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Crows claim SANFL thriller

Max Phillips  May 8, 2016 5:02 PM

Harry Dear kicked two goals in Adelaide's four-point SANFL win over North Adelaide

Harry Dear kicked two goals in Adelaide's four-point SANFL win over North Adelaide

A clutch final-quarter goal to Jarryd Lyons in the dying moments has sealed a thrilling four-point win for the SANFL Crows over North Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.

Lyons made light of the slippery conditions at Prospect Oval to boot the only goal of the last term against the flow and give Adelaide the lead with just minutes remaining.

North Adelaide controlled play for much of the final stanza and dominated inside 50ms 15-7, but failed to find a goal. The SANFL Crows were able to continually repel the Rooster onslaught and eventually rebound the length of the field for the match-winner major.

The victory cemented Adelaide’s spot in second place on the SANFL ladder after seven rounds, just one win behind an undefeated South Adelaide.

First-year defender Tom Doedee showed maturity beyond his years in an undermanned Crows backline. The competitive 19-year-old relished the wet conditions to finish with 16 possessions, four marks and a match-high six rebound 50ms.

Doedee was well supported by swingman Keenan Ramsey, who was shifted into defence in the absence of key talls Sam Shaw, Andy Otten and Alex Keath. Ramsey was particularly strong in the frenetic final term and showed immense composure under pressure.

Fellow 19-year-old Harrison Wigg was workmanlike in the rain against his former club. The left-footer collected a match-high 25 possessions (13 contested), four clearances and four inside 50ms in his best performance as a Crow.

SANFL Stats: Round Seven v North Adelaide

Category B rookie Hugh Greenwood continued his rapid rise with two goals from 18 possessions. He also played a key part in Lyons’ late match-winner. Harry Dear also competed hard up forward to kick two goals in testing conditions for tall forwards.

Cam Ellis-Yolmen (24 possessions, six clearances, two goals) and Mitch Grigg (24 possessions, six inside 50ms) provided their usual grunt around the contest and kept the visitors in the game during the early stages.

Adelaide’s contingent of development players all contributed in another pleasing sign for the Club. Tyson Lindsay, Josh Wittwer and Matthew Johncock impressed in their first games of the season.

Athelstone’s Matthew Leigh was the standout in his SANFL debut while Trent Heffernan was again solid in his second game for the SANFL Crows. Captain Luke Carey showed tremendous leadership and strength in Adelaide’s under-siege defence.

After booting the first goal of the game, the Crows surrendered the next four majors to fall 19-points adrift in the low-scoring contest. Adelaide never gave up the chase however, and tied up the scores in the first 90 seconds of the final term before Lyons’ goal sealed the result.

“Those wins are character-building,” Crows midfield development coach Ryan O’Keefe said after the four-point victory.

“It was just a real, hard slog. That’s what hard, contested footy is all about. If you can come through with a win like that, especially for a young group of players, it’s a real character-builder.”

While pleased to come away with the points, O’Keefe said the game showed there was still plenty of work ahead for the players.

“There’s obviously a lot of room for improvement there and a few things to learn from. That’s what we’re going to get with a young group and in the conditions we’re going to get a bit of turnover, some mistakes.

“That last quarter we just stuck to how we wanted to play and the result took care of itself.”

Alex Keath (knee soreness), Riley Knight (ankle) and Wayne Milera Junior (AFL duties) were all late withdrawals on Sunday morning.

Luke Lowden sustained a corked thigh in the opening term but was able to play out the match deep in Adelaide’s forward line. The Club reported no other injuries from the game.

The SANFL Crows take their second bye of the season next weekend before returning to confront Central District at My Money House Oval on Saturday, May 21.

ADELAIDE                  4.3   6.6   8.9   9.13 (67)
NORTH ADELAIDE     6.1   8.2   9.4   9.9 (63)

Greenwood 2, Dear 2, Ellis-Yolmen 2, Hunter, Lowden, Lyons
North Adelaide: Hender 2, Shannon, Harvey, Motlop, Clisby, McKenzie, Virgin, Ryswyk

Wigg, Greenwood, Ramsey, Leigh, Doedee, Dear, Heffernan
North Adelaide: Shannon, Virgin, Hender, Craig, McDonough

Adelaide: Knight (ankle), Keath (knee soreness), Milera Jnr (AFL duties) all withdrawn pre-match, Lowden (corked thigh)
North Adelaide: Thring (hamstring)