HIGH-FLYING Adelaide forward Shane McAdam has booted three goals in a 44-point trouncing of wooden-spooners North Melbourne.
The Crows jumped from 17th to 15th with 13.20 (98) to 8.6 (54) victory at Adelaide Oval in the season's last home-and-away game.
McAdam's cameos and the midfield mastery of Ben Keays (38 touches, two goals) highlighted Adelaide's seventh win - three more than last season when wooden-spooners.
That proverbial trophy now belongs with the Kangaroos, who finish year one of their David Noble rebuild with four wins and a draw.
The Roos on Sunday kicked the opening goal and then conceded seven of the next eight - they were in strife when 17 points down at quarter-time.
The Crows, with McAdam's soaring leap on North's Aiden Bonar in the first term a highlight, stretched their advantage to 24 points at halftime, 5.9 to 2.3.
CROWS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats
Adelaide, in the final games of stalwarts David Mackay (retired) and delistee Tom Lynch, whose second-last kick for the Crows was a goal, then opened up a commanding break early in the third term.
McAdam converted again and Chayce Jones scored on the run, creating a 40-point advantage 11 minutes into the quarter.
North spearhead Nick Larkey, with three last-half goals, provided some bright spots for the visitors, with teammates Aaron Hall (37 disposals) and Tarryn Thomas (26 touches, one goal) their standouts.
Adelaide's Rory Laird led all ball-winners with his 40 possessions including 10 clearances while Keays, captain Rory Sloane (27 disposals), Ned McHenry (24, one goal) and half-back Brodie Smith (26 possessions) were influential.
McAdam takes to the skies
Shane McAdam is no stranger to high-flying marks, but his screamer in the goal square during the first quarter against the Kangaroos may be his best yet. His teammate Riley Thilthorpe's celebratory fist-pump said it all – this was a special mark that may come into Mark of the Year contention. It was made all the sweeter just seconds later when McAdam converted to put the Crows back in front. A cherry on top came a few minutes later, with McAdam slotting his second goal of the term.
An eye to the future...
With both sides' seasons all but over, the final round presented a golden opportunity to blood some youngsters. North Melbourne debutant Phoenix Spicer's first touch was immediately followed by a crunching Rory Sloane tackle as if to say 'welcome to the big leagues, kid'. But Spicer was undeterred and picked up a solid seven possessions, and seemed to have a knack for knowing where the ball was heading. For Adelaide, Lachlan Gollant kicked a goal on debut and was mobbed soon after with teammates running from all corners of the ground to celebrate the milestone.
… And fond farewell to the past
It wasn't only debuting players hitting the scoreboard, with final-quarter goals providing a fairytale farewell for two Adelaide veterans in their final game for the club. Minutes before Gollant kicked his debut goal, teammates streamed into the forward line to congratulate retiring David Mackay on the final goal of his 248-game career. A short while later, Tom Lynch was also mobbed by his teammates after kicking a goal in his final game for the club after not being offered a contract for 2022.
ADELAIDE 4.6 5.9 8.15 13.20(98)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.1 2.3 5.4 8.6(54)
Adelaide: McAdam 3, Keays 2, Seedsman, McHenry, Jones, Schoenberg, Thilthorpe, Mackay, Gollant, Lynch
North Melbourne: Larkey 3, Anderson, Walker, Thomas, Phillips, Scott
Adelaide: Laird, Sloane, McAdam, Keays, Smith
North Melbourne: Hall, Thomas, Larkey, Simpkin
North Melbourne: Cameron Zurhaar (TBC)
Adelaide: James Rowe (unused)
North Melbourne: Bailey Scott (replaced Zurhaar)
Crowd: TBC at the Adelaide Oval