On a big night for football in Adelaide - as the revamped Adelaide Oval hosted its first Crows night game mid-week - the biggest question was “now that they’ve built it, will they come?” "Yes" was the resounding answer as a mixture of Adelaide and Collingwood fans flooded into the stadium to create an atmosphere not seen for a long time at an AFL game in South Australia. Also adding to the interest factor in the game was Crows' cult figure Taylor Walker, making his return to AFL action after a 12 month layoff due to a severe knee injury.
Early going saw the Crows pushing forward on a regular basis but they just couldn’t hit their targets, managing just a solitary goal for the quarter as Richard Douglas returned to the team after his suspension and kicked truly. The Magpies, on the other hand, made the most of their limited early chances. They finished the quarter with three goals as Heritier Lumumba kicked the first after getting set up by Travis Cloke, Jesse White pounced on a terrible defensive error by Kyle Hartigan to kick an easy one and Captain Scott Pendlebury led from the front and kicked a great, long goal just before quarter time.
Adelaide dominated play early again in the second quarter but was once again unable to capitalize and when the dangerous Dayne Beams was presented with an opportunity he seized it and it was the Magpies making the move on the scoreboard. In recent weeks it has been Josh Jenkins shouldering much of the load up forward for Adelaide as they awaited Walker’s return and - even with his partner in crime back in the fold - he still continued his scoring ways. He was paid a free kick in front of goal and kicked truly for the first of four goals for the night. When Eddie Betts fed the ball to Matthew Jaensch for another soon after the margin was back to three points and fans had a game on their hands. Jarryd Blair created a couple of chances for the Magpies and had one goal to show for it but when Jenkins kicked his second and third goals just prior to half time the Crows finally saw their hard work rewarded with a lead on the scoreboard. This didn’t last long at all as Dane Swan once again turned the tide and kicked his first for the game to put Collingwood back in front and heading to the half time break with a slender lead.
A flurry of scoring started the second half but only one of the first six shots resulted in a goal as Adelaide once again got their noses in front with Douglas kicking his second. James Podsiadly and exciting first gamer Charlie Cameron continued the Crows' dominance with goals before Collingwood were finally able to peg one back through Cloke who slotted a great long goal after a strong mark. Jenkins managed his fourth of the game right on the siren as the lead stretched out to 14 points for the home side. Many at the ground believed that the Jenkins goal may have in fact been kicked after the siren. However due to the noise of the crowd it was difficult for the umpires to hear and as such the goal was allowed.
From there on it was the Crows all of the way. The noise at the ground got louder and louder as Adelaide got closer and closer to victory but - despite the teams combining for 12 scoring shots for the quarter - Betts was the only player who managed to score a goal. While Collingwood remained a chance throughout the quarter, their inaccuracy in front of goals ended any hopes that they still had and the hometown Crows went on to record a season-saving 21 point victory.
Thursday night football certainly proved to be a winner for the Adelaide Crows both on and off the field. With 50,051 fans turning up to watch the game, the off field result for the club could not have been any better while the on field victory - combined with Taylor Walker getting through his return unscathed - added up to a good night in Adelaide.
Round 10 action sees Collingwood return to Melbourne to tackle a well-rested West Coast side coming off of their bye while Adelaide also heads to Melbourne to take aim at Carlton in the Sunday afternoon twilight fixture.
Scoreboard Adelaide: 1.4 5.6 9.10 10.16 (76) Collingwood: 3.3 6.6 7.8 7.13 (55) Best Players Adelaide: Dangerfield, Jenkins, Jacobs, Talia, Douglas, Thompson Melbourne: Pendlebury, Langdon, Beams, Sidebottom, Lumumba
Article last changed on Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 11:39 PM EDT