Eagles survive frenzied Crows comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles survive frenzied Crows comeback

By Daniel Brettig 09/04/2006 06:00:33 PM Comments (0)

West Coast survived a frenzied Adelaide charge in the final term to defeat the Crows by two points and put a dampener on Ben Hart's 300th AFL game at AAMI Stadium.

The Eagles built a 27-point lead at three-quarter time, but briefly surrendered the last term lead and needed a pair of well-roved goals to Brent Staker and Chad Fletcher to win 13.12 (90) to 13.10 (88).

Ruckman Dean Cox was again dominant for the Eagles, while midfield runners Chris Judd, Ben Cousins, Chad Fletcher and Daniel Kerr did plenty of damage.

Adam Hunter and David Wirrpanda ran hard off half back, while Jaymie Graham and Brent Staker (three goals each) presented valuable marking targets.

Adelaide was held together by another super game from Simon Goodwin, with Mark Ricciuto kicking five goals and Hart playing soundly in his 300th appearance.

The game began with the news that Adelaide would shelve Hart's No.34 jumper out of respect for his 300-game milestone, and the durable defender responded by taking a wonderful mark over Judd as the Crows began with zip.

West Coast won its share of the ball, but found its players cornered and resorting to handball, while Judd missed a running shot he would normally gobble, Adelaide leading by 11 points at the break.

Both sides traded goals early in term two, Chad Fletcher's pinpoint shot answered by Nathan van Berlo's 55m effort, and Adelaide still led by 10 points midway through the quarter.

However the Eagles' midfield industry was renewed when Cousins ran nimbly off the bench, and goals to Sampi, Cousins, Sampi again and Graham on the siren had the visitors up by 13 at the half.

They carried the momentum into the third quarter, and the margin had blown out to 32 points nearing time on.

A pair of majors to Bode and Ricciuto reduced the margin to 21, but the Eagles forced an overlap late in the quarter that resulted in Quinten Lynch rounding Ben Rutten in the goalsquare to put the Eagles 27 clear at the last change.

Adelaide had the breeze as the final stanza commenced, and better ball movement resulted in four quick goals to Rhett Biglands, Ricciuto, Ian Perrie and Andrew McLeod.

West Coast's run evaporated amid a stream of short kicks and Adelaide intercepts, and when Ricciuto marked strongly then converted from 45m the Crows had slammed on five unanswered goals to lead with plenty of time remaining.

Relieved to have hit the front, Adelaide's workrate dipped ever so slightly, and its loss of intensity around the clearances resulted in two quick goals to Staker and Fletcher.

Adelaide replied through Nathan Bassett's snap, and the ball was in Adelaide's forward line as the final siren drew the curtains on a breathless finale.

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