Adelaide Crows have been made to work extremely hard for a 30-point win against a valiant Melbourne Demons outfit to retain their unbeaten start the 2015 AFL season, with the game ending Crows 12.8.80 to Demons 7.13.55.
Melbourne burst out of the blocks kicking the first three goals of the match. A long bomb from Ben Newton (see below) and majors to Nathan Jones and Jeff Garlett left the home fans shell-shocked.
Adelaide rallied with two quick-fire goals in 30 seconds of play to end the term – somewhat fortunately after a dropped Jack Watts mark (see below) – just three points adrift of their opponents.
As rain started to fall in the second quarter it was a scrappy affair with very little goalmouth action. Melbourne were under siege from Adelaide in the opening 10 minutes, but weathered the storm and took the lead back with a fine coast-to-coast goal.
In general play the Crows had the majority of the football, although their forward 50 entry was sloppy and they couldn’t make the Demons pay on the scoreboard. This trademark grab from Jeremy Howe was one of the few highlights of an error-riddled first half.
Brodie Smith produced a fine goal from an acute angle after the break and when Taylor Walker added another (see below) a minute later, things started to look ominous for the visitors.
Even with the disadvantage of the the breeze and the rain falling heavily, the home team were asserting their dominance. The Crows’ clearance work in particular from Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas was telling.
In horrible conditions, the Demons tried manfully to work their way back into the contest. Goals were few and far between, however, David Mackay managed this amazing running goal to push the Crows back out to a handy 14-point lead.
A shocking guilt-edged miss from Garlett late in the quarter was a massive opportunity missed for the Demons, as the Crows led by 13 points heading into the last interval.
Former Adelaide player Bernie Vince was at former teammate and Crows playmaker Patrick Dangerfield throughout the match, and when he applied a crude hit on the No. 32 moments before three-quarter time, emotions spilled over into a melee. It was all set for a thrilling final quarter.
The Crows handled the conditions better after the interval, with Jonas Ohman extending the lead out to 25 points with this incredible shot tight on the boundary line.
Despite the Demons’ best efforts, they failed to capitalise on their opportunities and key misses, one in particular from Hogan, would be the story of the day. Eddie Betts put the final nail in Melbourne’s coffin (see below) after he was rewarded for his incessant pressure.
Next week Adelaide will look to maintain their perfect start against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday evening, while for the an improved Melbourne they take centre stage on Friday night against Richmond at the MCG hoping to register a second victory.