Round 7 Saturday 16 March

Casey Fields
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    Match report: Ruthless Crows demolish Dees to stroll into finals

    A red-hot Adelaide underlined its status as the team to beat for the AFLW premiership with a thumping win against Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

    The Crows sealed top spot in Conference A and a home preliminary final by smashing the shocked Demons by 60 points at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

    Brilliantly led by co-captain Erin Phillips, the Crows had ensured a successful road trip by early in the third quarter, such was their absolute domination of the stunned and outplayed home side to coast to a 10.8 (68) to 1.2 (8) annihilation.

    AFLW Match Highlights: Melbourne v Adelaide

    03:42 Mar 16. 2019. 6:45 PM

    The Demons and Crows clash in Round 7 of the AFLW

    Phillips and fellow midfielder Ebony Marinoff clearly won the critical onball duels, their constant stream of centre takeaways applying enormous pressure to Melbourne's backline.

    Compounding Melbourne's embarrassment, it threatened to be the first time the proud, well-drilled team finished goalless in three seasons. But Chantel Emonson, normally a defender, slotted the Demons' only goal late in the final quarter.

    Still, it was Melbourne's lowest ever total, eclipsing the 1.4 in wet conditions against Brisbane at home in the first round of the inaugural 2017 season. 

    In the face of such a constant barrage, Demon defenders Meg Downie and Harriet Cordner worked hard to stem the steadily increasing margin. But those key backs were simply overworked for the entire game.

    Melbourne paid a heavy price for not converting on the scoreboard after matching Adelaide's intensity for most of the opening quarter.

    The Demons won more possessions, but too often disposed wildly by foot that allowed the well-drilled Crows defence to shut down any threatening advance.

    That inability to apply scoreboard pressure came back to bite Melbourne when Adelaide booted three goals late in that crucial first term.

    RACE FOR FINALS Where is your team placed?

    Ailish Considine started the Crows' domination with a quick kick off the ground from close range and then a slick handpass from Renee Forth allowed her to run to the goalsquare for a second goal in as many minutes.

    Adelaide displayed better composure and, importantly, maintained its structure in the defensive half when the Demons had the ball.

    Too often, Melbourne players blazed away with a hurried kick, such was the Crows' admirable pressure on the ball-carrier.

    With Melbourne scoreless in the first term, it was vital that the home team responded after the restart. Instead it was the Crows who stretched the lead when a snap shot from Courtney Cramey from beside the boundary line bounced across the unguarded goal line to effectively signal game over.

    Yes, it was a fluke

    Honesty is obviously one of Adelaide vice-captain Courtney Cramey's strong points with her frank summary of an amazing snapshot early in the second quarter.

    Hemmed against the boundary line 15m from the behind post, she flung the ball onto the swinging right boot and watched it take the right bounce over the goal line.

    "I was just trying to get it to the top of the square and hope that someone like Stevie-Lee (Thompson) ran onto it," she said.

    "We had great ball use coming out of the middle all day and support around the contest and I just had a quick snap and was fortunate it went in."

    Cramey curls a belter home from the boundary

    00:27 Mar 16. 2019. 5:23 PM

    Veteran Crow continues Adelaide's rampage with a special goal from the tightest of angles

    This contest was no contest

    Really, the battle of the respective elite midfield groups was no contest.

    Adelaide held all the aces with the dominance of co-captain Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff.

    Melbourne coach Mick Stinear best summed it up: "Our strength has been our midfield and their midfield dominance with Marinoff and Phillips combined had 16 clearances and starved us of opportunities to go forward. Their pressure limited our ball use. It probably didn't look like us because Adelaide took it away from us."

    It was over when...

    Any faint hope of a Melbourne revival was snuffed out by a gifted Adelaide goal in the third quarter.

    Demon defender Chantel Emonson did a fine job with a kick-out by roosting the ball almost to the 50m arc close to the boundary line.

    Unfortunately, the massive kick cleared the pack and bounced over the line without being touched.

    From the free kick to the Crows, a Demons player infringed the mark and the ensuring 50m penalty pulled Adelaide to the goal line.

    Incidentally, Emonson kicked Melbourne's only goal of the game.

    Home ground, no advantage

    Casey Fields has not been the fortress Melbourne craved this season.

    The Demons fell to Fremantle and North Melbourne by four points at their home ground before this unexpected capitulation to Adelaide that stunned the 2239 fans.

    "We were off our game today because Adelaide were too good, but I don't think we're way off it (competition standard)," Stinear said.

    Cramey emphasised why the Crows are the benchmark in the competition.

    "Our focus going into the game was all about pressure and we brought it today," she said.

    Say what?

    "Looking at the contest numbers, actually, they were pretty even, but we were probably a bit more efficient than they were. We essentially treated it as a final because lose and we had the potential to miss out. We had our destiny in our own hands and the girls played an amazing game." - Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke

    "We're devastated that our season is finished. I don't think today was a true reflection of the work that our group has done and how far they've come this year. But, yeah, you can only applaud Adelaide for the way they approached the game and they dominated us in every area." - Melbourne coach Mick Stinear

    MELBOURNE   0.0   0.0   0.1  1.2 (8)
    ADELAIDE   3.3   5.4   8.6   10.8 (68)

    GOALS
    Melbourne: Emonson
    Adelaide: Considine 2, Foley 2, Varnhagen, Cramey, Scheer, Ponter, Marinoff, Thompson

    BEST
    Melbourne: O'Dea, Downie, Cordner, Mithen
    Adelaide: Phillips, Marinoff, Cramey, J Foley, Rajcic

    INJURIES
    Melbourne: Nil
    Adelaide: Nil

    Reports: Nil

    Umpires: Burns, Rebeschini, McPhee

    Crowd: 2239 at Casey Fields, Cranbourne