Crows soar for Walsh

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - AN­DREW CAPEL

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.

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