REIGNING premier Adelaide is back in business after storming from nowhere to snatch a remarkable 13-point win against unlucky St Kilda at Richmond Oval.
The Crows didn’t score until almost midway through Sunday’s second quarter but showed the characteristics of a champion side to overcome the odds and snatch a victory to keep their premiership defence on track.
They did not lead until the last four minutes of the game, when Madison Newman steered through a goal from an angle.
First-gamer Caitlin Gould had levelled the scores moments earlier when she clung on to a huge pack mark and kicked the first goal of her AFLW career. Forward Eloise Jones sealed the 6.4 (40) to 4.3 (27) win with a goal on the siren.
Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were outstanding, while Courtney Gum showed her class in the second half to help turn the game.
The loss was tough on the Saints, who for much of their second game had looked on target to claim a historic and remarkable first win.
Georgia Patrikios showed a bright future with 18 effective touches, while Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Tarni White and Nat Exon all had their moments.
The Saints weren’t helped when Clara Fitzpatrick was forced from the ground on a stretcher in the last quarter with concussion after a courageous marking attempt.
Adelaide’s 2019 premiership flag was unfurled before the game but, in the first quarter, it looked like it was the Crows’ game which was unfurling.
Without their superstar co-captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall, they started slowly.
Phillips is on the comeback from the torn anterior cruciate ligament, while Randall is out for the season after tearing her ACL in pre-season training.
The Crows, who failed to score in the first quarter of their opening-round loss to Brisbane, also didn’t get on the scoreboard in the opening term against St Kilda.
Nicole Campbell’s short pass was stolen by Kate McCarthy, the only Saint among five Crows players, and she burst away to score the first goal in the 14th minute.
Jess Sedunary, back in the city where her AFLW career kicked off as a premiership player with the Crows in 2017, snared the ball and evaded a couple of would-be tacklers to boot the Saints’ second goal early in the second quarter and they were on a roll.
© AAP 2020
ADELAIDE CROWS 0.0 2.1 3.2 6.4 (40)
ST KILDA 1.1 3.2 4.2 4.3 (27)
Goals: Adelaide Crows: A Considine C Biddell C Gould E Jones M Newman S Thompson. St Kilda: C Greiser 2 J Sedunary K McCarthy. Umpires: Tom Bryce, Peter Bailes, Mitch Harris.
Official Crowd: 6,433 at Richmond Oval.