Harley Reid celebrates a goal during the R6 match between West Coast and Fremantle at Optus Stadium on April 20, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

AN INSPIRED West Coast has delivered one of the great upsets in Derby history, blindsiding a stunned Fremantle on Saturday night with a 37-point win that was propelled by teenage star Harley Reid. 

In a thrilling performance that followed his Rising Star nomination, Reid electrified the Optus Stadium crowd with three goals, 19 disposals and seven clearances, starring alongside Glendinning-Allan medallist Elliot Yeo in his first Derby. 

EAGLES v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

On the back of their magnetic 19-year-old and midfield dynamo Yeo, the Eagles produced their best performance in years and climbed to 14th on the ladder, playing with a ruthless edge to prevail 16.9 (105) to 10.8 (68) in a memorable Derby 58.  

Leading by 64 points at the last change, the young team conceded six goals to two in the final term when the win was secured, claiming back-to-back victories for the first time since 2021 and ending the Dockers' five-game winning run in Derbies. 


It was a brutal result for the Dockers, who had returned from an extended Adelaide road trip that netted back-to-back losses by a combined 13 points, now slipping to 3-3 after winning their opening three matches of the season. 

The Eagles, incredibly, are just one win behind them now on 2-4, with the rejuvenated club looking certain to trouble more teams through 2024 as it builds a contested, high-pressure game style that is suiting its young players. 

While Reid, who received six Medal votes, and Yeo (26 disposals, six clearances and a goal) started the fire from the midfield, key forward Jake Waterman remained a hot hand in attack, kicking five goals and taking eight marks to play the crucial role of breaking through Freo's vaunted defence. 


Jack Darling also built confidence with two goals to equal West Coast great Peter Sumich on 514 career goals. At the other end of the ground, key defenders Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass were terrific in the air with a combined 20 marks.  

While the Eagles refused to get carried away with last week's win against a wounded Richmond, that result delivered a shot of life to the Derby build-up and raised hopes of a competitive crosstown clash. 

It clearly did more than that, however, as the Eagles played with belief and flair rarely seen through their rebuild in an opening that saw them pile on seven unanswered goals and race to a 41-point lead halfway through the second term. 

Fremantle controlled possession throughout the opening term but missed opportunities, with the Eagles pouncing when they got their chance. A contested mark in the goalsquare to Reid got his game going, with several centre clearances following.   

Under pressure, the Dockers went into their shells and started to over-possess the ball in defence or kick long under pressure, playing further into their opponents' hands. 


The Eagles gained more belief as the second quarter continued and received a standing ovation at the main break when they were 37 points clear on the back of a committed team performance. 

The third term belonged to Reid, who had eight disposals and three clearances but flew above a pack inside 50 to take a classic mark, converting his set shot to give the Eagles a 51-point lead in the signature moment of the Derby. 

There was no path back from there for the Dockers, who were humbled in front of a roaring Eagles crowd of 54,473 and face a revived Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium next Saturday night. 

Midfielder Nat Fyfe (27 disposals and 13 clearances) fought from the front, while Jordan Clark (24 and six rebounds) tried to give the team run when there was little, but the Dockers had few winners in a Derby shocker. 

Nat Fyfe is wrapped up by Harley Reid, Reuben Ginbey and Tim Kelly during the R6 match between Fremantle and West Coast at Optus Stadium on April 20, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Reid electrifies in first Derby 
There was a 10-minute period either side of quarter-time where young star Harley Reid could do no wrong. After a quiet start, the No.1 pick burst to life with a contested mark in a goalsquare two-on-one, he kicked a second goal five minutes later after being caught high, and then moved into the middle, where he bullied older opponents in the centre square and burst out the front of stoppages. If he had converted a running goal from 50m to open the second quarter, the Eagles' crowd might have set a new decibel world record. As it played out, he missed, but got a crucial hand in a moment later to lock the ball in the front half and create Jack Williams' set shot goal. His six votes in the Glendinning-Allan Medal were just shaded by Yeo's seven.


Concussion forces Freo shuffle 
Young spearhead Jye Amiss was caught between key defenders Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass when he lost his feet deep in the Dockers' forward line, with McGovern's knee connecting with his head in an accidental collision. Teammate Michael Walters was quickly aware of the damage the hit did and directed Amiss off the ground and towards trainers, with the 20-year-old then substituted out with concussion. It changed the dynamic of the Dockers' forward line, with Sam Sturt moved into a third tall role alongside Josh Treacy and Luke Jackson, removing one of the key advantages of Sean Darcy returning. 


Barrass is a 'good guy' 
Premiership defender Tom Barrass will face scrutiny for a dangerous tackle on Michael Walters in the final quarter which saw the Freo forward hit his head after being taken to ground forcefully. Walters had one arm pinned, and the ball under his other, with Freo players responding angrily to the way he was taken to ground. A free kick was paid and Walters converted his set shot for a goal, with the 33-year-old cleared of any damage post-match. Asked about the incident post-match, Eagles coach Adam Simpson simply said: "I hope he gets off. He's a good guy".  



WEST COAST           4.1   9.4   14.9   16.9 (105)
FREMANTLE           0.3   3.3   4.5   10.8 (68) 

West Coast: Waterman 5, Reid 3, Darling 2, Chesser, Cripps, Long, Maric, Jack Williams, Yeo  
Fremantle: Jackson 2, Sturt 2, Treacy 2, Emmett, Johnson, Sharp, Walters 

West Coast: Reid, Yeo, Waterman, Kelly, Barrass, McGovern, Duggan  
Fremantle: Fyfe, Clark, Darcy, Brayshaw, Serong

West Coast: Nil
Fremantle: Amiss (concussion) 

West Coast: Dom Sheed (replaced Campbell Chesser in the fourth quarter) 
Fremantle: Neil Erasmus (replaced Jye Amiss in the first quarter) 

Crowd: 54,473 at Optus Stadium