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Crows blow SANFL chance

Max Phillips  August 20, 2017 6:38 PM

Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson

Adelaide has let a golden opportunity slip in its pursuit of a SANFL finals spot after succumbing to Woodville-West Torrens by 11 points at Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval.

The SANFL Crows dominated the opening three quarters of the contest in blustery conditions on Sunday afternoon and led by as much as 42 points midway through the third term.

Victory and favourable results across the weekend would’ve allowed Adelaide to leapfrog South Adelaide, Central District and Glenelg into fifth place on the SANFL ladder.

But the top-of-the-table Eagles didn’t follow the script. Incredibly, Woodville-West Torrens slammed on seven unanswered goals either side of three-quarter time to snatch the lead in the dying minutes of the match.

Young forward Harry Dear kicked a steadier to give Adelaide some hope of holding on, but the home side responded again with the final two goals of the game to deal a crushing blow to the Crows’ SANFL finals hopes.

The Eagles more than doubled Adelaide’s possession (96-43), clearance (12-5) and inside 50m (15-4) tallies in the final-quarter fightback to secure the club’s third straight SANFL minor premiership.

SANFL stats: Round 17 v Woodville-West Torrens

The loss leaves Adelaide languishing in eighth place on the League ladder now needing a string of other results to go its way for a shot at fifth spot.

"I don’t know what we served up in that last quarter. It’s not acceptable, and the players know that," Crows SANFL coach Ryan O'Keefe said after the loss.

"If you don’t come to compete, you give a really good side like the Eagles a sniff, the rest speaks for itself.

"You can dress it up as much as you want, but if you don’t win the contest, it’s hard to get your hands on the ball and hard to go forward.

"You shouldn’t lose games like that. We dominated the game for three quarters. To serve up rubbish like that in the last quarter is not acceptable."

There were positives to take from the clash for the Crows despite the disappointing finish.

Wingman Paul Seedsman starred for the second game in a row at SANFL level. The former Magpie amassed a game-high 33 possessions, 12 marks and kicked a goal as he continues to press for a senior spot.

Returning defenders Kyle Hartigan and Kyle Cheney were resolute in the backline, particularly in the first and third terms when defending against the howling breeze. The pair slotted into the lineup seamlessly and combined for nine intercept marks and five rebound 50ms.

Veteran Scott Thompson (29 disposals, nine clearances, seven tackles) found plenty of the ball and Dean Gore (18 disposals, nine marks) impressed in his 50th SANFL match across half-back.

Left-footer Troy Menzel finished with a team-high three goals to take his tally to 10 goals from his past three SANFL outings and also helped set up several teammates up forward.

Utility Curtly Hampton also got through his first game in three months unscathed in his comeback from a serious ankle injury.


Scores were tied at the first change as Adelaide fought against a heavy breeze blowing to the southern end of the ground.

Reilly O’Brien threatened to tear the game apart early. The 202cm Crow, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Sunday, took several big contested marks up forward but couldn’t convert his chances and finished with three behinds for the day.

Adelaide piled on five goals to no score in the second quarter, including two goals each to stand-in skipper Jonathon Beech and Menzel, to storm to a 35-point lead by half-time.

The Eagles snared three late goals in the third term against the flow to build momentum and kicked on with the first four majors of the last to complete an amazing comeback victory.

The SANFL Crows finish their home and away campaign on Saturday against fellow finals aspirant South Adelaide at Hickinbotham Oval.

1.3   6.8   7.9   8.9 (57)
WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS  1.3   1.3   4.5   10.8 (68)

Menzel 3, Beech 2, Gallucci, Seedsman, Dear
Woodville-West Torrens:
Wundke 4, Johansen 2, Petrenko 2, N.Hayes, Boyd

Seedsman, Menzel, Thompson, Cheney, Hartigan, Doedee, Gore, Murphy
Woodville-West Torrens: Petrenko, Boyd, Lewis, Wundke, Johansen, Thompson

Adelaide: TBC
Woodville-West Torrens: Nil