14/04/2024

The Eagles finally celebrated their first win of 2022. (Photo: AFLW)

The valiant Eagles finally held on in a tight finish for their first win of 2022, off the back of their strong midfield work being rewarded.

The experienced Eagles midfield was too much for the young Saints in their first win of 2022.

Coming into the game in decent form, they were on top from the beginning in a low scoring and scrappy affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

They were led from the front by superstar mid Dana Hooker, who continued her stellar 2022 season.

Despite taking a back foot in the first half, she still finished with 20 disposals, eight clearances, and five tackles.

Eagles coach Michael Prior says he was impressed with her performance today and in previous weeks

“Having a conversation with her last night I could tell that she was gonna play well,” Prior said post-game.

Hooker was supported well by captain Emma Swanson, who followed up from her strong performance down in Geelong.

At the final siren she finished with 19 disposals, six tackles and four marks, also providing run and dash from midfield.

“I thought [Hooker] and Swanny [Swanson] really led the group well today and carried them on their backs to victory,” Prior said.

Eagles club champion Isabella Lewis is putting together another strong season, finishing with 17 disposals, five clearances and six tackles.

The midfield trio’s effort was enough for West Coast to pick up its first win in just under a year.

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It’s yet more heartbreak for the Saints though, who continue to stay winless in 2022.

However, despite the Eagles being on top for majority of the contest, they still fought hard and stood tall

Whilst coach Nick Dal Santo was disappointed with the horror start to his coaching career, he could only respect what the opposition was able to do in their circumstances.

“Off the back of the four to five weeks that they’ve had you have to hand it to them as well,” the losing coach said.

“They probably can’t wait to get home and see family, that we’re well aware of, so that was a good performance by them.”

Forward duo Caitlin Greiser and Jess Matin provided plenty highlights inside forward 50 for St Kilda to help sweeten the fourth loss straight.

Both were consistently threatening in the air or on the ground throughout the contest, particularly late on in the match.

Matin finished with 11 disposals plus the first goal of the match. However, she also finished with three of St Kilda’s eight behinds in a horror run in front of the sticks.

Greiser came back into the St Kilda lineup and played her best game of 2022, and consistently provided a target all over the ground.

She finished with a goal in the second, nine disposals and two marks.

Dal Santo said he was impressed with how well she presented across the ground.

“I thought her intent and her purpose was really improved tonight, we loved it.”

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