Yeo injured as Bombers hold off gutsy Eagles

Elliot Yeo has injured his groin during his milestone match and Harley Reid suffered a late injury scare of his own as Essendon posted a pulsating six-point AFL win over West Coast at Optus Stadium.

Yeo went off in the final quarter of Saturday night's match nursing a groin strain.

Minutes later, Reid pulled up abruptly while chasing an opponent near the boundary line, with the emerging star immediately leaving the ground to have his right hamstring assessed.

Elliot Yeo
Elliot Yeo acknowledges the crowd's cheers after his 200th game, having been injured earlier. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

West Coast closed the margin to six points with 63 seconds remaining when Jack Williams kicked his third goal.

Reid sprinted back onto the ground after being given the all clear to resume, and the Eagles won the next centre clearance to give themselves a chance to draw.

But Essendon's defence held firm under the intense pressure, clearing the ball to ensure they wouldn't endure two draws in a row, following on from their stalemate against Collingwood last week.

The 11.11 (77) to 11.5 (71) win improved Essendon's record to 5-2-1.

Essendon midfield star Zach Merrett led the way with 29 disposals and three goals, while Kyle Langford kicked three goals.

Tim Kelly starred for West Coast with 29 disposals and nine clearances, while Jake Waterman and Williams kicked three goals apiece.

Reid endured a quiet night, finishing with 14 disposals and two clearances in his first match back from being rested.

West Coast will now be sweating on the seriousness of Yeo's groin injury, with the setback a crushing blow for the veteran in his 200th AFL match.

"It's a little groin, so hopefully not too bad," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.

"He did one last year, but he said it's not as bad as that. So hopefully it's nothing, but it's probably something.

"He's pretty pragmatic. It's not a big thing, you know.

"We were sort of half thinking he might need a rest in a week or so, so we probably missed it by a week. But that's just the nature of the game."

Bombers ruckman Todd Goldstein became the first player to crack through the 10,000 barrier for hitouts during the opening term when he racked up his fifth ruck tap for the night.

West Coast snatched the lead early in the second quarter courtesy of goals to Waterman and Yeo.

But a series of horror turnovers and defensive mix-ups cost West Coast dearly as Essendon hit back hard to take a 22-point lead into half-time.

West Coast sprung to life in the third quarter, with Reid providing the biggest highlight.

In a piece of play Dustin Martin would have been proud of, Reid fended off Merrett and Ben Hobbs before sending the ball forward to Reuben Ginbey, who found Jack Darling in the goalsquare.

"Harley's moment there against two pretty tenacious customers in Hobbs and Merrett - there's not too many (19)-year-olds who do that," Essendon coach Brad Scott said.

Darling's goal reduced the margin to four points, but Merrett hit back shortly after with a magical dribble goal from the pocket to help extend Essendon's lead back out to 15 points at the final change.

Eagles forward Noah Long injured his left knee while being tackled in the third quarter, with West Coast praying it's not an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Reid looks to have escaped injury.

"I think it was just cramp," Simpson said.

"He's still working on his on his engine, and he's going to have ups and downs, because he's 19."

Essendon subbed off Jye Caldwell due to a tight calf.