Adelaide v Melbourne – upstart Crows unable to restrain Dees

July 7, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 
Dees winners in Adelaide

Liam Chambers

After last week’s emphatic win over Brisbane, the contest against the lower ranked Crows was always going to be interesting. Adelaide secured the narrowest of wins last season so the home fans would be hoping for a repeat result.

Initially it looked like it was going to be smooth sailing for the Demons. Ben Brown basically had the ball drop at his feet with all the clear space he needed to dribble it over the line for the first of the evening.

Adelaide was hemmed in behind their 50m line as Melbourne continued to attack the goal. Christian Petracca broke his five game drought when he collected a tap down and snapped the Dees’ second. Mitch Brown completed the trifecta and kicked his first goal of the year from a 50m set shot.

Adelaide finally got their first inside 50 and then kept the pressure up until Ben Keays took a mark 45m out, then turning and kicking the Crows’ first. The goal energised the fans and players alike and within a minute they had a second when Darcy Fogarty found enough space to snap from 30m. The Crows had a third when a dubious umpiring decision gave Tex Walker a free kick 25m from goal. Anyway, them’s the rules and now it was a tied game.

A minute later and Walker marked and kicked his second from 40m and Adelaide had the lead; a lead that was only fleeting though, as James Harmes restored scoreboard parity with his 30m set shot. Then with fifteen seconds to go, Petracca signaled the return of his goal kicking mojo when his 40m set shot sailed through. Bayley Fritsch almost snared another but his shot landed for a behind, just as the siren sounded.

After a high scoring first quarter, second term goals were proving hard to come by as both sides struggled to score a major. Melbourne had a few chances but could only land a couple of minors.

The first goal of the quarter finally came with four minutes to go. Riley Thilthorpe marked in the pocket and took his time to relax before kicking round the corner to bring the Crows back to within two points of Melbourne. The home side got a second within a minute, taking the lead after Wayne Milera was the last link in a handball chain, enabling him to run into an open goal.

Fortunately Clayton Oliver and Petracca combined beautifully again, allowing the Norm Smith medalist to kick from 45m and claim his hat trick.

As Melbourne began the second half with the tightest of leads, they were unlucky early on not to be another two goals up. It was semi permanent sub Toby Bedford who finally kicked the first goal, helping to cement his place in the top flight. The Dees’ had a ten point lead and looked more in control of the match.

Then Mitch Brown took a brilliant contested mark on the edge of the square and doubled his tally for the season. The Crows were making Melbourne play a scrappy game and the next goal exemplified the night’s footy. Bayley Fritsch was chasing the ball with the pack, trying to get a handle on it when Kysaiah Pickett flew in and soccered it off the ground.

Even with a four goal advantage, you knew Adelaide were just itching to hit back. It took until the last three minutes of the quarter but Jordon Dawson’s set shot from 25m had the Crows’ fans on their feet.

Adelaide had the best possible start to the final term as they won the bounce and got the ball to inside 50 where Rory Laird took possession and kicked from 30m to reduce the margin to eleven. The Crows were playing like a team possessed, piling on the pressure. It paid off when Ben Keays was awarded a free kick and converted for his second of the game.

Now it was a five point contest, with a nail biting twenty minutes to go. The Demons kept their composure though and went about chasing the next goal. It came via another superb Oliver handpass. This time Ed Langdon was the recipient and he chipped it from 20m and the ball bounced across the line.

Jack Viney seemed to be involved at nearly every stage of the next goal. He started by getting it out after the bounce, then combined with Charlie Spargo and Pickett to snap it from 30m and score.

Josh Rachelle kept it alive for the for the Crows with his mark and conversion from 25m but it was only a temporary respite. Within a minute, Tom Sparrow scored with a 30m running kick, reflecting the depth of talent in the Melbourne team.

It wouldn’t have been a proper final quarter without a Bayley Fritsch goal and he didn’t disappoint, kicking a set shot from 40m to give the Dees a four goal buffer. Then Ben Brown iced the cake with his set shot kick after the siren.

It had been a nerve racking final twenty minutes as the clock ticked down and the Crows came within touching distance but in the end it was a comfortable win.

We visit the Cattery for Round 17 and Geelong are in top form having won their last six games. We will need to pull out all the stops but these are the games that define us.

Go the mighty Dees!!!


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