Highlights: West Coast v Gold Coast
The Eagles and Suns clash in round 19
Dean Cox was back to his dominating best against an undermanned Suns ruck division
GOLD Coast veteran Nathan Bock made a surprise AFL return as West Coast notched a 17-point victory in Saturday's clash at Patersons Stadium.
Eagles forward Josh Kennedy booted five goals in the 20.10 (130) to 17.11 (113) victory, with the result keeping the club's slim finals hopes alive.Five talking points: West Coast v Gold Coast
"We're not out of the running there, but we have to play well enough to beat the teams we play coming up, that will be our absolute focus," said Eagles coach John Worsfold
"As much as I'm pretty proud of how our boys held up we've got a lot of work to do."
Bock hadn't played an AFL match since breaking his leg in round six last year, and was named as an emergency for Saturday's fixture.
But the 30-year-old veteran received a late call-up when Andrew Boston was ruled out.Bock was mobbed by teammates when he booted a goal in the first quarter
, but he only managed one more major before being subbed out late in the third term.Click here to vote for the three best West Coast players from the game
"I was blowing on a few occasions but it was good to be out there," Bock said.
Gold Coast trailed by 22 points at three-quarter time, but twice closed to within two points in a thrilling final term on the back of some magical goals from Alex Sexton and Aaron Hall.
But costly mistakes at crucial times cruelled Gold Coast's chances of victory, with West Coast ruckman Dean Cox starring in the final term to seal the win.
"We have to keep pumping games into them, get better composure and kick those goals when we’re going forward – execute better."Click here to vote for the three best Gold Coast players from the game
Raging Brownlow medal favourite Gary Ablett tallied 27 possessions and two goals, but his influence was limited by Scott Selwood.
Gold Coast midfielder Dion Prestia was prolific early and finished with 28 disposals, while David Swallow, Harley Bennell and Sexton (three goals) were also important.
Cox finished with 44 hit-outs, 19 possessions and a goal, while former Magpie Sharrod Wellingham and Kennedy were also crucial in the win.
Kennedy's five-goal haul took his season tally to 59, five ahead of Jeremy Cameron and Jarryd Roughead, and six ahead of Jack Riewoldt in the race for the Coleman Medal.
Gold Coast created a series of good chances in the first half, but their lack of polish in front of goal proved costly.
In contrast, West Coast booted 10.1, with Kennedy booting four goals on Suns defender Rory Thompson before Steven May was moved to the Eagles spearhead midway through the second quarter.
Will Schofield attempts to evade a Gary Ablett tackle during West Coast's win over the Suns. Picture: AFL Media
WEST COAST 4.0 10.1 15.6 20.10 (130)
GOLD COAST 3.3 7.7 11.8 17.11 (113)
West Coast: Kennedy 5, Hill 3, Schofield 2, Dalziell 2, Cox, Lycett, Cripps, Embley, Hutchings, Hams, Wellingham, Mackenzie
Gold Coast: Sexton 3, Bennell 2, Ablett 2, Bock 2, C. Brown 2, Hall 2, Dixon, Stanley, Swallow, Harbrow
West Coast: Selwood, Kennedy, Cox, Wellingham, Dalziell, Hill
Gold Coast: Prestia, Bennell, Harbrow, Sexton, Ablett
West Coast: Priddis (quad) replaced in selected side by Mitch Brown, Carter (cut head)
Gold Coast: Nil
West Coast: Andrew Embley replaced Adam Carter in the third quarter
Gold Coast: Timmy Sumner replaced Nathan Bock in the third quarter.
Umpires: Farmer, Harris, Armstrong
Official crowd: 32,140 at Patersons Stadium