Hannah Munyard and Maddi Newman celebrate a goal during Adelaide's clash against West Coast in round 10, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

ADELAIDE tuned up for its attack on a fourth flag with a 26-point win over West Coast in brutal conditions at Mineral Resources Park, before the Crows were later crowned minor premiers.

The Crows were locked into a top-two finish after celebrating Pride Round with an 11.5 (71) to 6.9 (45) win, and Brisbane's win over Melbourne later on Saturday meant Adelaide finished top of the ladder.

EAGLES v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

The Eagles provided a test at times for the season six premiers with a 'nothing to lose' attitude, but it was not enough against the experience and class of the Crows, who made a game-breaking move in the second quarter with five straight goals.  

West Coast fought hard to bring the margin back to 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Crows again lifted when needed and kicked away with the last two goals to make sure there were no untimely hiccups.  


They did so without several key players, having rested captain Chelsea Randall and three-time club champion Anne Hatchard among six strategic omissions in the final-round clash, which proved wise in 37-degree heat.     

Midfielder Ebony Marinoff was the star with 23 disposals and seven clearances, enjoying an entertaining battle with young Eagles star Ella Roberts, who also impressed with 27 and six inside 50s during a full game in the midfield. 

Danielle Ponter's time in the midfield was crucial for the Crows through the second quarter, while the team benefited from having nine separate goalkickers in an even team performance built on hard running and smart ball use after a scratchy start. 


The Eagles matched the Crows through an entertaining first quarter, using their pressure to force turnovers and getting on top outside the contest through hard offensive running and much improved ball use. 

They took a one-point lead early in the second quarter when milestone Eagle Kellie Gibson snapped a brilliant running goal, but that was the last time they would have the edge over the premiership contending Crows. 

Through their dominance in the midfield, the Crows went on a five-goal run that split the game open, with Ponter delivering a highlight when she won a centre clearance, burst forward with two bounces and then converted on the run after a quick give-and-go. 


When crafty small forward Rachelle Martin fed Teah Charlton for the visitors' fifth goal from seven forward entries in the quarter, they took a game-high 29-point lead. 

The Eagles' ability to fight back into the game was impressive and showed they have taken plenty out of their final fortnight under Rohan McHugh, with captain Emma Swanson (28 and four clearances) as well as Belinda Smith, Bella Lewis and Gibson (two goals) impressive. 


Gibson's magic moment 
A premiership player with Adelaide in 2017, Gibson played her 50th AFLW game on Saturday against the Crows and kicked one of the goals of the game in the second quarter. The versatile forward burst onto a loose ball in attack and gathered cleanly, snapping quickly on her right boot as she ran away from goal. The moment demanded a big celebration and Gibson, who went on to kick two for the quarter, delivered. 


Newman in disbelief 
When a leg spinner moves a cricket ball at right angles, they know what they're doing. For Adelaide forward Maddi Newman, however, there was shock when her snap on goal bounced from in line with the behind post and over defender Shanae Davison's head for a miraculous goal in the second quarter. There was a brief pause before anyone celebrated, with Newman left with her hands over her mouth in a bit of disbelief.  


Up next 
The Eagles end season eight with two wins and now look to the off-season and securing a permanent replacement for departed coach Michael Prior, with stand-in McHugh impressing in his two games in charge. It's all systems go for the Crows as they target a fourth AFLW flag, with Adelaide to host Brisbane in the first week of the finals.


WEST COAST          2.2     4.3     5.5       6.9 (45)
ADELAIDE              2.2     8.2     9.4     11.5 (71)

West Coast: Gibson 2, McCarthy, Lewis, Davison, Bushby
Newman 2, Gould 2, Varnhagen, Ponter, Martin, Marinoff, Kustermann, Charlton, Bonner

West Coast: Swanson, Roberts, Gibson, Davison, Smith, Lewis
Marinoff, Newman, Ponter, McKinnon, Martin, Charlton

West Coast: Schmidt (corked quad)

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 938 at Mineral Resources Park