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Match report: Crows win with a finals fling

Tom Lynch kicked four goals on Thursday night

ADELAIDE has celebrated Rory Sloane’s re-signing in style, keeping its finals dream alive with a 15-point victory against Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Led by All-Australian defender Rory Laird’s 43 disposals and Tom Lynch’s four goals, the Crows recorded their eighth win of the season – 16.16 (112) to 14.13 (97).

Sloane was strong in his first game since putting pen to paper on a five-year extension to make him a Crow for life, having 27 disposals, 17 contested and kicking a key goal, the big crowd of 46,095 showing their love for the dual club champion every time he got near the ball.

FINAL FLING GETS WIN Full match details and stats

The Crows (8-8) are now one win outside the eight, but could be without captain Taylor Walker for next week’s game with Brisbane after he was placed on report for a high bump on Cats defender Zach Tuohy.

The seventh-placed Cats (9-7) could now fall out of the top eight by the end of the round depending on other results.

The Crows looked home when Walker’s goal put them up by 29 points with under 14 minutes on the clock.

But quick goals to Quinton Narkle, Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins closed the gap to just eight points.

Small forward Lachlan Murphy kicked his third goal to give the Crows some breathing space.

Patrick Dangerfield almost spoiled Sloane’s party, the 2016 Brownlow Medallist and former Crow finishing with 33 disposals, 10 tackles and three goals.

This game just keeps getting better!

Dangerfield kicks his first of the night.#AFLCrowsCats

— AFL (@AFL) July 12, 2018

Gary Ablett was strong with his clearance work, extracting the ball 10 times, Joel Selwood (29) and Tim Kelly (28) found plenty of the ball while key forward Tom Hawkins took advantage of Crows key defender Daniel Talia missing the game with a foot injury to boot four goals.

It’s the first time the Crows scored more than 100 points since their round seven win against strugglers Carlton.

Leading by eight points at halftime, the Crows put the foot down in the third term.

THE SLOANE DANGER SHOW Five talking points

Half-back flanker Wayne Milera was the catalyst with 11 third-quarter disposals, breaking the lines with his daring attack and delivering the ball beautifully by foot.

On a cold night, the Crows brought the heat early.

Riley Knight – in his first game since round six from hamstring tendinitis – was up in the face of Geelong captain Joel Selwood in a tagging role.

Adelaide’s pressure was up a gear, Luke Brown and Lachlan Murphy kicking goals from holding the ball decisions in the forward 50.

This game just keeps getting better!

Dangerfield kicks his first of the night.#AFLCrowsCats

— AFL (@AFL) July 12, 2018

Crows winger Rory Atkins responded after being dropped, racking up 10 disposals (five contested) and kicking a goal in the first quarter.

The slick ball movement of the Crows was reminiscent of their best football from last year.

Five straight goals stretched their lead to 21 points early in the second term.

The Cats responded through Hawkins, Tuohy and Dangerfield before Lynch’s hit back for the Crows just before half-time, leading 7.9 (51) to 6.7 (43) at the main break.

More to come

ADELAIDE 4.3 7.9 13.15 16.16 (112)
GEELONG 3.3 6.7 10.9 14.13 (97)

Adelaide: Lynch 4, Murphy 3, Jenkins 2, Gallucci 2, Brown, Atkins, Betts, Sloane, Walker
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Dangerfield 3, Parfitt, Menzel, Tuohy, Kelly, Menegola, Narkle, Duncan

Adelaide: Laird, Lynch, Atkins, Sloane, Crouch, Milera, Doedee
Geelong: Dangerfield, Kelly, Ablett, J.Selwood, Hawkins

Adelaide: tbc
Geelong: tbc

Reports: Taylor Walker reported for rough conduct on Zach Tuohy in the first quarter.

Umpires: O’Gorman, Pannell, McInerney

Official crowd: 46,095 at the Adelaide Oval