ADELAIDE has won its third game on the trot, shaking off a determined Collingwood and its own inaccuracy to win by five points at Victoria Park.
The Crows controlled vast portions of the game in drizzly conditions, and while the previously undefeated Magpies were efficient with limited ball in attack, the weight of numbers won out for the visitors in the 2.9 (21) to 2.4 (16) result.
Ruby Schleicher had two set shots late in the final quarter as the heavens opened, but one went out on the full and the second sprayed to the other side for a behind, while skipper Steph Chiocci's snap late in the final seconds was also pulled left.
Adelaide made all the early running but struggled to capitalise, kicking three behinds, before the creativity of Ash Brazill set up Chloe Molloy for a snap goal.
MAGPIES V CROWS Full match coverage and stats
The inside 50 count at quarter-time was 11-2 Adelaide's way, and the Crows then began to see some reward for their dominance, with Ash Woodland reading the ball nicely off the pack to take back the lead, despite falling backwards as she kicked it.
Adelaide half-forward Maddy Newman thrived, taking full advantage of the Crows' forward-half territory dominance to finish with 17 disposals, six tackles and a goal, while midfielders Ebony Marinoff (23 and six clearances) and Anne Hatchard (26) controlled play further afield.
Mikala Cann fought valiantly for the Pies with 17 touches and Molloy provided some spark around the stoppages with four clearances.
Adelaide recruit Niamh Kelly had provided plenty of spark after being recalled to the side, but dislocated her shoulder in the third term following a goal-saving smother.
Collingwood midfielder Aishling Sheridan will be sweating on scans after injuring a knee while being tackled late in the second quarter.
The match also marked the first time three women field umpires had officiated an AFL/W game, with Eleni Tee, Gabby Simmonds and Jordyn Pearson controlling proceedings.
Sabs rucking and rolling
The return of Ash Brazill after her gold-medal winning stint at the Commonwealth Games called for a reshuffle of Collingwood's talls. Alison Downie was dropped for the first time in her AFLW career, bringing an end to an impressive streak of 52 matches, with the Pies opting for tall forward Sabrina Frederick as primary ruck. Frederick has struggled to find her groove at Collingwood, but produced arguably her best game in the black and white with 19 hitouts and eight clearances.
Territory battle wins game
Adelaide played the wide expanses of Vic Park to perfection, hammering Collingwood's usually miserly defence with a 36 to 15 inside 50 count. The Crows' inaccuracy kept the Pies in the game for much longer than they should have been, finishing with 11 scoring shots to six. As Collingwood pressed tin the final minutes, Adelaide's backline stood tall.
"It was a disappointing start, they controlled territory early on and we couldn't get the ball into our forward 50 enough. We tried a few different things, but the last quarter we had to play a lot more attacking, which we did. We had some opportunities in the last quarter, which gave us a chance, but we just fell short. We need to work out how we transition the ball when we lose territory." – Collingwood coach Steve Symonds
"It was getting a bit tense, certainly in the last 90 seconds I would have preferred it was down the other end for sure. In the end we hung on. There was some really good footy for us, but unfortunately, we didn't take our chances, certainly the inside 50 differential was in our favour. But they defended pretty stoutly as well, so we're really happy to get away with the win." – Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke
Collingwood will host Essendon in a battle of defence v attack on Friday afternoon at the AIA Centre, while Adelaide will be hoping for a fourth win on the trot, coming up against Greater Western Sydney at Unley Oval on Sunday.
COLLINGWOOD 1.0 1.0 2.1 2.4 (16)
ADELAIDE 0.3 2.5 2.7 2.9 (21)
Collingwood: Molloy, Cann
Adelaide: Woodland, Ballard
Collingwood: Cann, Molloy, Frederick, Butler, Schleicher
Adelaide: Marinoff, Newman, Hatchard, Biddell, Thompson
Collingwood: Sheridan (knee), Brazill (nose)
Adelaide: Kelly (shoulder)