Crows soar for Walsh
ADELAIDE produced one of its greatest Showdown triumphs to stunningly knock Port Adelaide out of the finals race in an emotional Phil Walsh tribute match at Adelaide Oval.
With veteran midfielder Scott Thompson turning back the clock, the Crows held off a fast- finishing Port in a pulsating finish to win by three points in front of a record Showdown and Adelaide Oval AFL crowd of 54,468. Club legend Mark Ricciuto described the backs- to- the- wall win as arguably the finest of all of Adelaide’s 18 Showdown victories, given it came just 16 days after the tragic death of senior coach Walsh.
The Crows won despite not kicking a goal in the final quarter.
They saw their 36- point third- quarter lead cut to just three with a minute left when Robbie Gray goaled with a brilliant snap shot.
But a Tom Lynch inter- cept mark and a free kick won by Richard Douglas helped to preserve Adelaide’s lead in a win that would have made the club’s former coach Walsh proud, according to star on- baller Patrick Dangerfield.
“Everyone at the footy club showed great fight so it was a really well- deserved win,’’ Dangerfield said as Crows players hugged each other on the field after the game.
“Words can’t describe the past couple of weeks because Phil had such an enormous influence on us, and to claim such a hard- fought win, it’s one he’d be proud of.
“It was such an important game for us to win and it gives us confidence we can mix it with the best.’’
The upset, against- theodds victory propels the Crows back into the top eight and virtually ends the Power’s finals hopes with seven rounds remaining.
Adelaide built its win on a 51- 39 clearance domination.
Best- afield Thompson, 32, and Dangerfield led the charge with 26 of the Crows’ clearances between them ( 13 each) while lion- hearted ruckman Sam Jacobs was magnificent with 17 disposals, 51 hit- outs and six clearances.
Douglas ( 26 disposals) and captain Taylor Walker ( 18 disposals and three goals) also had big games for Adelaide as interim coach Scott Camporeale claimed his first win in charge of the side in the most emotional Showdown ever.