REIGNING premier Adelaide has charged over the top of a gallant Fremantle to deny a monumental boilover at Unley Oval on Saturday.
Trailing by nine points at three-quarter time, the Crows finished with a flurry with four unanswered goals to claim a vital 18-point win – 7.7 (49) to 5.1 (31).
CROWS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats
Skipper Chelsea Randall, Ash Woodland and Caitlin Gould kicked two goals each for the Crows, who move back to the top of the ladder having extended their winning streak to six games.
Anne Hatchard was instrumental in the comeback, having nine of her 28 disposals in the last quarter to go with 12 clearances for the game.
Partner in crime Ebony Marinoff had 24 of her game-high 32 disposals in the first half, while Randall, Hannah Munyard, Teah Charlton and Chelsea Biddell had strong games.
Kiara Bowers was magnificent for the Dockers with 29 disposals, 19 tackles and 11 clearances as she single-handedly tried to keep the Crows midfielders at bay.
The Crows hadn't conceded a goal for nine quarters going into the game, and were easily expected to account for the lowly Dockers, whose only win this season was a three-point victory over West Coast in round five.
However, the Dockers didn't read the script, even when they were two players down – Gabby O'Sullivan (shoulder) and Janelle Cuthbertson (ankle) – for the second half.
Mikayla Hyde's sublime snap over her right shoulder gave the Dockers back the lead early in third quarter, before Mim Strom chose the perfect moment to kick her first career goal in her 36th AFLW game to give the visitors a handy edge.
The Crows kicked quick goals through Randall and Woodland to retake the lead at the start of the fourth term, and were never headed from there.
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A massive boilover was on the cards at three-quarter time, but it took the Crows just two minutes to regain the momentum. Chelsea Randall's goal after just 20 seconds, from Danielle Ponter's centre clearance, was followed soon after by Ash Woodland toeing the ball over the goal line to give the Crows a lead they never relinquished.
The Crows hadn't conceded a goal in their previous nine quarters having belted Greater Western Sydney and Port Adelaide in consecutive weeks. However, it took just four minutes for Dockers forward Amy Franklin to end that streak with a composed finish. The Crows were also kept scoreless in the opening quarter for the first time since round two, 2020.
The Crows face a true test of their premiership credentials when they take on Brisbane in a Friday night blockbuster at Metricon Stadium. Meanwhile, the Dockers are back at home as they host Collingwood next Sunday afternoon at Fremantle Oval.
ADELAIDE 0.0 3.3 3.4 7.7 (49)
FREMANTLE 1.0 3.1 5.1 5.1 (31)
Adelaide: Randall 2, Woodland 2, Gould 2, Ponter
Fremantle: Franklin, Seth, Roux, Hyde, Strom
Adelaide: Hatchard, Marinoff, Randall, Charlton, Munyard, Biddell
Fremantle: Bowers, O'Driscoll, Verrier, Tighe, Seth, Gore
Fremantle: O'Sullivan (shoulder), Cuthbertson (ankle
Crowd: TBC at Unley Oval