The young Suns outfit, a shell of their full-strength squad, looked headed for an unlikely triumph having led for the majority of the match, save for a brief period in the second term.
But in the dying minutes, Eagles swingman Jeremy McGovern marked just inside 50 and kicked truly to give the Eagles the winning lead.
West Coast clawed back an 18-point last quarter deficit to triumph 0.7.13 (55) to 1.6.7 (52) victory in front of 5021 spectators – significantly down on the 10,373 fans who saw West Coast beat Fremantle in the pre-season contest in Joondalup two years ago.
West Coast was particularly wasteful, heading inside 50 more than twice as many times as Gold Coast but taking just nine marks to the Suns’ seven.
It took West Coast 23 minutes to get its first goal when Jamie Bennell centred from deep to Mark LeCras, who finished in a characteristically silky fashion.
With 25 disposals and two goals, LeCras had claims as West Coast’s best player.
Former Swan Districts player Ryan Davis kicked two goals for the Suns playing in the familiar surrounds of Arena Joondalup.
Gold Coast would have been buoyed by the performance of a squad that made the longest trip in the AFL without its top line of players and took it up to a relatively strong selection of last year’s grand finalists.
West Coast, on the other hand, will be glad for the hit out but won’t be rushing to make the contest available on a commemorative DVD any time soon.