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Match report: Crows win with a finals fling

Highlights: Adelaide v Geelong The Crows and Cats clash in round 17
Tom Lynch kicked four goals on Thursday night - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Geelong Cats
Tom Lynch kicked four goals on Thursday night

ADELAIDE has celebrated Rory Sloane's re-signing in style, keeping its finals dream alive with a 15-point victory against Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Led by All-Australian defender Rory Laird's 43 disposals and Tom Lynch's four goals, the Crows recorded their eighth win of the season – 16.16 (112) to 14.13 (97).

Sloane was strong in his first game since putting pen to paper on a five-year extension to make him a Crow for life, having 27 disposals, 17 contested and kicking a key goal, the big crowd of 46,095 showing their love for the dual club champion every time he got near the ball.

FINAL FLING GETS WIN Full match details and stats

"It definitely had some impact," Crows coach Don Pyke said of his vice-captain's re-signing.

"It certainly would've given the players a boost, but they still have to come out and play and that was the most pleasing part. 

"We came out with a real intent to play and put pressure on and sustain that for long periods, which hasn't (always) been the case (this season)."

The Crows (8-8) are now one win outside the eight, but could be without captain Taylor Walker for next week's game with Brisbane after he was placed on report for a high bump on Cats defender Zach Tuohy.

WATCH Sloane signed, sealed and delivers

The seventh-placed Cats (9-7) could now fall out of the top eight by the end of the round depending on other results.

The Crows looked home when Walker's goal put them up by 29 points with under 14 minutes on the clock.

But quick goals to Quinton Narkle, Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins closed the gap to just eight points.


Small forward Lachlan Murphy kicked his third goal to give the Crows some breathing space.

"We put ourselves in a position that the game was getting out of hand in the third quarter, but that was offset by the fact we gave ourselves a real chance to win after not looking like it at three-quarter time," Cats coach Chris Scott said.

"I think we should be pretty positive how our guys hung in, really put them under pressure.

"In an overall sense, probably the thing that decided the game was the fact they were able to score so freely from our turnovers."

Patrick Dangerfield almost spoiled Sloane's party, the 2016 Brownlow Medallist and former Crow finishing with 33 disposals, 10 tackles and three goals.

Gary Ablett was strong with his clearance work, extracting the ball 10 times, Joel Selwood (29) and Tim Kelly (28) found plenty of the ball while key forward Tom Hawkins took advantage of Crows key defender Daniel Talia missing the game with a foot injury to boot four goals.

It's the first time the Crows scored more than 100 points since their round seven win against strugglers Carlton.

Leading by eight points at halftime, the Crows put the foot down in the third term.

THE SLOANE DANGER SHOW Five talking points

Half-back flanker Wayne Milera was the catalyst with 11 third-quarter disposals, breaking the lines with his daring attack and delivering the ball beautifully by foot.

On a cold night, the Crows brought the heat early.

Riley Knight – in his first game since round six from hamstring tendinitis – was up in the face of Geelong captain Joel Selwood in a tagging role.

Adelaide’s pressure was up a gear, Luke Brown and Lachlan Murphy kicking goals from holding the ball decisions in the forward 50.

Crows winger Rory Atkins responded after being dropped, racking up 10 disposals (five contested) and kicking a goal in the first quarter.

The slick ball movement of the Crows was reminiscent of their best football from last year.

Five straight goals stretched their lead to 21 points early in the second term.

The Cats responded through Hawkins, Tuohy and Dangerfield before Lynch's hit back for the Crows just before half-time, leading 7.9 (51) to 6.7 (43) at the main break.

MEDICAL ROOM
Adelaide: For one of the rare times this season, the Crows reported a clean bill of health.
Geelong: Zach Tuohy underwent a concussion test at the end of the first quarter after he was on the end of Taylor Walker's high bump. Tuohy passed the test and returned to the game in the second term. 

NEXT UP
The Crows hit the road to take on Brisbane at the Gabba next Saturday night, 7.25pm (AEST). Meanwhile, the Cats face a huge test when they host Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium, also next Saturday night, 7.25pm (AEST).

ADELAIDE  4.3   7.9   13.15  16.16 (112)
GEELONG   3.3   6.7    10.9   14.13 (97)

GOALS
Adelaide: Lynch 4, Murphy 3, Jenkins 2, Gallucci 2, Brown, Atkins, Betts, Sloane, Walker
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Dangerfield 3, Parfitt, Menzel, Tuohy, Kelly, Menegola, Narkle, Duncan

BEST 
Adelaide: Laird, Lynch, Atkins, Sloane, Crouch, Milera, Doedee
Geelong: Dangerfield, Kelly, Ablett, J.Selwood, Hawkins                                                                          

INJURIES 
Adelaide: Nil
Geelong: TBC

Reports: Taylor Walker reported for rough conduct on Zach Tuohy in the first quarter.

Umpires: O’Gorman, Pannell, McInerney

Official crowd: 46,095 at the Adelaide Oval