G Michael reporting for AFANA from Australia
In Round 22, and with the Finals only two rounds away, the Adelaide Crows were looking to make amends for their disappointing loss to the Brisbane Lions in the previous round. Facing the lowly ranked Melbourne Demons at the MCG, the Crows were still a chance to finish in the Top Two and secure that all important first home Final. Melbourne on the other hand had little to play for as their season tapered out, their former captain Brad Green’s final match their only incentive for victory.
Like a scripted scenario, the ball landed in the hands of Green in the first minute of play, and the former captain scored the opening goal of the game in the last match of his career. Sparked by their leader’s heroics, the Demons dominated possession for the first 15 minutes of play until the Crows finally awoke from their slumber and scored three consecutive goals to take the lead. Two goals to Melbourne - the second another goal to the retiring Green and his 350th career goal - and the Demons were back in the game. However quick goals to Callinan and Walker saw the Crows take an 11 point lead into the first break with Melbourne holding its own against its much higher ranked opponent.
With the second quarter underway, Melbourne continued to dominate play. However they peppered the goals unsuccessfully with three missed opportunities giving little pleasure to their fans. Such misses would soon become costly as the Crows began playing themselves into form. A goal to Walker, who by now was getting the better of the Melbourne defense, saw the lead extended to 16 points, and even though Melbourne scored the next two goals, one through a great mark by Howe, the Crows were now controlling the game, scoring the next four goals to take a 31 point lead into the main break.
In the third quarter it was all Adelaide. With a goal to Douglas in the first 35 seconds of play, the signs did not look good for Melbourne. Adelaide governed the play, winning the contested ball, tackles and controlling the clearances during a quarter which saw them kick an amazing ten goals to take a commanding 74 point lead at the break. The fast running Adelaide was completely dominant and looked menacing with their multi-pronged attacked led by Walker and Tippett.
With the final quarter underway, and the game out of reach for the Demons, the final term was played out with little fanfare. The Crows added two goals, the second a brilliant on the run effort by Callinan, while Melbourne played out the quarter scoring three goals through Sellar, Watts and Spencer, coming in late succession as the sting in the game was well and truly gone. As the final siren rang out, Adelaide were comfortable winners by 69 points, firming themselves for a Top Two spot with one round left to go in the home and away season.
Scoreboard Melbourne: 3.4 5.7 8.10 11.15 (81) Adelaide: 5.3 10.8 20.12 22.18 (150) Best Players Melbourne: Sylvia, Bail, Jones, McKenzie, Spencer Adelaide: Jacobs, Walker, Thompson, Wright, Tippett, Dangerfield, Callinan
Article last changed on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 7:14 AM EDT