 in the inside-50m count, and losing contested possessions 160-143.
Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis tallied eight tackles in the first quarter before finishing the match with 15 and seven clearances, while Josh Kennedy was crucial in the win with three clutch goals.
Demons captain Nathan Jones (34 disposals) was prolific, while Jeff Garlett kicked three goals.
Melbourne’s determination and fight in the clinches proved vital in the opening half, but they failed to capitalise fully on their 36-18 dominance of the inside-50s.
The Demons led by 13 points when Chris Dawes goalled from point-blank range early in the second quarter, but two quick goals to Kennedy helped keep West Coast in the contest.
Eagles defender Sharrod Wellingham was hampered by a leg injury during the opening half, and his form was scratchy throughout the game.
Melbourne missed a series of golden chances in the third term, but they still headed for home with a slender lead.
However, goals to Andrew Gaff and Josh Hill early in the final quarter proved to be the one-two punch West Coast needed to seal the win.