Hawthorn Hawks have survived some fleeting scares from a valiant Adelaide Crows side to register a 29-point victory, with the game ending Hawks 17.12.114 to Crows 12.13.85.
In an all-round team effort experienced Hawthorn utility Shaun Burgoyne was his side’s most influential performer, while departing Crows star Patrick Dangerfield collected 31 disposals and battled manfully all night.
In the first term Hawthorn had six different goals kickers from their six goals, as the Crows struggled to stem their midfield dominance.
However, the home team did enjoy a bright start when Taylor Walker took this grab and put his team’s second goal through.
The Hawks gradually worked their way into the game and when talented small forward Bradley Hill kicked truly (see below) the visitors had a seven-point lead.
Issac Smith extended the lead moments later with this fine snapped goal.
Adelaide kept themselves in the game with two quick-fire goals, but this incredible team goal from Hawthorn saw them take a 13-point lead at quarter time.
In the second term Hawthorn continued to control the match, but Adelaide found a way to stay in the contest. Tom Lynch kicked this goal to get them within two majors.
A classy and trademark Matt Suckling snap saw the Hawks restored a 20-point lead, who threatened to put the game to bed.
But the Crows had other ideas, and when Charlie Cameron put through this goal on the run the Crows cut the deficit to 16 points heading into half-time.
Adelaide made a barnstorming start after the break, playing with verve and intensity to put serious pressure on the Hawthorn defence.
Cameron kicked this opportunistic goal at the start of the term to kick-start his side’s momentum.
His fellow teammate and mercurial forward Eddie Betts then got in on the act and put his team within just one major.
And then moments later an impressive Rory Laird goal (see below) put the home team in front.
The signs were ominous for a Hawthorn side desperate to edge themselves into the top four reckoning. Both teams traded blow for blow as the game went to a whole new level. However, David Hale followed up his fine ruck work with a goal (see below) befitting of a nimble midfielder as the Hawks took a 14-point lead at the final change.
The last quarter was an arm wrestle in the early exchanges before Hawks broke the shackles and kicked three goals in two minutes to put the game beyond doubt.
This stunning effort from Cyril Rioli was the pick of the bunch as Hawthorn built a comfortable lead.
Billy Hartung then put some icing on the cake (see below) for the travelling party as they moved a step closer to gaining a place in the coveted top four.
Next week high-flying Hawthorn face traditional foes Essendon on Saturday afternoon, while Adelaide will need to regroup for their trip to face Brisbane in the Saturday twilight affair.