Josh Kennedy was sore but content after producing a farewell game for the ages in West Coast’s 16-point AFL loss to Adelaide at Optus Stadium.
Playing his 293rd and final AFL match, Kennedy kicked a remarkable 8.2 from 15 disposals on Sunday to give his side hope of victory.
The 34-year-old had the chance to kick his ninth and level the scores with five minutes left, but his 35-metre set shot sailed just wide.
— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) August 7, 2022
The Crows kicked two goals in the dying minutes to seal the 16.6 (102) to 13.8 (86) victory.
Kennedy slumped to his knees at the final siren but the 50,117 fans soon broke into chants of ‘JK’, despite the disappointment of defeat.
“I’m so grateful that I was able to finish on my terms thanks to Simmo and the club,” Kennedy said.
“Even though we didn’t get the win, it was great to be out there. It was a good game. I love being a part of those games, whether you win or lose.
“My knee’s a little bit sore. I don’t know if I’ll be in recovery tomorrow. There might be a few beers tonight.
“But the knee was the same as it always has been. It can feel good early and then it starts to kick in.
“I’ll be able to rest it and let it settle down, and hopefully it all gets mended over the next couple of months.”
— AFL (@AFL) August 7, 2022
Adelaide forward Darcy Fogarty was the villain for Eagles fans with three last-quarter goals to finish with four for the match, while 200-game milestone man Rory Laird was superb throughout with 36 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals.
Kennedy’s haul meant he leapfrogged former St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt into 22nd spot in the all-time VFL/AFL goalkicking list.
“I’m sure he’s going to get sick of this, people talking about him while he’s in the room, but can you imagine kicking eight goals in your last game?” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.
“It’s probably never happened, and will never happen again. But he missed the most important one.”
Kennedy received a huge cheer when he won the pre-game coin toss, but the Crows silenced the crowd with the first three goals of the match inside five minutes.
The rest of the quarter was the Kennedy show as the West Coast great showcased his elite goalkicking.
Kennedy got the crowd going with a 49m set shot from the boundary line.
And it was party time late in the quarter when he kicked two goals in two minutes, both from 50m out and one of which was from the boundary.
Kennedy’s heroics meant the quarter-time margin was just three points, and West Coast shot out to an eight-point lead in the second term when he slotted his fourth goal.
Adelaide fought back and the signs for West Coast looked ominous as the visitors opened a 23-point lead in the third quarter.
Kennedy twice stepped up to stem the tide, following his 25m set shot with yet another bomb from outside 50m.
— AFL (@AFL) August 7, 2022
The veteran wasn’t done with yet, kicking two more goals in the final term.
After being chaired off, JK thanked every single crows player and staff member for the guard of honour.
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) August 7, 2022