ERIN Phillips reminded everyone why she's the best player in the AFLW, almost single-handedly ending Brisbane's unbeaten run with a stunning individual outing at Hickey Park on Sunday.
In scorching Brisbane conditions Phillips kicked four goals – including the sealer in the final minute – to propel Adelaide to a 6.9 (45) to 5.3 (33) victory.
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The two-time premiership star was unstoppable playing in the forward 50, gathering 21 disposals, hauling in eight marks and finding time for four clearances in her best on ground performance.
She kicked two goals in the opening term as the Crows jumped their opponents to race to a 17-point lead.
The home team did not relent though and scratched and clawed their way back into the match with a high workrate.
Ebony Marinoff (28 disposals) and Anne Hatchard (19) were also highly involved for the victors, who now join Brisbane with a 3-1 record.
The home team got within five points midway through the final quarter and had plenty of chances inside 50, but their rushed, tired disposals were often turned over by a well-organised Adelaide defence.
Adelaide never relinquished the lead.
Orla O'Dwyer had her best game in Lions colours with 14 disposals, five tackles and an incredible work ethic, while Bree Koenen was phenomenal in the defensive 50, highlighted by her fourth quarter rundown tackle on Hannah Munyard to stop a certain goal.
Brisbane played the second half without Lily Postlethwaite who injured her knee and did not return.
There was plenty to choose from for best-on-ground Erin Phillips, but her goal on the stroke of three quarter-time not only encapsulated her dominance, but drove a proverbial stake through Brisbane's heart. After the Crows had peppered the goals late in the quarter for no reward, Phillips took a huge contested mark among three opponents just 15m from goal. She went back and kicked her third to give the visitors a 13-point lead and some much-needed breathing space entering the fourth quarter.
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Thankfully it didn't cost the Crows in the end, but Hannah Munyard would be breathing a sigh of relief after being run down by Bree Koenen in the fourth quarter. With the game in the balance, Munyard took an uncontested mark 20m from goal and turned around to jog into what she thought was an open goalsquare. That was until Koenen mowed her down from behind to win the Lions a free kick.
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Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall could have a nervous wait after a final quarter incident saw Brisbane's Greta Bodey assisted from the field. After Taylor Smith's goal brought the Lions back within a point, Bodey was running towards a loose ball from the following centre bounce, and had her head over it, when Randall collided with her from the opposite direction. Bodey returned to the field to close the match out.
"It was definitely a step up in quality. We'll get lots of learning from key moments in the game. We got scored against in the last minute of the second quarter, third quarter and last quarter. I know we had the slow start, but getting scored against late in quarters … is pretty deflating." – Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich
"We needed someone to finish the work. We were playing reasonably good footy but weren’t able to really make the most of our chances other than Erin who was outstanding in all aspects." – Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke
BRISBANE 0.0 3.0 4.1 5.3 (33)
ADELAIDE 2.5 4.6 5.8 6.9 (45)
Brisbane: Bodey 2, Davidson, Hodder, Smith
Adelaide: Phillips 4, Forth, Woodland
Brisbane: O'Dwyer, Koenen, Bodey, Bates, Anderson, Campbell
Adelaide: Phillips, Marinoff, Hatchard, Jones, Randall, Foley
Brisbane: Postlethwaite (knee), Campbell (knee)
Crowd: TBC at Hickey Park
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