McLeod celebrates as Crows beat Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McLeod celebrates as Crows beat Blues

By Daniel Brettig 23/05/2009 07:25:04 PM Comments (0)

Andrew McLeod inspired a host of his teammates to heights seldom seen in 2009 as Adelaide brushed aside a lacklustre Carlton by 44 points to end a run of three consecutive AFL losses on Saturday.

The Crows have wavered in recent weeks but had far too much desperation and direction for the Blues as they honoured McLeod for passing Mark Ricciuto as the longest-serving Adelaide player with 313 games.

Adelaide crunched the visitors in the first half before ultimately winning 15.14 (104) to 8.12 (60), shrugging off a third-term flat spot in the process.

The Crows' win was made in midfield where Michael Doughty played a brilliant stopping game on Carlton skipper Chris Judd while also grabbing plenty of the ball himself, and Tyson Edwards, Scott Thompson and David Mackay were also prominent.

"I don't know (if there was a McLeod factor), but it couldn't have panned out better for what the day was," said Crows coach Neil Craig.

"He was absolutely fantastic, Mick Doughty, and it was a big role because Chris is a champion player, so I'm sure Mick would also acknowledge his teammates - to do that sort of job on Chris Judd requires not just one player's effort.

"It went a big way towards us getting the result we wanted."

Left-footer Chris Knights nabbed five goals up forward, and defensive duo Simon Goodwin and Graham Johncock played large parts in holding the Blues goalless to halftime - their poorest return for 20 years.

Marc Murphy, Nick Stevens and Matthew Kreuzer battled hard for the visitors, who threatened to close the gap in the second half but were never closer than 26 points.

The Blues were also setback by an apparent knee injury to livewire Jarrad Waite, who hyper-extended the joint at the 22-minute mark of the first and did not return - he is set to have scans on Monday.

"I was hoping Andy (McLeod) would have a week off a couple of weeks ago when we looked at the draw and how it was going to fall," said Blues coach Brett Ratten.

"For our club to play in a game where the other team is coming at you, regardless of where it is, is good for our group and it's how you respond through adversity.

"If we could silence the crowd, was that our reward? We thought it was, but we didn't silence them too much today."

McLeod's milestone brought a crowd of 41,107 to West Lakes, and the roar that greeted his entry to the field, accompanied by his children and an honour guard of past players, provided all the pre-match impetus a team could ask for.

The Crows began impressively into the breeze, grabbing a 19-point first change lead before booting through five goals without reply in the second to establish a gaping 49-point halftime gap.

Clearly haunted by dire third terms against the Bulldogs and Brisbane, Adelaide's players went into their shells after halftime, Murphy dominated in midfield and the margin was pared back to 27 with a quarter to play.

Crow nerves were settled inside a minute by Brent Reilly's long goal as they registered their first home win of the season.

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