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Crows crash in SANFL opener

Cam Ellis-Yolmen was one of Adelaide's best in Sunday's SANFL clash with North Adelaide

North Adelaide has smashed Adelaide by 47 points in the Crows’ inaugural SANFL match at Prospect Oval.

The Roosters led from the opening siren and were never challenged in the convincing 20.13 (133) to 12.14 (86) victory.

Former Carlton rookie Rhys O’Keefe starred in his return to North Adelaide, slotting five goals from 19 possessions to steer the Roosters to victory.

Todd Miles was a brick wall for North Adelaide down back, racking up a game-high 10 marks and cutting down Adelaide at will across the Crows’ half-forward line.

Nick Amato and ex-Kangaroo Matthew Campbell were also impressive for the home side.

Adelaide’s Brodie Martin pushed his case for an AFL recall with 24 possesions, 10 marks and a goal while athletic defender Jake Kelly won his battle with Leigh Ryswyk and was a shining light for the Crows in defence.

Crows development player Tyson Davis-Neale also showed glimpses, displaying great composure and poise through traffic and pushing forward to finish with three goals.

Jason Porplyzia was another who worked hard for Adelaide, until the 29-year-old was helped from the field after suffering a heavy cork late in the third quarter.

North skipped away to an early lead with hard-running rebound football in the first term. The Roosters banked seven goals while Adelaide was wasteful, with misses to Lewis Johnston and Angus Graham costly as the Crows failed to turn possession into scoreboard pressure.

Adelaide managed to steal an important goal late in the quarter against the flow, with Charlie Cameron applying frenetic forward pressure to gift a major to 205 cm ruckman Jack Osborn.

But the Roosters’ response was swift, with goals to Thring and Mitchell giving North Adelaide a handy 28-point buffer at the first break.

Forward duo Alan Obst and Luke Mitchell grew more dangerous the longer the match went on. The pair finished with seven goals between them as Adelaide’s defence struggled to contain their strength.

A classy goal from Adelaide’s Rory Atkins midway through the second stanza momentarily quelled the barrage of offensive from the Roosters, but the home side resumed command in the third quarter as the Crows continued to squandered opportunities.

Misses to Knight, Cameron, Johnston and Callinan all went begging as North slammed on another four majors to build a match-high 60-point lead early in the final term.

A string of late consolation goals brought some respectability back onto the scoreboard for Adelaide, but O’Keefe’s fourth and fifth goals stamped an exclamation mark on the end of a convincing Round One win for the Roosters.

Crows State League coach Heath Younie said North Adelaide proved it will be a contender again in 2014.

“Full credit to North today, they out-worked us around the ground for most of the game,” Younie said post match.

“They were really impressive today and deserved to win, there’s no doubt about that.”

Younie, who won two best and fairest awards in 183 games with the Roosters, said there were still many positives to come from the Crows’ Round One defeat.

“The continued improvement of our young players is really exciting, and we saw that in patches today,” Younie said.

“Jake Kelly’s job on Leigh Ryswyk today was outstanding. To keep a player of his calibre to 11 touches is a fantastic effort and did not go unnoticed to us in the box.

“Tyson Davis-Neale was another who never gave up. His last quarter was very encouraging.”

Adelaide’s next SANFL appearance will be at Envestra Park on Saturday afternoon against Sturt.

“It’s a disappointing result for us today, but it was still such a historical day for out footy club to officially join the SANFL competition.

“We now look to next week and hope to see the side take another step forward again.”

ADELAIDE                        2.3            5.6            6.11            12.14 (86)
NORTH ADELAIDE          7.1            12.3          16.10          20.13 (133)

Davis-Neale 3, Callinan 2, Ellis-Yolmen, Osborn, Martin, Hurley-Wellington, Atkins, Shaw, Cameron
North Adelaide: O’Keefe 5, Mitchell 4, Obst 3, Stokes 2, Shannon, Barns, Amato, Thring, O’Brien, Combe

Martin, Kelly, Ellis-Yolmen, Davis-Neale
North Adelaide: O’Keefe, Miles, Amato, Campbell, Thring, Barns

Porplyzia (cork)
North Adelaide: Mitchell (calf)