A Tom Lynch goal in the dying seconds has won Gold Coast a share of the spoils as the Suns and West Coast fought out a thrilling draw.
Just as the Eagles appeared to have dodged an almighty bullet, acting Suns captain Lynch flew high to claim a strong mark and then went back to kick his fourth goal of the night to level the scores with just four seconds left on the clock at Metricon Stadium.
The 12.11 (83) to 11.17 (83) draw on Saturday night still came as a shock, with lowly Gold Coast given next to no chance pre-match against the high-flying Eagles.
But West Coast were a long way from their clean and clinical best and were incredibly lucky to escape with the draw against a Suns side that produced its most even and courageous performance of the season.
The Eagles have only themselves to blame for their inaccuracy, which cruelled them both in the early stages and when the game was there to be won.
The two premiership points do come in handy for both sides, however – West Coast are now six points clear of third place, with games against Hawthorn and Fremantle to come, while the Suns have likely palmed off the wooden spoon to local rivals Brisbane, who sit bottom ahead of next weekend’s Q-Clash.
Following captain Gary Ablett’s season-ending injury, it was Gold Coast’s lesser lights who shone on Saturday, with the often-maligned Aaron Hall and Brandon Matera hugely influential, each collecting 24 disposals.
Lynch’s four-goal haul was the best of any player on the ground and continues his sterling run of form up forward for the Suns, while Harley Bennell’s strong return to the AFL ranks continued with a 28-disposal, seven-clearance game.
But the Suns’ injury curse continued with key defender Rory Thompson substituted out of the game at half-time with an ankle problem.
Also a concern was the crowd of just 9,341, although they were treated to a cracking game.
West Coast’s Matt Priddis was, as usual, a ball magnet with 34 touches and 12 clearances, and was well supported by Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff, while Dom Sheed, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling kicked two goals apiece.