WEST Coast has broken through for its first victory of the AFLW season and celebrated Emma Swanson’s milestone match in style with a six-point triumph over Port Adelaide.
Skipper Swanson led the way as the Eagles held off a last-gasp Power surge to cling on for a 6.3 (39) to 4.9 (33) win in a fiery clash at Mineral Resources Park on Friday.
With only one point separating the teams at the final change, Eagles forward Kate Bartlett then booted two majors in her return match to give the hosts some breathing space.
But the Eagles (1-4) had to withstand a late challenge from the Power after Gemma Houghton kicked her second goal with three minutes remaining until the visitors ran out of time.
The win snaps the Eagles’ 10-match losing streak and lifts the side off the bottom of the ladder as they look to avoid a second AFLW wooden spoon after finishing last in season six.
EAGLES v POWER Full match coverage and stats
Swanson was outstanding early in her 50th match and finished with 24 disposals, four clearances and 394 metres gained to inspire the Eagles to a much-needed victory.
Both teams found goals hard to come by but Eagles midfielder Aisling McCarthy stood out with two majors to help set up the win.
McCarthy also collected 22 disposals to be among the Eagles’ best along with Charlotte Thomas (24), Belinda Smith (21) and Isabella Lewis (17, one goal).
The Power (1-4) had their chances to open up a lead in the first half but paid the price for wayward shooting as they went into the main break with only 1.7.
Young gun Abbey Dowrick impressed in an enthralling battle with Swanson in the midfield while making her own impact with 22 disposals and nine clearances.
There was another intriguing matchup between two emerging rucks as the Power’s Matilda Scholz used her added height and experience to arguably edge the battle with the Eagles' Lauren Wakfer.
Power superstar Erin Phillips was well held for much of the contest but popped up with a goal on the cusp of the last change that ensured the teams would fight out a tense final term.
West Coast will look to make it two consecutive wins when it faces Greater Western Sydney at Blacktown International Sports Park on Saturday, while Port Adelaide hosts Sydney at Alberton Oval later the same day.
WEST COAST 1.2 2.3 4.3 6.3 (39)
PORT ADELAIDE 1.3 1.7 3.8 4.9 (33)
West Coast: McCarthy 2, Bartlett 2, Gibson, Lewis
Port Adelaide: Houghton 2, Keryk, Phillips
West Coast: Swanson, McCarthy, Roberts, Thomas
Port Adelaide: Dowrick, Houghton, Scholz, O’Dea
West Coast: None
Port Adelaide: None
Crowd: 1,134 at Mineral Resources Park