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Crows trump Cats to make AFLX history

Historic night of AFLX Main moments from Adelaide with Matt Thompson and Ashley Browne

BEATEN 2017 grand finalists Adelaide has a piece of silverware - of sorts - after taking out the inaugural AFLX tournament at Hindmarsh Stadium on Thursday night.

The Crows went unbeaten through their two pool games before beating Geelong by eight points in the Grand Final.

How each club fared on AFLX's opening night

In an exciting contest, the Crows prevailed 3.3.7 (55) to 2.4.3 (47) to the delight of the crowd of 10,253.

The seven-a-side format lived up to its hype as a fast-paced and high-scoring game, with 33 ten-point 'Zooper goals' kicked through the seven games.

See the AFLX fixture and get your tickets here

Jake Kelly and Andy Otten were the only two Crows players from last year's losing Grand Final to Richmond, but it was players such as Curtly Hampton and Cam Ellis-Yolmen who stood out.

"We're really happy," Crows assistant coach Scott Camporeale said after the win.

"Our focus is still round one, but it was a great opportunity to see some guys who didn't get a lot of game time last year, either through injury or not being able to break into the team.

"A couple of great stories – Cam Ellis-Yolmen coming off an ACL, and Kyle Cheney, who has missed a lot of footy.

"We rate those guys really highly and it's a great opportunity for those guys to show us where they're at."

Crows defender Jake Kelly feels the pressue from Magpie James Aish. Picture: AFL Photos

Camporeale said he would be happy to see AFLX become a regular part of the AFL calendar.

"I don't see why not, I thought it was pretty exciting," he said.

"The crowd and the people and the players enjoyed the build-up to it and playing it.

"I guess, if it gets momentum and the people come, it will stay."

 

Daniel Menzel, Mitch Duncan, Tom Hawkins, Mark Blicavs, Sam Menegola and Jed Bews all started in the decider for the Cats.

Cats coach Chris Scott said the concept had proven to be a winner.

"One of the benefits of this game is that it's lower contact," he said. "There were a handful of stoppages across the night.

"This is a really good way to learn the game for young kids."

Ask the coach: Chris Scott

The Crows made a blistering start in the Grand Final through 'Zooper goals' to Patrick Wilson and Tom Doedee within the first minute.

 

Geelong and Adelaide won both games in their respective groups to punch their ticket to the Grand Final.

Fremantle and Collingwood claimed victories in their second games of the night to end 1-1.

West Coast and Port Adelaide – both who fielded inexperienced squads – finished winless from their two games.

The Cats kicked off proceedings with an entertaining 12-point victory against Port Adelaide.

Dan Menzel and Mark Blicavs get to grips with the silver ball. Picture: AFL Photos

Cats youngster Zach Guthrie made history by kicking the first AFLX goal, while Power defender Riley Bonner booted the inaugural 'Zooper goal', scoring 10 points for a kick beyond the 40m arc.

Smoke machines at both ends of the ground blasted to life for every 10-point score.

The 10 umpires were impossible to miss in their bright flouro pink shirts and socks.

Silver footballs were used for the first four games of the night before they were substituted for the more traditional yellow balls, which were easier to see for the television broadcast.

Docker Tom North gets wrapped up in a tackle. Picture: AFL Photos

Carlton, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Essendon, North Melbourne and St Kilda will take part in the second AFLX tournament at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane and Gold Coast will play at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

GRAND FINAL

Adelaide 3.3.7 (55) def Geelong 2.4.3 (47)

POOL A

Game 1: Geelong 3.6.6 (72) def Port Adelaide 5.1.4 (60)
Game 2: Geelong 4.2.5 (57) def Fremantle 3.1.4 (40)
Game 3: Fremantle 1.6.8 (54) def Port Adelaide 2.2.5 (37)

POOL B

Game 1: Adelaide 2.7.3 (65) def Collingwood 1.3.9 (37)
Game 2: Adelaide 3.3.5 (53) def West Coast 0.7.4 (46)
Game 3: Collingwood 3.3.4 (52) def West Coast 0.5.7 (37)