|Brownlow Medal||3 Patrick Dangerfield (ADEL)||2 Eddie Betts (ADEL)||1 Sam Jacobs (ADEL)|
With some matches, it's difficult to know whether the result tells us more about the winner or the loser. In the case of Adelaide's 112-point win over Essendon at Docklands on Saturday - as good as the Crows were - the outcome is an indication that the Bombers are currently at their lowest ebb in a long, long time. The Dons were actually a goal ahead of Adelaide at quarter time in this match but their efforts in the last three terms, in which they were outscored 24 goals to four, betrays a group that has lost its way completely on the football field in the wake of the ongoing supplements saga.
Notwithstanding Essendon's troubles, Adelaide's last five weeks have been quite outstanding. The Crows were thrashed by West Coast in their first match after the death of they're coach Phil Walsh but have since won four out of five games. Their performance against Sydney was below par, but the other four wins have demonstrated that their best is capable of taking them some way into September.
Saturday's first quarter was by far the Bombers' best. After Taylor Walker opened Adelaide's account with a goal of at the two-minute mark, the Dons scored four of the next six goals - two to Cale Hooker - to lead by an even goal at the first break. But Essendon's fall away in the second term was dramatic, as the Crows took control as soon as it began. A goal to Rory Sloane at the two-minute mark was followed by another to Jarryd Lyons three minutes later and the Crows would go on to add another four majors for the quarter, restricting Essendon to just three behinds. Adelaide's lead at the long break was 30 points.
An impending and sadly increasingly familiar sense of doom would have enveloped Bomber fans when the second half began. Within the first 15 minutes the Crows had added five goals to nil, through Eddie Betts (two), Charlie Cameron, Josh Jenkins and Patrick Dangerfield, to skip out to a 10-goal lead. The Dons fought back in the latter part of the third term, kicking two of the last four majors, but the margin was still a massive 58 points at the final end-change.
The last quarter became a proverbial procession. The Bombers split the points with the Crows in the first 10 minutes, each side scoring two goals. But for the last 20 minutes of the match, Crows players simply lined up for their turn to kick a goal. They added nine moire without Essendon scoring so much as a point, to win by 112 points and take Geelong's place in the top eight.
Dangerfield (27 touches, three goals) and Tom Lynch (two goals, 26 disposals) were among Adelaide's many good players, while Cale Hooker (19 possessions, two goals) flew the flag for the Bombers.
The Crows will look to hold their place in the eight with a home win over Brisbane next Saturday night, while Essendon will hope to put up a better performance against Gold Coast at Carrara on the same day. The Dons will do so without coach James Hird after it was agreed that he and the club would part ways on the Tuesday after the match.
Essendon: Hooker 2; Dempsey, Laverde, Hibberd, Edwards, Zaharakis, Melsham
Adelaide: Betts 5; Dangerfield, Walker, Jenkins 3; Sloane, Cameron, Lynch 2; Lyons, Van Berlo, Atkins, Knight, Crouch, Smith, Jacobs
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Essendon: Hooker, Edwards, Myers, Goddard
Adelaide: Dangerfield, Betts, Lynch, Sloane, Laird, Crouch, Jacobs
BEST - THE SUNDAY AGE
Essendon: Hooker, Myers, Baguley, Laverde
Adelaide: Dangerfield, Lynch, Betts, Jacobs, Sloane, Crouch, Laird
Essendon: Myers (back), Giles (ankle)
Essendon: Jake Melksham replaced Kyle Langford in the third quarter.
Adelaide: David Mackay replaced Jake Lever at three-quarter time.
UMPIRES: Fisher, O'Gorman, Nicholls
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Hamish McLachlan, Tim Watson, Andrew Welsh
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of the AFL.
|12||Baguley, Mark||6||4||8||14||0||0||0||1||2||1||28y 86d||69||2|
|22||Carlisle, Jake||7||7||11||18||0||0||0||2||1||0||23y 318d||82||54|
|6||Daniher, Joe||4||4||4||8||0||0||6||2||1||0||21y 164d||45||65|
|15||Dempsey, Courtenay||13||7||1||14||1||0||0||1||1||0||27y 352d||117||28|
|19||Edwards, Shaun||10||2||3||13||1||1||0||2||2||0||21y 245d||19||10|
|27||Giles, Jonathan||5||1||3||8||0||1||20||3||4||2||27y 219d||54||40|
|35||Gleeson, Martin||6||4||11||17||0||0||0||1||1||0||20y 355d||28||4|
|9||Goddard, Brendon||13||7||21||34||0||1||1||5||1||0||30y 87d||266||148|
|21||Heppell, Dyson||20||7||10||30||0||1||1||7||0||1||23y 93d||103||30|
|1||Hibberd, Michael||11||6||12||23||1||0||0||2||0||1||25y 224d||82||11|
|39||Hocking, Heath||9||1||6||15||0||0||0||6||2||1||27y 231d||121||40|
|26||Hooker, Cale||11||6||8||19||2||2||2||3||2||2||26y 306d||130||20|
|40||Howlett, Ben||8||3||5||13||0||0||0||5||1||3||26y 298d||114||56|
|30||Langford, Kyle||4||2||2||6||0||0||0||0||0||1||18y 257d||7||3|
|33||Laverde, Jayden||9||8||11||20||1||0||0||4||1||2||19y 125d||6||4|
|17||Melksham, Jake||7||3||2||9||1||0||0||0||0||2||23y 351d||111||56|
|20||Merrett, Jackson||11||9||10||21||0||1||1||2||0||0||22y 169d||40||18|
|23||Myers, David||14||5||8||22||0||0||0||0||0||1||26y 46d||85||26|
|16||Pears, Tayte||7||5||11||18||0||0||0||1||0||1||25y 144d||69||3|
|5||Stanton, Brent||21||7||9||30||0||0||0||4||0||0||29y 106d||245||153|
|25||Steinberg, Ariel||6||2||4||10||0||0||0||1||1||0||22y 354d||10||0|
|11||Zaharakis, David||13||4||9||22||1||0||0||5||0||1||25y 175d||123||95|
|21||Atkins, Rory||14||5||4||18||1||0||0||0||0||1||21y 34d||4||1|
|18||Betts, Eddie||10||6||4||14||5||0||0||2||1||2||28y 262d||224||390|
|16||Brown, Luke||12||4||7||19||0||0||0||2||0||0||22y 327d||64||3|
|23||Cameron, Charlie||9||5||5||14||2||0||0||5||1||0||21y 41d||24||33|
|44||Crouch, Matt||11||6||15||26||0||0||0||1||1||2||20y 116d||20||4|
|32||Dangerfield, Patrick||13||4||14||27||3||1||0||6||2||2||25y 132d||149||160|
|15||Hartigan, Kyle||4||3||4||8||0||0||1||0||1||1||23y 281d||23||0|
|45||Henderson, Ricky||10||6||4||14||0||0||0||1||0||0||26y 338d||76||41|
|24||Jacobs, Sam||10||9||8||18||1||0||38||1||2||3||27y 127d||122||28|
|4||Jenkins, Josh||11||6||2||13||3||3||10||1||1||1||26y 188d||64||109|
|39||Knight, Riley||8||3||5||13||1||0||0||2||0||1||20y 141d||6||5|
|29||Laird, Rory||21||9||10||31||0||0||0||3||1||0||21y 229d||52||5|
|6||Lever, Jake||8||2||3||11||0||0||0||1||3||1||19y 163d||10||0|
|27||Lynch, Tom||18||10||8||26||2||1||0||0||1||1||24y 334d||55||76|
|31||Lyons, Jarryd||9||1||9||18||1||0||0||2||1||2||23y 24d||31||15|
|14||Mackay, David||4||1||4||8||1||0||0||1||0||0||27y 21d||142||44|
|9||Sloane, Rory||12||7||12||24||2||0||0||11||2||1||25y 151d||113||69|
|33||Smith, Brodie||14||5||6||20||1||0||0||0||1||0||23y 213d||92||27|
|12||Talia, Daniel||7||5||4||11||0||0||0||2||1||0||23y 317d||93||5|
|5||Thompson, Scott||6||5||15||21||0||0||0||3||0||1||32y 154d||280||156|
|7||Van Berlo, Nathan||11||4||6||17||1||0||0||4||0||0||29y 70d||197||68|
|13||Walker, Taylor||11||9||4||15||3||1||0||1||0||1||25y 112d||102||241|