ADELAIDE has continued its perfect start to the season, holding West Coast to just one goal to win the Pride Round clash by 33 points at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday.
The Crows may have suffered an injury blow, however, after star midfielder Anne Hatchard finished on the bench with a foot complaint as her team rolled to a 6.6 (42) to 1.3 (9) win.
Tested by the still winless Eagles early, the Crows' experience told as the match wore on, delivering another reminder that they'll be one of the teams to beat this season and moving to a 3-0 record.
Winger Eloise Jones was important with 20 disposals, while Ebony Marinoff led the way with a game-high 23 and six tackles. Sarah Allen controlled a backline that continually repelled the Eagles' forward entries.
In attack, Ashleigh Woodland worked into the match to continue her sharpshooting start to the season, booting two goals to take her season tally to 10 after just three matches. Justine Mules was important with two majors.
Missing captain and gun midfielder Emma Swanson, it was the Eagles' lowest score since round six last season when they booted 1.2, but the young team showed plenty of fight.
EAGLES v CROWS Full match coverage and stats
They were able to stifle the Crows' usually slick ball movement for periods of the first half, moving the ball patiently themselves and spreading the field.
They couldn't generate attacking momentum, however, and were eventually overwhelmed by the Crows' well-oiled machine, with their only goal coming in the first quarter.
West Coast recruit Evie Gooch has proved a high-quality pick-up for the club so far, and she was excellent again on Saturday in a backline under pressure. But she had a bad moment in the third quarter when she threw her right elbow back in a ground-level contest and caught Mules high, giving away a free kick, which the crafty Crows forward turned into her second goal. It left the Crows 19 points clear and fired up as well as they let the former Docker know about her costly mistake.
It was over when…
Eloise Jones was terrific for Adelaide all day, patrolling the wing and running hard both ways. But she added a cherry on top of her performance with a siren-beating goal on the run just as the third quarter was about to end. The long-range effort was a crushing blow to the Eagles, leaving them 25 points behind at the final change. If there had been any hope of a miracle comeback, Ashleigh Woodland snuffed it out when she roved off the back off the pack and converted from 40m early in the final term.
Did you see that?
The Eagles' only goal came halfway through the first term when Aimee Schmidt took advantage of the stand rule and played on around the mark to launch from 45m. Originally outside 50m, it was a clever play and a classy finish from the former GWS forward. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were unable to make the most of their subsequent opportunities, which Adelaide ensured were few and far between.
WEST COAST 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.3 (9)
ADELAIDE 1.1 3.2 5.4 6.6 (42)
West Coast: Schmidt
Adelaide: Mules 2, Woodland 2, Jones, Phillips
West Coast: Laurie, Bowen, Hooker, McCarthy, Gooch
Adelaide: Marinoff, Jones, Mules, Phillips, Thompson, Allen
West Coast: Nil
Adelaide: Hatchard (foot)
West Coast: Niamh Kelly (groin) replaced by Courtney Rowley
Crowd: 323 at Swinburne Centre
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