Hawks in grave danger of missing finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks in grave danger of missing finals

By Adam Cooper 14/08/2009 10:33:43 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn's chances of reaching the AFL finals appear dashed after Adelaide stormed back to inflict a 27-point win in Friday night's round 20 opener at the MCG.

The Crows' win moved them to fifth and represented a 57-point turnaround from late in the first term, when they trailed by 30 points after the Hawks kicked the first five goals.

Adelaide's five goals to none in the second quarter dramatically changed the match, and their 13.16 (94) to 9.13 (67) victory means the reigning premiers will most likely be onlookers in September.

While still a mathematical chance to reach the finals, Hawthorn's fourth-straight defeat kept them in 11th spot and they must now rely on results going their way to keep them alive.

Aside from winning their remaining two games, Hawthorn must also hope history is on their side as, in the 15 years since the top eight was introduced, only one side (Brisbane in 1995) has reached the finals with 10 wins.

For the first 30 minutes on Friday night though, the dream shone.

The Hawks controlled possession in the early stages and were relentless in their pressure, and Cyril Rioli set up the first goal by running down Bernie Vince from behind.

But the Crows literally turned the tables in the second quarter and kicked all five goals, including a great set shot by Trent Hentschel from the boundary, which grabbed the lead, and minutes later, a similar shot by Scott Thompson, who ran the length of the field to mark in attack after rebounding from defence.

Thompson and Andrew McLeod exerted their influence in the second quarter, and Hentschel became the dominant figure in the third quarter, with a burst of three goals in nine minutes.

Hentschel finished with four goals in a great return given this was just his third game since overcoming long-term injuries in 2007-08, and his first this campaign since round two.

At the other end, Lance Franklin also kicked four goals, but he was Hawthorn's sole goal kicker after quarter-time.

Franklin's fourth, at the start of the last quarter, kept the Hawks alive. But a bad kick backwards by Josh Kennedy gave Adelaide possession, and they spirited the ball away to Chris Knights for the sealer.

Adelaide's other good players included defender Graham Johncock, Vince, Brent Reilly and Michael Doughty, who kept Rioli in check after the Hawks star's great start.

Hawthorn's best players included Jordan Lewis, Ben McGlynn and captain Sam Mitchell.

Adelaide's win kept them in the hunt for the double chance and will most likely allow them to shed an unwanted record, as they missed the finals in 1999 after winning the premiership the previous season - the last team to do so.

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