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Greats Hang Up Boots

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Adelaide veteran Graham Johncock announced his retirement just ahead of Round 15, saying his body could no longer handle the rigors of AFL football. Johncock has played just two games this season, the last the Round 3 Showdown against Port Adelaide. Johncock, 30, has struggled with knee, back and ankle problems since last year. He played only 11 games in 2012. General Manager Phil Harper praised Johncock for his consistency and durability, pointing out his top five finishes in the club's Best and Fairest on six occasions. Johncock, with 227 games to his name, ranks ninth on the club's games list and 11th on the games list of indigenous players. He was awarded life membership to the Crows in 2011.

Johncock declined a farewell game, saying he did not want a "gift" game, believing that games had to be earned. Nor did he believe he could perform at his best. Not only was he struggling to overcome injuries, he said the speed of the game and his battle with skinfold fitness was also getting harder. He acknowledged the supporters in saying, "Walking down the street people keep asking, `What's happening? ... That means to me that people genuinely care ... and I really appreciated that." He also said he was happy with the career he had, never dreaming he would play over 200 games. He did admit that not making it to a Grand Final was disappointing. He played in losing Preliminary Finals in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2012.

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Swans In Finals Masterclass

 Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from AAMI Stadium, Australia

Adelaide was abuzz all week as the hometown Crows returned to the Finals. 2011 was a season to forget so with a young, exciting team that sat second on the ladder at the completion of the minor round, Crows' fans around town saw a chance for some genuine success. The Swans were heading to Adelaide having spent most of the latter part of the season sitting in top spot but a drop down to third gave them the tough task of starting their Finals campaign on the road.

Jarrad McVeigh won the toss for Sydney and chose to kick

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Crows Finish In Top Two

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.

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Crows Defeat Bombers In Thriller

G Michael reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide and Essendon were both coming off losses in the previous round making this match a crucial clash at AAMI Stadium on a cold and wet Sunday night. Desperate to alleviate the pain of two consecutive losses, the Bombers needed a stirring win to remain a game clear in the battle for eighth spot, while a Crows’ victory would see them stay in the fight for top spot.

As the Bombers ran out on to the ground they faced the realisation that the game was going to be a hard fought encounter in cold and wintery conditions, as their banner stood torn to shreds from the blustery winds. Bomber Sam Lonergan took advantage of a mistimed defensive clearance from Crow Sam Shaw and kicked the first goal for the game as both teams spent the opening minutes tussling for ascendency. A free kick to first gamer Aidan Riley saw the lead cut back to two points as the Crows goaled. However Essendon quickly responded with goals to both Jason Winderlich and Leroy Jetta, to take a 14 point lead with nine minutes to play in the opening term.

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Crows Take Showdown Honors

Round Five saw cross-town rivals Port Adelaide and Adelaide meet for the 32nd time. Although Port led the overall scorecard 17-14 it was the in-form Crows who went into the game as the favorites. Over the years the “Showdowns” - as these match ups are known - have often been fierce contests with high intensity starts and, not to disappoint, this game featured a phenomenal opening.

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Eagles Hit Finals Form Against Crows

West Coast has lost only one game of its last 12 and continues to be the surprise package of the 2012 home and away season. The Adelaide Crows have been struggling and faced their worst finish in the club’s history with only seven wins. Rain bucketed down as the game got under way and whilst this was a blessing to a dry and parched Western Australia, it made for slippery, wet conditions at the football.

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Hannebery Riewoldt Winners

Sydney's Dan Hannebery is the 2010 Rising Star. Just ahead of the first Finals series, Hannebery was presented with the Ron Evans Medal by 2009 winner Daniel Rich from Brisbane.

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Podsiadly Suspended

James Podsiadly, (GEEL), bumping or making forceful contact from front-on against Carton's Bryce Gibbs: assessed as negligent conduct (one point), medium impact (two points) and high contact (two points), equaling five activation points and a two game suspension.

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Round 17 Tribunal

The match day report against Brisbane's Brent Staker for striking Geelong's Darren Milburn was assessed by the MRP. The panel ruled that Staker's initial contact during an attempted tackle was to Milburn's back and his hand was open at all times. They therefore ruled that it was not a striking motion and dismissed the charge.

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