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1997 Premiership.jpg

Back row:  B. Hart, Caven, Keating, Rehn, Pittman, Robran, Ellen, Jameson. Middle row: McLeod, Edwards, Sampson, Connell, Johnson, Goodwin, Koster, Rintoul. Front row: James, Smart, Blight (coach), Bickley (captain), D. Hart (assistant coach), Bond, D. Jarman

Adelaide won its first AFL premiership in its seventh season – and did it in record-breaking fashion.

The Crows became the first Club to win four finals to clinch the flag when it came from behind at half-time to defeat minor premiers St Kilda by 31 points on grand final day, September 27, at the MCG.

There were plenty of heroes. Andrew McLeod gathered 31 possessions to win the Norm Smith Medal. Defender Shane Ellen, thrown forward, kicked five goals. Darren Jarman moved to full forward in the second half and kicked six goals. David Pittman shut down St Kilda’s Stewart Loewe. Shaun Rehn dominated and inspired in the ruck. And cheeky Troy Bond kicked four goals from a pocket.

Incredibly, Adelaide claimed the premiership cup without two of its All Australians of that season – Mark Ricciuto and Tony Modra – because of serious injuries. Also missing was goalsneak Peter Vardy, who had played every game before breaking a collarbone in the second semi-final.

The team (starting positions):
B: Ben Hart, Rod Jameson, Simon Goodwin
HB: Andrew McLeod, David Pittman, Peter Caven
C: Kym Koster, Mark Bickley, Matthew Connell
HF: Clay Sampson, Matthew Robran, Chad Rintoul
F: Troy Bond, Shane Ellen, Nigel Smart
R: Shaun Rehn, Kane Johnson, Darren Jarman
Int: Aaron Keating, Brett James, Tyson Edwards
Coach: Malcolm Blight

Adelaide      3.8  5.10 11.11 19.11 (125)
St Kilda        3.6  7.11  9.13   13.16 (94)

Best:  McLeod, Jarman, Hart, Ellen, Bond, Pittman, Rehn, Caven
Goals: Jarman 6, Ellen 5, Bond 4, Smart, Goodwin, Rintoul, Caven