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Comeback Crows stun Cats as premiership stars misfire

Highlights: Adelaide v Geelong The Crows and Cats clash in round 17
Nathan van Berlo of the Crows tackled by Billie Smedts of the Cats during the 2013 AFL Round 17 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Geelong Cats at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide on July 21, 2013. (Photo: AFL Media)
Crows skipper Nathan van Berlo was outstanding in his side's comeback
ADELAIDE has stolen a remarkable victory from Geelong at AAMI Stadium, coming from five goals down in the third quarter to win by two points.

The Cats had two opportunities within the last minute to take the lead through Jimmy Bartel and Harry Taylor, but both missed set shots from inside 20m on acute angles.

The result keeps the Crows within two wins of eighth spot and although their finals hopes are incredibly slim, they remain alive.


After pointing out the side's poor luck with injuries in 2013, Crows coach Brenton Sanderson was happy 'that' lady was singing with him on Sunday.
 
"I have never seen [Bartel] miss those - at training or in games," Sanderson said.
 
"And then Harry Taylor, a left-footer on his correct side - once again…we have had our fair share of bad luck this year but we'll certainly take the win ... they had the opportunity to win it, but we'll take the win."

Ricky Henderson was outstanding playing as a rebounding defender, racking up 32 possessions while Bernie Vince was back to his best of a few years ago with 25 touches and two classy goals. 

Cats skipper Joel Selwood was dominant in the first half but his influence faded thereafter, and Josh Caddy was influential with 18 touches and three goals. 

Click here to vote for the three best Adelaide players from the game

Adelaide dominated the early stages and should have led handsomely with 19 first-quarter inside 50s to seven.

But while the Cats booted four straight, the home side could only manage five behinds from six very gettable opportunities.

Selwood began his day in fearsome fashion with nine first-term possessions while Richard Douglas had the ball on a string with 14.


Sanderson has lamented "fundamental skill errors" all season and two glaring examples resulted in the easiest of goals to Josh Caddy to put his side up by seven points.

Motlop and Tom Hawkins extended the lead before Selwood showed his class to nail his second; the Cats were in control.

Geelong's only worry during a five-goal-to-one second term was Bartel's high hit on young Crow Rory Laird.

He faces an anxious wait after bumping front-on into Laird as the Crow was hunched over the ball. The 19-year-old rookie was subbed out via the concussion rule, but he returned during the third quarter.

The Crows looked to rein in the flag fancies after the break via consecutive goals to Matthew Wright and Tom Lynch.

A cool Josh Jenkins goal on his non-preferred foot was bookended by Lynch's second and third majors of the quarter, reducing the margin to 14 points.

Adelaide's effort and desire was obvious at the last change and, crucially, the deficit was being slowly eroded.

The first goal of the last shaped as a vital advantage for either side and it was Bernie Vince who stood up – snapping spectacularly on his left foot to draw the Crows to within eight points.

An amazing one-handed mark and conversion from Andy Otten was supported by another classy snap from Brad Crouch before Wright's fourth gave the Crows the lead with less than five minutes remaining.

Bartel and Taylor then both missed tough chances to win the lead back before the clock ran down, gifting the Crows their best win of the year.

Cats coach Chris Scott questioned his side's composure late in the game as well as its defensive effort.
 
"For the most part of the game we played pretty well but a few crucial contests and decisions late in the game cost us," Scott said.
 
"I don't think we defended well enough, we gave up some easy goals that we wouldn't normally and that's disappointing."


Sam Jacobs tackles fellow ruckman Mark Blicavs during the Crows' thrilling win. Picture: AFL Media

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry

ADELAIDE       3.5   4.8    9.8     14.10     (94)
GEELONG        4.0   9.2    12.4    14.8       (92)                  
         
 
GOALS
Adelaide: Wright 4, Lynch 3, Vince 2, Otten 2, Jenkins, Crouch, Van Berlo
Geelong: Selwood 3, Caddy 3, Motlop 2, Kelly 2, Hawkins 2, Lonergan, Blicavs
 
BEST 
Adelaide: Henderson, Douglas, Wright, Sloane, Lynch, Vince
Geelong: Selwood, Simpson, Enright, Bartel, Corey, Caddy
           
INJURIES 
Adelaide: Nil
Geelong: Taylor Hunt (foot) replaced in the starting line-up by Jesse Stringer
 
SUBSTITUTES
Adelaide: Mitchell Grigg replaced Scott Thompson in the third quarter
Geelong: Jordan Murdoch replaced Travis Varcoe in the fourth quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Farmer, Dalgleish, Nicholls
 
Official crowd: 28,603 at AAMI Stadium
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs