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Crows conquer Dees in Darwin

Michael Ramsey, AAP  July 15, 2017 10:28 PM

Adelaide downed the Demons in Darwin by 46 points on Saturday night

Adelaide downed the Demons in Darwin by 46 points on Saturday night

Adelaide has reclaimed top spot on the ladder with a bruising 46-point win over Melbourne in Darwin.

The Crows led at every break and survived a late Demons comeback to post a 17.14 (116) to 10.10 (70) win at TIO Stadium on Saturday night.

Tom Lynch was outstanding in his return game, booting three goals and gathering 27 disposals just over a fortnight since being in intensive care with viral meningitis.

"We, obviously, lost a couple of guys through that third quarter and got challenged and, to Melbourne's credit, they came pretty hard towards the end of the third quarter," Adelaide coach Don Pyke said.

"Our guys showed some real resolve in the last quarter, in those circumstances, and I thought we played pretty strong footy all night, but to be able then, at three-quarter time, just turn that tide back the other way was very pleasing."

Star midfielder Rory Sloane was knocked out when his head slammed into the turf in a fair but heavy tackle from Melbourne's Dean Kent late in the third quarter.

A dazed and confused Sloane refused to be taken off on a stretcher and had to be instructed by skipper Taylor Walker to leave the field.

Kent quickly found himself in the wars, suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder after landing awkwardly in a tackle.

Minutes later, Demons defender Jayden Hunt unleashed a monster 65m torpedo to cut the three-quarter time margin to 22 points.

But Adelaide wasn't to be denied, with Walker booting two of his four goals in an outstanding final term despite being two players down, with Jake Lever (hamstring) also off the ground.

The Five: Round 17

The Crows led by 47 points early in the third term before the Dees threatened a comeback with a four-goal run.

Adelaide's star-studded forward line was again superb, with Walker, Lynch, Mitch McGovern and Eddie Betts all scoring multiple goals.

It was a different story for Melbourne, with Jesse Hogan held goalless and Tom McDonald managing just one major.

"We probably had some opportunities to close the gap a little bit further in the third quarter," Demons coach Simon Goodwin said.

"But, to the Crows' credit, I thought they were very good around the footy and I thought they were more desperate than us in those areas and certainly more efficient than us.

"We had some opportunities to work our way back into the game, but we didn't take them, so we weren't good enough to get back into that position."

Clayton Oliver and Jordan Lewis fought hard in the midfield but were outmatched by Adelaide's Rory Laird, Brad Crouch and Matt Crouch.

Bernie Vince held Sloane to just eight disposals but the former Crow looks certain to be in trouble with the match review panel.

Vince was reported for a head-high bump on Adelaide's Richard Douglas in the second quarter, and a first-quarter elbow to the head of Betts will also be closely scrutinised.

Melbourne: Dean Kent dislocated his left shoulder shortly after his game-ending tackle on Crow Rory Sloane and faces an extended stint on the sidelines. Coach Simon Goodwin was reluctant to make a call on the severity of the injury, only saying club doctors would assess Kent on Monday.
Adelaide: Rory Sloane (concussion) and Jake Lever (hamstring tightness) left the field for good in the third quarter and will be monitored throughout the week. Sloane was walking and in good spirits in the rooms post-match, but faces concussion tests throughout the week.

The Demons find themselves back in the pack ahead of a season-defining clash with Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, but should regain Jack Watts, Dom Tyson and possibly Jack Viney. Adelaide also has a big clash coming up on Friday night, when they host the in-form Cats at Adelaide Oval.

1.3   5.3     9.7    10.10 (70)
ADELAIDE        7.2   11.6   12.11   17.14 (116)

Melksham 3, Kent, Petracca, Neal-Bullen, Oliver, Gawn, Hunt, T. McDonald
Walker 4, Lynch 3, Mackay 2, McGovern 2, Betts 2, Knight, B. Crouch, Jacobs, Jenkins

Hibberd, Vince, Lewis, Kennedy-Harris, Hunt, Neal-Bullen
B. Crouch, Walker, Lynch, Laird, M. Crouch, Cameron

Kent (left shoulder)
Sloane (concussion), Lever (hamstring)

Reports: Vince for rough conduct on Douglas in the second quarter

Umpires: Donlon, Rosebury, Ryan

Official crowd: 12,104 at TIO Stadium