Rachelle Martin celebrates a goal with Eloise Jones during the match between Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval in round seven, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE has continued its rampage to the finals with a 42-point demolition of the winless Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval on Friday night.

But the Crows' 9.5 (59) to 2.5 (17) victory has come at a cost, losing young gun Abbie Ballard to a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury.

CROWS v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats

This is the first time the Bulldogs have started a season 0-7 since the scrapping of the conference system in 2020, while the Crows remain undefeated with just three rounds left.

Ball magnets Anne Hatchard (25 disposals) and Ebony Marinoff (32 disposals) were typically influential, while Caitlin Gould led the way up forward with three majors.


Alice Edmonds (25 hitouts) starred in the ruck for the forlorn Bulldogs alongside Naomi Ferres (six intercept possessions), while the usually prolific Ellie Blackburn overcame a rare slow start to collect a game-high 13 contested possessions.

With the Bulldogs losing gun forwards Deanna Berry (leg) and Celine Moody (shoulder) to season-ending injuries earlier in the week, the visitors were further hit when young midfielder Keeley Coyne went down with a knee injury five minutes into the opening quarter.


Less than two minutes later, fellow teammate Kirsten McLeod was taken out of the game with a concussion.

Sarah Hartwig kicked a major to keep the visitors alive but Adelaide picked apart the rattled Bulldogs to gain a four-point lead before quarter-time.

And just when life couldn't get worse, the Bulldogs lost Dominique Carruthers in a courageous marking contest against Eloise Jones in the second term before Niamh Kelly flaunted her speed to produce a goal-of-the-year contender.


Crows captain Chelsea Randall kicked her second goal of the season to increase the margin to 17 points late in the second term.

The celebrations were cut short when Ballard hit the ground in agony, with the 21-year-old Adelaide forward clutching her knee in tears before leaving the ground after an innocuous accident with Hartwig.

Ballard had been impressive up to that point, keeping Bulldogs skipper Blackburn to just five touches before the incident.


The game continued to play on the Crows' terms in the second half.

Adelaide has won every third quarter this season by at least 10 points, and they continued that streak by winning the term by 18 points and extended its lead to 34 points by the final change.

Brianna McFarlane cut the Crows' string of six goals in the fourth term but with only 12 minutes left, her effort proved too late.


Adelaide (7-0) takes on fourth-placed Brisbane next Saturday, while the Western Bulldogs (0-7) host 12th-placed Sydney on the same day.


ADELAIDE                         2.0   4.2   7.2   9.5 (59)
WESTERN BULLDOGS       1.2   1.4   1.4   2.5 (17)

Adelaide: Gould 3, Jones, Kelly, Martin, Newman, Ponter, Randall
Western Bulldogs: Hartwig, McFarlane  

Adelaide: Marinoff, Hatchard, Gould, Jones, Kelly, Randall
Western Bulldogs: Lamb, Blackburn, Ferres, Fitzgerald, Wilcox  

Adelaide: Ballard (knee)
Western Bulldogs: Coyne (knee), McLeod (concussion), Carruthers (concussion)

Crowd: 2,745 at Norwood Oval