G Michael reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia
A brilliant performance by Patrick Dangerfield saw the Crows blitz Gold Coast by a whopping 91 points in Round 23. With support from Scott Thompson, the young Crow took the game apart in the second half to amass 36 possessions for the game whilst also scoring two goals. As both Dangerfield and Thompson firm among the favorites for the Brownlow Medal, the Crows secured a Top Two position for the season, returning to the Finals for the first time since 2009 and ending the home and away with an equal club record of 17 wins for the season.
Although the Suns arrived at AAMI Stadium full of confidence, given their outstanding win last week against Carlton, it was the Crows who put Gold Coast under scoreboard pressure early, scoring the first three goals of the game. Thompson and Dangerfield both dominated play, kicking the opening goals for the Crows. With eleven minutes gone, Gold Coast finally replied with Matera capitalizing on a loose ball in the forward line. However the Crows controlled the tempo of the game and went into the first break with a comfortable two goal buffer.
Gary Ablett Jr, the Suns’ Captain, worked tirelessly in the second quarter to bring his team back into the game, and although the Suns scored the opening goal of the quarter and kicked four for the term, it was again Adelaide with all the answers. The Crows scored six goals for the quarter to take a commanding 31 point lead into the main break with the Suns’ poor kicking efficiency helping Adelaide gain control of the game.
After half time, the Crows lifted the tempo and began the quarter with a flurry, scoring the first four goals of the second half to take an unassailable lead. Goals to Johncock, two to Crows’ Captain van Berlo and a single to Callinan, saw the Crows dominate play around the ground. As the scoreboard posted the news that the Sydney Swans had failed to beat Geelong, ensuring the Crows second spot on the ladder and a first up home Qualifying Final the next week, the Crows supremacy continued until the final break as they amassed a ten goal lead at three quarter time.
Unlike last week against Melbourne, the Crows came out firing in the final quarter, and kicked the first goal within the first 40 seconds of play from a great on the run shot by Petrenko, signaling to the Gold Coast that the last quarter of their disappointing season would not be an easy one. Winning the contested ball and playing out the game with greater leg speed, the Crows slotted home seven goals for the term, Callinan and Johncock both with four each for the match, ensuring that they would head into the Finals on the back of a confidence boosting 91 point thrashing of the lowly placed Suns.
Adelaide announced to the rest of the competition that they will be a force to reckon with come the Finals. They will now face the Sydney Swans at home in a Qualifying Final that will see the winner one step away from playing in the 2012 AFL Grand Final.
Scoreboard Adelaide: 3.6 9.13 15.18 22.21 (153) Gold Coast: 1.3 5.6 7.6 9.8 (62) Best Players Adelaide: Dangerfield, Thompson, Mackay, van Berlo, Callinan, Porplyzia Gold Coast: Ablett Jr, Stanley, Matera, Bennell, Dixon, Lynch
Article last changed on Sunday, May 03, 2015 - 7:06 PM EDT