Crows pip Port in AFL Showdown

Adelaide captain Taylor Walker kicked four goals in a gritty 17-point win against arch rivals Port Adelaide in Saturday night’s AFL grudge match.

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The Crows remain unbeaten after their 15.10 (100) to 12.11 (83) victory before a record AFL crowd at Adelaide Oval – 53,698 spectators.

Walker’s attacking colleague Eddie Betts booted three goals and Andy Otten kicked two in a second-term cameo.

The Crows, who lost marking target Mitch McGovern to a hamstring injury in the final quarter, were well served by onballers Rory Sloane (31 possessions), Richard Douglas (29 touches) and Matt Crouch (32 touches) and backmen Brodie Smith and Rory Laird.

The Power’s Ollie Wines was a standout for his side, kicking two goals and gathering 30 disposals, while ruckman Paddy Ryder will face scrutiny for a behind-play blow which felled Riley Knight in the last quarter.

Captain Travis Boak (26 disposals) and Brett Ebert (26 touches) were busy, Chad Wingard slotted two goals and defenders Darcy Byrne-Jones and Hamish Hartlett toiled gamely.

Port started strongly, scoring the initial three goals to take a 17-point advantage midway through the opening term.

But Betts kicked two for the Crows to keep them in touch at quarter-time, when the Power led by nine points.

Port stretched their lead to 13 points when Wines scored two quick goals, only for the tide to turn Adelaide’s way.

Wines’ goals were Port’s only scores in the second stanza as Adelaide kicked 4.6 for a nine-point halftime lead.

And Adelaide continued their dominance into the third term with three more goals – when Sloane took a courageous pack mark and goaled, the Crows had scored six unanswered goals to create a seemingly defining 27 point break.

But Port responded with three late goals, including a freakish snap from Wingard, to trail by just 14 points at the last change.

Wingard goaled again early in the last term and when teammate Sam Gray’s snap hit the post, the Power were just six points down.

But Adelaide steadied with Walker kicking a long-range goal and Tom Lynch adding another before the Crows skipper sealed the win with a thumping 60m goal on the run.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke praised the even spread of contributors in his side.

“It was an arm wrestle all night … it was a tough contest,” Pyke said.

“It ebbed and flowed on the contested ball numbers.”

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley lamented the Power’s costly fade-out in the middle of the match when the Crows kicked six goals in a row.

“They (Adelaide) were a bit cleaner when they needed to be, a bit tougher when they needed to be,” Hinkley said.