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The Finals Showdown

McLeod: Showdown Memories, Semi-Final 2005 Andrew McLeod takes us through the Semi-Final Showdown of 2005 with a play-by-play account of his big goal.
Tyson Edwards of the Crows celebrates a goal during the AFL First Semi-Final between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at AAMI Stadium September 10, 2005 in Adelaide, Australia.
Tyson Edwards of the Crows celebrates a goal during the AFL First Semi-Final between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at AAMI Stadium September 10, 2005 in Adelaide, Australia.
Every Showdown is like playing a final, but because it was the first actual final between the teams it was such a big occasion.
Andrew McLeod

Showdown XIX
Semi-Final, 2005
Adelaide 18.15 (123) d Port Adelaide 5.10 (40)
Football Park

It was billed as the ‘Ultimate’ Showdown – the first final between Adelaide and Port Adelaide in September, 2005.

The Crows, who finished minor premiers, were coming off an unexpected loss to St Kilda in the Qualifying Final, while the Power progressed to the Semi-Final after thrashing North Melbourne in an Elimination Final at Docklands.

Adelaide games record holder Andrew McLeod said the build up to the final was unprecedented.

“It was billed as the biggest game in South Australia,” McLeod said.

“Every Showdown is like playing a final, but because it was the first actual final between the teams it was such a big occasion. Those games aren’t too hard to get up for. That’s what you live and play footy for, to be in moments like that.”

Renowned for his dislike of the Crows, Port star Chad Cornes infamously declared the game to be his ‘dream final’.

“You’ve got to be careful sometimes that when you say things they don’t come back to bite you on the bum,” McLeod said with a grin.

“It probably turned out to be one of his worst finals. But that’s what the Showdowns bring out in people, that passion.”

The first half was tight and low scoring, with the Crows ahead 4.7 (35) to 3.6 (24) at the main break.

The second half was in direct contrast. Port only kicked two more goals for the game as Adelaide piled on 14 to run out emphatic 83-point winners – the Crows’ biggest-ever Showdown win.

McLeod kicked one of the goals of the game, dancing past an opponent and setting sail from 50m.

“There are certain moments you do remember well and that goal is one of them for me,” he said.

“I remember Matthew ‘Doc’ Clarke being on his hands and knees and he managed to get the ball out to me as he often did. He always looked after me when we were playing. I remember getting the footy and seeing the goals. I thought, ‘I’m going to have a crack’. I took off and I think I even had a bounce. Adam Kingsley was pressing up at me, but at the time I was too far out to go for goal. I threw him a little bit of a pup and he fell for it and I kicked it through the goals.

“I remember thinking how I was going to celebrate. I was too far out to give it the finger point. I was still around the 50m arc. So, I jumped in the air, gave a fist pump and high-fived ‘Welshy’ or ‘Stevo’.

“Afterwards, Simon Goodwin said to me, ‘Don’t steal my celebration!’”