West Coast win AFL grand final after Magpies choke
Live: AFL Grand Final
WEST Coast is this year's AFL premier after surviving an epic grand final against Collingwood to win 11.13 (79) to 11.8 (74) at the MCG.
Eagles midfielder Dom Sheed kicked the winning goal, slotting a set shot from a tight angle late with two minutes on the clock.
"We had so many doubters all year - now we've proved them all wrong and we get a medal around our neck," Sheed said.
The Magpies were storming to their 16th flag early in the match as they kicked the first give goals of the game.
But West Coast steadied as scoring dried up in the second and began to work its way into the game.
It had its first lead in the third quarter after a blunder by a Magpies runner resulted in a goal and Adam Simpson's team stood firm again when Collingwood kicked the first two goals of the final term.
Brody Mihocek and Jordan De Goey struck inside the first minute of the fourth to put the Magpies in charge.
The Eagles responded quickly through Nathan Vardy before Mason Cox converted after a contested mark to push the lead back to 11 points.
But West Coast wouldn't go away. Josh Kennedy curled one home and after a sustained period of pressure - and several misses - the deficit stood at two points.
Jeremy McGovern took a huge mark in defence to kickstart a charge downfield which Sheed finished with ice in his veins.
Runner blunder costs Pies lead
West Coast took its first lead since the opening quarter after a huge blunder from Collingwood runner Alex Woodward cost the Pies in the third term.
Woodward got tangled up with Magpies youngster Jaidyn Stephenson as Taylor Adams attempted to hit him with a pin-point pass in the back half.
Woodward's block prevented Stephenson from making a play on Adams' pass and allowed Eagles midfielder Elliott Yeo to intercept the ball. He nailed a running goal to put West Coast up by two points.
It continued a back-and-forth third quarter in which neither team could break free.
West Coast had kicked the last three goals of the game and was within six points after a Josh Kennedy set shot just after halftime.
But Mason Cox - who regularly provided a contest for Collingwood in the first half but didn't do much else - answered for the Magpies with his first goal of the game.
Tom Langdon continued his starring role in defence for Collingwood with back to back intercept marks but the Eagles' relentless pressure resulted in a goal to Jamie Cripps.
The see-sawing battle continued as Taylor Adams sliced the Eagles defence and delivered a cool finish but after a quiet first half Jack Darling started marking everything and his first major brought it back to a solitary goal.
Yeo's major made it two in a row for the West Australians and it was all tied up with a quarter to play.
Eagles fight back after early flop
Footy fans hoping for an evenly-matched finish to the season were up in arms after Collingwood kicked the first five goals of the grand final.
The Magpies played almost-perfect footy in the opening 20 minutes of the game to blow the Eagles out of the water.
Some feared the game was already over.
West Coast kicked the last two goals of the opening term to close the margin to 17 points at quarter time and kept Collingwood off the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes of the second.
But the Eagles failed to kick a goal themselves as scoring completely dried up - until Jordan De Goey stepped up and delivered.
After curling home a brilliant snap in the first, the burgeoning superstar slammed home one from outside 50m to break the deadlock and put the Pies up by 23 points.
But the Eagles had the better of the time-on period for the second quarter in a row, adding goals through Mark Hutchings and Luke Shuey to close within two goals at halftime.
Liam Ryan delivered a savage bump to Brayden Maynard and momentum began to swing.
"It's perfectly poised this grand final," Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney said.
Shuey has been exceptional with 18 disposals and a goal, while Dom Sheed (20 disposals) and defenders Shannon Hurn and Tom Barrass have been steady.
Adam Treloar, Taylor Adams and Brodie Grundy have been prolific for Collingwood.
Earlier, Travis Varcoe provided a heartwarming moment with the opening goal. The death of Varcoe's sister Maggie after she sustained a head injury in a women's football grand final has provided inspiration during the Magpies' run to the big dance.
Varcoe, who has Maggie's name written on his arm today, broke free inside 50m and nailed a nice running goal to give Collingwood the early edge.
But it wasn't long until Rising Star winner Jaidyn Stephenson stole the spotlight.
The 19-year-old ran rings around the Eagles defence to kick back-to-back goals and set the Magpies on the path to victory.
The party continued as De Goey produced a moment of magic in the pocket before Will Hoskin-Elliott made it five goals without reply from a set shot.
It took a slice of luck for the Eagles to get on the board as Willie Rioli accidentally brushed the ball with his boot on the goal line to score a six-pointer.
Josh Kennedy atoned for an early miss by adding another deep in time-on to give West Coast life at the first break.
Wind tears Collingwood banner apart
The Magpies suffered the most embarrassing entrance to the MCG on Grand Final day in a banner blooper of epic proportions.
As they emerged from the tunnel for a moment they'd dreamt of their entire lives, the players were greeted with a banner that was in tatters after the wind wrought havoc.
Unsure how to proceed, the Collingwood squad ended up just wandering through a wide-open gap between the two supporting poles in comical circumstances.
The poor old Magpie cheersquad was in tears and coach Nathan Buckley was good enough to offer his comfort ahead of the biggest moment of his coaching life.
Some were worried it was an omen, but Collingwood - which forged a reputation for funny banners this season - laughed it off.