ANOTHER injury to Rory Sloane and a misfiring Taylor Walker could not stop Adelaide from grabbing a come-from-behind 13-point win over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Midfielder Sloane was subbed in the third term with a fractured cheekbone while captain Walker (2.5) still appeared hampered by a bruised hip in ominous signs for the Crows.
However, nothing it seems could deny Adelaide from moving to seventh on the ladder with a 7-5 record, just 0.3 per cent behind Richmond.
They dug deep to reel in a 24-point fourth term deficit to earn a much needed 11.16 (82) to 10.9 (69) win.
An erratic Walker at one stage couldn't take a trick, prompting one Crows fan to unfurl a banner boasting a target behind the goalposts.
But all was forgiven when Walker finally rediscovered his radar and kicked a booming 50m goal in the 21st minute of the final term - the first time Adelaide enjoyed the lead.
In the end Adelaide kicked six straight majors and kept a gutsy Lions goalless in the final term to notch a crunch win.
Adelaide's second victory in three games was a much needed shot in the arm ahead of a tough block of games that may define the Crows’ top eight chances - Geelong (home), West Coast (away) and Port Adelaide (away).
The Crows will still be sweating on their talisman Walker who appeared hampered by injury and did not register the first of two goals until six minutes into the third term.
And Sloane is another major concern after being subbed in the 13th minute of the third term clutching his face. Adelaide coach Phil Walsh later confirmed Sloane fractured his cheekbone and will miss 4-6 weeks.
He had only just come back from a broken jaw.
"We were very ordinary for three quarters but I was very happy with the finish," Walsh said.
"I am a glass half full guy."
Walsh said the team doctor "feared the worst" for Sloane's third term injury.
"I don't want to dismiss it because he is a very important player ... (but) NFL have a saying 'next man up', and that's what we will do," he said.
It was another disappointing fadeout for the Lions who had hoped to snap a four-game losing run and notch their third win of the year and first since May 17.
The Lions have lost seven of their past eight at home, their worst run in five years.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch played down a hamstring complaint that forced Pearce Hanley to be subbed in the third term.
"We put the foot to the floor and ran out of gas - that's better than lapses within games," Leppitsch said of the fadeout in their fifth straight loss.
The Lions kicked the first four goals of the match to jump to a 25-point lead before the Crows reduced the first term deficit to just 12.
By half-time, the Lions led 6.5 (41) to 3.6 (24) thanks to a Hanley goal from a wonderful weaving run.
The half-time crowd saluted Lions defender Matt Maguire who announced his retirement this week due to ongoing concussion problems.
Dayne Zorko attempts to break a Rory Sloane tackle on Saturday. Picture: AFL Media
BRISBANE LIONS 4.3 6.5 10.7 10.9 (69)
ADELAIDE 2.3 3.6 5.13 11.16 (82)
Brisbane Lions: Bourke 2, Leuenberger 2, Hanley, Christensen, Robinson, Redden, Taylor, Zorko
Adelaide: Betts 2, Jenkins 2, Walker 2, van Berlo, Cameron, Wright, Smith, Thompson
Brisbane Lions: Zorko, Taylor, Robinson, Beams, Paparone, Leuenberger
Adelaide: Thompson, Crouch, Cameron, Laird, Jenkins, Talia
Brisbane Lions: Hanley (hamstring)
Adelaide: Sloane (fractured cheekbone)
Brisbane Lions: Tom Cutler replaced Pearce Hanley in the third quarter
Adelaide: Cam Ellis-Yolmen replaced Rory Sloane in the third quarter
Umpires: Jeffery, Mitchell, Wallace
Official crowd: 18,146 at the Gabba