|Brownlow Medal||3 Tom Lynch (ADEL)||2 Rory Laird (ADEL)||1 Brad Crouch (ADEL)|
Adelaide has atoned for a shock loss to Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval in round eight with a strong win over the Demons at Marrara Stadium in Darwin on Saturday night. This was ostensibly a Melbourne home game but it was the Crows that looked home from the start, setting up the win with a seven-goal-to-one first quarter. The Demons mounted a challenge to them on either side of three-quarter time, but Adelaide withstood the late charge and kicked the final four goals of the match to finish 46 points to the good and maintain its hold on top spot on the ladder.
In an even start to the match, Melbourne kept pace with Adelaide for the first 10 minutes, with Jake Melksham responding to an early goal from Crow David Mackay, but two quick majors from Mitch McGovern and Taylor Walker gave Adelaide a 13-point break. The Demons defence held firm until time on but they could not find a way to goal and then a damaging time-on period saw Adelaide pile on four goals - one each to Mackay, Riley Knight, Walker and Brad Crouch - and the Crows took a 35-point lead into quarter time, condemning Melbourne to a game of catch-up football for the rest of the night.
Melbourne made inroads into the deficit early in the second term, with majors to Dean Kent and Christian Petracca in the first five minutes, but the two sides went goal for goal over the next 15 minutes, and the Crows were still 25 points clear after 20 minutes. Adelaide again stamped itself on the match in the quarter's 'red' time, and goals to Sam Jacobs and Eddie Betts saw the Crows well in command at the half, leading by 39 points.
It got worse before it got better after half time for the Demons, with a goal inside the first minute of the third quarter extended Adelaide's lead to 45 points. Melbourne finally scored a major through Clayton Oliver at the nine-minute mark, but the next 15 minutes saw behinds from either side as the only scores. However, a mark and goal to Max Gawn at the 25-minute mark, gave the Demons a sudden spark, with a follow-up goal from Alex Neal-Bullen, and then an incredible goal from Jayden Hunt after the three-quarter time siren with a beautiful torpedo punt from well outside the 50-metre arc. The margin at the last break was suddenly back to 22 points with Melbourne full of momentum.
Adelaide temporarily took the wind out of the Demons' sails with a goal a minute into the final term, but a free kick and goal to Tom McDonald had Melbourne back within 21 points and pushing hard at the seven-minute mark. Had the Demons been able to find another goal the game would have become very interesting but it was Crow Eddie Betts who next found the target, kicking truly to take Adelaide's out to 27 points and the sting out of the match. Melbourne capitulated from there, and further majors to Walker, Tom Lynch and Walker again saw the Crows coast to an easy win in the end.
Rory Laird (34 disposals, five marks), Brad Crouch (27 touches and seven tackles) and Lynch (11 marks, 27 possessions) were all key players in the Crows' win, while Michael Hibberd (32 possessions, five marks), Jordan Lewis (33 touches, four tackles) and Hunt (27 disposals, seven marks) were standouts for Melbourne.
Melbourne's woes were compounded by the report of Bernie Vince for striking Betts. He was subsequently suspended for two matches and will miss the Demons' important games against Port Adelaide and North Melbourne in the next two weeks. With his side in the eight only by percentage from St Kilda, Vince's loss could be very damaging.
The Crows will return home to the Adelaide Oval on Friday night to play a blockbuster match against Geelong, the Cats only half a game behind them in second place. The winner will claim top spot and go a long way to ensuring a top four - if not top two - finish.
Melbourne: Melksham 3; Kent, Petracca, Neal-Bullen, Oliver, Gawn, Hunt, T.McDonald
Adelaide: Walker 4; Lynch 3; Mackay, McGovern, Betts 2; Knight, B.Crouch, Jacobs, Jenkins
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Melbourne: Hibberd, Vince, Lewis, Kennedy-Harris, Hunt, Neal-Bullen
Adelaide: B Crouch, Walker, Lynch, Laird, M Crouch, Cameron
BEST - THE AGE
Melbourne: Lewis, Kennedy-Harris, Oliver, Hunt, Vince
Adelaide: Laird, Lynch, B Crouch, M Crouch, Mackay, Betts
Melbourne: Kent (left shoulder)
Adelaide: Sloane (concussion), Lever (hamstring)
REPORTS: Vince (Melbourne) for rough conduct on Douglas (Adelaide) in the second quarter.
UMPIRES: Donlon, Rosebury, Ryan
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Luke Darcy, Basil Zempilas, Matthew Richardson, Cameron Ling
|17||Frost, Sam||5||3||7||12||0||0||0||1||0||2||23y 321d||53||8|
|36||Garlett, Jeff||12||3||7||19||0||4||0||2||0||0||27y 346d||161||284|
|11||Gawn, Max||7||2||4||11||1||0||31||2||2||1||25y 197d||68||36|
|19||Hannan, Mitch||5||0||8||13||0||0||0||3||1||1||23y 128d||15||18|
|43||Harmes, James||5||1||12||17||0||0||0||4||0||2||21y 283d||38||24|
|14||Hibberd, Michael||23||5||9||32||0||0||0||0||3||0||27y 193d||96||12|
|1||Hogan, Jesse||7||7||4||11||0||1||0||1||1||0||22y 153d||47||95|
|29||Hunt, Jayden||19||7||8||27||1||0||0||2||3||0||22y 103d||35||9|
|39||Jetta, Neville||3||2||11||14||0||0||0||1||0||0||27y 153d||110||24|
|24||Kennedy Harris, Jay||13||4||15||28||0||0||0||5||1||0||22y 116d||26||11|
|16||Kent, Dean||3||1||2||5||1||1||0||3||2||0||23y 141d||58||56|
|6||Lewis, Jordan||13||3||20||33||0||0||0||4||2||1||31y 82d||277||150|
|28||McDonald, Oscar||8||4||7||15||0||0||0||1||1||0||21y 119d||31||0|
|25||McDonald, Tom||7||5||5||12||1||1||1||1||1||2||24y 300d||120||27|
|18||Melksham, Jake||12||4||1||13||3||1||0||4||1||1||25y 320d||127||65|
|30||Neal-Bullen, Alex||11||2||12||23||1||0||0||6||2||0||21y 187d||28||18|
|13||Oliver, Clayton||8||2||19||27||1||0||0||4||0||0||19y 358d||29||9|
|21||Pedersen, Cameron||7||4||5||12||0||1||10||2||2||1||30y 120d||72||60|
|5||Petracca, Christian||7||1||16||23||1||0||0||1||0||1||21y 192d||33||33|
|44||Smith, Joel||5||1||7||12||0||0||0||5||0||2||21y 140d||3||0|
|23||Vince, Bernie||10||5||6||16||0||0||0||5||1||3||31y 286d||208||111|
|42||Wagner, Josh||7||1||11||18||0||0||0||1||1||0||23y 21d||21||2|
|21||Atkins, Rory||9||1||9||18||0||0||0||0||0||1||23y 3d||48||25|
|18||Betts, Eddie||11||5||5||16||2||2||0||1||0||2||30y 231d||269||520|
|16||Brown, Luke||12||4||5||17||0||0||0||4||2||1||24y 296d||106||10|
|23||Cameron, Charlie||12||2||8||20||0||0||0||2||2||0||23y 10d||64||78|
|2||Crouch, Brad||9||3||18||27||1||0||0||7||2||0||23y 182d||53||17|
|44||Crouch, Matt||13||4||18||31||0||0||0||3||1||0||22y 85d||63||14|
|26||Douglas, Richard||15||4||8||23||0||0||0||2||2||2||30y 159d||211||140|
|20||Greenwood, Hugh||6||3||10||16||0||0||0||7||0||1||25y 131d||7||5|
|24||Jacobs, Sam||8||3||1||9||1||0||42||4||1||1||29y 96d||165||42|
|4||Jenkins, Josh||8||6||5||13||1||1||8||2||2||1||28y 157d||105||210|
|8||Kelly, Jake||5||3||6||11||0||0||0||4||0||1||22y 175d||25||0|
|3||Knight, Riley||7||1||6||13||1||1||0||6||2||0||22y 110d||22||18|
|29||Laird, Rory||17||5||17||34||0||0||0||3||0||1||23y 198d||92||8|
|6||Lever, Jake||8||6||2||10||0||0||0||2||1||0||21y 132d||49||3|
|27||Lynch, Tom||19||11||8||27||3||2||0||1||0||0||26y 303d||97||148|
|14||Mackay, David||11||3||10||21||2||0||0||3||0||1||28y 355d||176||53|
|41||McGovern, Mitch||9||7||2||11||2||2||0||1||0||1||22y 277d||29||38|
|22||Otten, Andy||4||4||6||10||0||0||0||2||0||3||28y 61d||94||35|
|9||Sloane, Rory||4||0||4||8||0||0||0||5||0||2||27y 120d||157||99|
|33||Smith, Brodie||12||4||7||19||0||1||0||4||0||2||25y 182d||136||42|
|12||Talia, Daniel||10||7||9||19||0||0||0||1||1||1||25y 286d||138||6|
|13||Walker, Taylor||15||8||6||21||4||4||0||3||1||3||27y 81d||145||344|