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Hatchard dominates as Crows thump Swans to move into preliminary final

A midfield masterclass from Anne Hatchard has inspired Adelaide to 67-point thrashing of Sydney in their AFLW semifinal.

Hatchard was outstanding with 37 disposals and two goals in the Crows’ 12.10 (82) to 2.3 (15) win at Norwood Oval in Adelaide on Saturday night.

Adelaide advance to an away preliminary final next weekend against North Melbourne.

The winner of Sunday’s Geelong versus Melbourne semi meets the Lions in Brisbane in the other preliminary final.

The minor premier Crows swamped Sydney in the opening half with Hatchard collecting 21 touches as the hosts created a 24-point lead at the long break.

The triple premiership on-baller then booted the opening goal of the second half — the first of three Crows goals in a six-minute span as the margin blew out.

Hatchard and her midfield mates Ebony Marinoff (26 disposals, 13 tackles) and Danielle Ponter (24 touches, one goal) feasted on the ruck dominance of Jess Allan (25 hit outs) and Montana McKinnon (20 hit outs).

And Adelaide’s attack also fired with Yvonne Bonner, captain Chelsea Randall and Jess Waterhouse slotting two goals apiece to delight the parochial 4688-strong crowd.

Sydney’s Laura Gardiner (20 touches), Ella Heads (20) and co-captain Chloe Molloy (15, one goal) battled gamely against the Adelaide tide.

But the Swans struck early strife as Adelaide dominated territory in a powerful first half — midway through the second term, the Crows led the inside 50 count 22-3.

Adelaide, after slipping to a two-point qualifying final loss to Brisbane last weekend, held a 2.2 to 1.0 buffer at quarter-time.

Adelaide captain Chelsea Randall soccered the home side’s opening goal from a goal-mouth scramble only for Swan Aliesha Newman to rapidly reply when converting a free kick from close range.

The Crows skipped further ahead when Bonner marked and goaled midway through the quarter and Adelaide accelerated with three goals to one in the second stanza to lead 5.5 to 2.0 at half-time.

The influential Hatchard triggered another Adelaide blitz in the third term with Ponter and Eloise Jones also scoring majors in a half-dozen dazzling minutes.

Adelaide led by 38 points at three quarter-time and, in the final term, added four more goals while keeping the Swans scoreless – the visitors managed only three behinds in the last half.




Author: Russell White