ADELAIDE has broken its four-match losing streak with a hard-fought 19-point win over Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
In an entertaining, see-sawing contest, the Crows were unable to shake off the Hawks for much of the game but finished off strongly to win 16.6 (102) to 13.5 (83).
CROWS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats
Rory Laird was dominant for the Crows, finishing with two goals from 36 disposals, while Taylor Walker starred up forward with four goals.
For the Hawks, Tom Mitchell was prolific with 28 disposals and a goal, while young forward Mitch Lewis kicked three goals.
Adelaide’s ball movement was impressive early, and the Crows jumped out of the blocks with the opening three goals including two to Darcy Fogarty.
But from there the first term evened up and developed into a fast-paced goal fest, with both sides combining to kick 10 goals.
The second term was a fairly even affair, as the Crows and Hawks went goal for goal in what developed into a tense tussle.
Adelaide did a better job converting their opportunities (kicking 9.1 for the half) and a goal on the siren to Elliott Himmelberg gave the Crows a handy 15-point lead at the main break.
When Ben Keays extended the lead to a game-high 22 points with the opening goal of the third term, the Hawks looked in deep trouble.
But Tom Phillips soon followed with a much-needed goal to cut margin back to 16, and Tim O'Brien then converted from a costly 50 metre penalty to get Hawthorn back in the contest.
By the time Tom Mitchell kicked Hawthorn’s fourth goal on the trot, the Hawks were back in front.
The Crows refused to wilt though, kicking the last two goals of the term to lead by 12 at three quarter time.
Tyler Brockman kicked a goal in the opening minute of the final term to give the Hawks confidence, and a Ben McEvoy goal put the Hawks within a point.
But the Crows kicked the final three goals of the match to record an impressive win away from home.
Smith kicks ridiculous goal from the centre square
Brodie Smith is known for his long-range kicking, but even he would be impressed with his stunning 70-metre bomb against the Hawks in the first term. Smith was well inside the centre square when he took the ball from a congested pack and delivered a missile towards goal off a step. The ball only needed to bounce once before sailing through the big sticks for one of the goals of the year.
Veteran subs come on late
Amid ongoing debate this season around whether young players should make their debut as the medical sub, Alastair Clarkson and Matthew Nicks decided to go the other direction on Saturday night, giving sub duties to veterans David Mackay and Shaun Burgoyne. The duo combined for 645 games heading into the game and in the end it took until the fourth quarter for both to be used, with Burgoyne and Mackay replacing James Cousins and Lachlan Murphy respectively.
Battle for the wooden spoon heats up
For much of the season, North Melbourne has looked the team most likely to win the wooden spoon, but this round has shown that is far from a sure thing. After North's win against Carlton and Hawthorn's loss on Saturday, the Hawks now sit even with the Roos on 18 points at the bottom of the ladder. Hawthorn has a healthy percentage lead over the Roos at the moment, but given North's stronger form, the Hawks are in serious danger of winning their first wooden spoon since 1965.
ADELAIDE 6.1 9.1 12.4 16.6 (102)
HAWTHORN 4.1 6.4 10.4 13.5 (83)
Adelaide: Walker 4, Fogarty 2, Murphy 2, Laird 2, Himmelberg 2, Lynch, Smith, Keays, McHenry
Hawthorn: Lewis 3, Phillips 2, Worpel, Koschitzke, Moore, O'Brien, Breust, Mitchell, Brockman, McEvoy
Adelaide: Laird, Keays, Walker, Seedsman, O'Brien
Hawthorn: Mitchell, O’Meara, Worpel, Moore, Howe
Adelaide: Murphy (ankle)
Hawthorn: Cousins (hamstring)
Adelaide: David Mackay (replaced Murphy)
Hawthorn: Shaun Burgoyne (replaced Cousins)