The Adelaide Crows led from start to finish, cruising to a crushing 61 point Preliminary Final win over a disappointing Geelong at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night. Pre-game concerns about their scoring capability in the absence of an injured Mitch McGovern were quickly dismissed, as the speedy Charlie Cameron kicked five goals in the Crows 61 point victory.
A record Adelaide Oval crowd of over 53,000 fans cheered the hometown Crows from the opening bounce, as they booted six first quarter goals to completely take control of the match. Josh Jenkins added four goals to Cameron’s haul as the Crows romped to a famous victory, sending them into the Grand Final for the first time since 1998. Geelong fought its way back into the contest late in the second term, led by midfielders Patrick Dangerfield and Joe Selwood, however the comeback was short lived as Adelaide were simply too good for the Cats.Rory Sloane, returning from an appendix operation after missing the Crows previous final win over the Greater Western Sydney Giants, was prolific in the midfield as he inspired his team mates with ferocious attack on the ball and the opposition. At one stage Sloane collided with Dangerfield leaving the Cats midfielder dazed – much to the delight of the home fans. Once again the Crouch brothers Matt and Brad provided the midfield grunt for the Crows, continually winning clearances to give Adelaide first use of the ball which lead to all-out attack.
Despite periods of rain on an unusually balmy Adelaide night, the Crows stuck to a plan of attacking with speed through the corridor – a plan that Geelong had no answer for. Leading by 35 points at the half, the Crows continued to pile on the pressure, with the Cats challenge petering out in the final quarter as they simply ran out of steam. Rory Laird was magnificent in defense for Adelaide in his 100th game, while Paul Seedsman continues to improve and stake his claim to being an important cog in the Crows machine.
For Geelong, they simply could not regain the swagger they showed in beating the Sydney Swans at the MCG the previous weekend, despite solid games from Dangerfield, Selwood and the occasional flashes of brilliance from a resurgent Steven Motlop.
The 61 point win will send the Crows into the Grand Final as favorites to win their first premiership since going back-to-back in 1997-1998, and on current form it will be very hard to beat.
Scoreboard: Adelaide Crows 6.3 11.7 14.10 21.10 (136) Geelong Cats 1.2 5.8 8.11 10.15 (75) Best Players: Adelaide: Laird, Cameron, M.Crouch, Seedsman, B.Crouch, Talia Geelong: J.Selwood, Motlop, Taylor, Mackie, Dangerfield
Article last changed on Monday, September 25, 2017 - 1:02 AM EDT