Favorite son at Simmonds Stadium has a game to remember.
Jimmy Bartel has celebrated his 250th game in the AFL in style after kicking four goals to help the Geelong Cats to a 38-point victory in round one.
While the margin suggests it was an easy win for the Cats at their formidable home ground, the new-look Crows showed they will be tough to beat in many games this season.
With both teams missing several first-choice stars, it was Bartel that had the last laugh in earning the four goals to go with 21 possessions in the 18.11 (119) to 12.9 (81) victory.
Mitch Brown scored the first goal for the game as the home side jumped ahead, with a classy snap in traffic giving his side a six-point lead.
Geelong earned a goal to Mitch Duncan rebounding from half-back before Tom Hawkins slammed home a set shot after easy build-up from the restart in what was an impressive start for the home side.
Mitch Grigg earned his side’s first major for the season as several of the Crows’ stars started to get their hands on the football.
Hamish McIntosh kicked his first goal after several season interupted by injuries, after Adelaide failed to get the ball out of their defensive fifty.
The away side showed they could still score when needed, with Brodie Smith bagging his first for the season from 60 metres.
Adelaide were pressured around the ball very well by the Cats in the first term.
However, the Crows’ use of the ball was below par even for the first game of the season, as they struggled to generate the run they needed.
Patrick Dangerfield made his presence felt late in the first term as he split the posts from an acute angle from the front-right pocket.
The sensational goal saw the margin cut to just nine points as the Crows continued to find their feet in the contest as they amazingly trailed by only three at the end of the first term.
However, in a worrying sign for the Crows, Eddie Betts and James Podsiadly (elbow) were
The away side managed to hit the front for the first time as they continued the momentum earned at the end of the first term.
Bartel earned a dream goal in his 250th game as he ran into an open goal to give his side the lead again, with the score bringing the home crowd to its feet.
As if the game was being written by Hollywood, Bartel showed his skill to kick his third for the
game as the Cats umped back out to a commanding 21-point lead.
The Crows got a vital goal back through Betts, to close the margin but the away side’s skills at ground
level continued to put them under pressure.
Adelaide again rebounded well towards the end of the term as they kicked three goals late to
ensure they trailed by only 10 points.
After a scoring spree in the first half, a tight game developed in the third quarter as the battle by both sides over the ball lifted dramatically.