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Crows beat Demons in thriller to go outright top in AFLW

Adelaide has claimed a tense 10-point win over Melbourne to hand the reigning premiers its first loss of the AFLW season and take outright top spot on the ladder as the league’s only unbeaten team.

Key points:

The Giants triumphed 6.8 (44) to 3.6 (24)
They had lost their opening five matches of the season
Zarlie Goldsworthy was among the Giants’ best with three goals

In other matches on Saturday, St Kilda made it three wins in a row with a nine-point defeat of Hawthorn, while GWS posted its first victory of the season after beating West Coast by 20 points.

The Crows delivered a stunning run of six consecutive goals across the second and third quarters, then withstood a late Melbourne charge for an 8.8 (56) to 7.4 (46) win at Casey Fields.

The result ended Melbourne’s 14-match winning run stretching back to last season.

Ebony Marinoff led the charge for the Crows, booting two goals from 27 disposals and laying 13 tackles, alongside Anne Hatchard (32 disposals and two goals) and Danielle Ponter (two goals).

Eden Zanker booted five goals for Melbourne, almost hauling the Demons over the line.

With Paxy Paxman (concussion) sidelined, Tyla Hanks (22 disposals, 12 clearances), Kate Hore (19 disposals, six clearances) and Olivia Purcell got to work in midfield.

Zanker booted the first two goals of the match as Melbourne earned a 16-point quarter-time lead, with Adelaide kept scoreless.

Then, the Crows took off.

Ponter and Marinoff helped their side draw level at half-time as the Crows held the Demons to their first scoreless quarter of the season.

In the third term, the Demons had no answers for the Crows’ fierce intensity and pressure.

Hatchard went forward and put the Crows in front for the first time, before Marinoff, Eloise Jones and Ponter extended the lead to 25 points.

Eliza McNamara scored a goal seconds before three-quarter time to cut Adelaide’s lead to 19.

Zanker took back-to-back contested marks and kicked truly both times to cut the deficit to seven points early in the final term.

But when Tayla Harris bumped Marinoff late as she kicked inside 50, Hatchard earned a down-field free kick and coolly converted to give the Crows some breathing room.

The Demons had not conceded a fourth-quarter goal in their previous 14 matches.

McNamara and Zanker each struck again as the Demons made a late charge, but Caitlin Gould ran into an open goal to seal victory for the Crows.

Giants snap losing streak

Alicia Eva was prominent for the Giants in their win over the Eagles.(Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

GWS ended its five-match losing run with a defiant performance, claiming a comfortable 20-point win over West Coast.

The Giants overcame a slow start to seal a 6.8 (44) to 3.6 (24) victory over the Eagles at Blacktown and put their winless first half of the season behind them.

The ever-prolific Alyce Parker (23 disposals, 10 clearances) was reliably prominent for the hosts and she was supported by Nicola Barr and Rebecca Beeson.

But it was 18-year-old Zarlie Goldsworthy who stole the show with her class.

The emerging star kicked three goals in an electric performance.

GWS has a chance to build a winning streak when it takes on 12th-placed St Kilda in the next round.

West Coast faces an uphill battle against Melbourne.




Author: Russell White