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West Coast forward Josh Kennedy kicks opening Eagles major in final game

Retiring West Coast forward Josh Kennedy has turned back the clock, kicking four goals in the opening half of his farewell game against Adelaide.

The Eagles conceded the first three majors of the game before a short kick from fellow Northampton product Jamie Cripps gave the 34-year-old his first genuine opportunity.

He failed to mark the ball but was awarded a high free kick and took the set shot from the tightest edge of the 50m arc.

It sailed through to put the Eagles on the scoreboard with Kennedy clasped his hands together, giving a ‘thank you’ gesture to the packed Optus Stadium crowd.

The club’s all-time leading goalkicker received a standing ovation when he came to the bench, unfortunately for Eagles fans, it didn’t put off Adelaide’s Shane McAdam, who was lining up for goal and kicked truly to give the Crows their fourth.

With Jack Darling, Jake Waterman and Brady Hough all missing scoring shots, Kennedy returned to the same pocket on the eve of quarter time where, just a few steps closer, he marked the ball.

The crowd erupted again as the ball sailed through the big sticks for his second – and he wasn’t done yet.

Barely a minute later, the spearhead was hit on the lead directly in front from about 50m out.

Teammates get around Kennedy.
Camera IconTeammates get around Kennedy. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos
Kennedy celebrates after scoring his third goal.
Camera IconKennedy celebrates after scoring his third goal. Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

The crowd held its collective breath as the umpire weighed up whether it had been touched on the line before signalling a goal to give Kennedy his third in the first quarter.

As the siren sounded, the Crows took a three-point lead into the opening break.

Kennedy added another major to his tally in the second, surpassing St Kilda champion Nic Riewoldt’s career tally of 718 to launch himself into 22nd spot on the AFL/VFL all-time goal kickers’ list.

With Jack Darling, Jamie Cripps and Liam Duggan also scoring, West Coast flipped the script, taking a two-point lead into the main break.

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