Adelaide is a step closer to an AFL Women’s grand final berth after shrugging off a scoreless first quarter to overwhelm the winless Fremantle Dockers in the last match of round four.
Displaying their trademark tenacity, the Crows recovered from a sluggish start to defeat the Dockers 6.10 (46) to 3.5 (23) at Fremantle Oval.
It ensures the league leaders remain ahead of Brisbane on percentage with three games to play, while the Dockers’ have just one draw to their name to remain second last on the ladder.
The Crows scored only one goal in the first half to trail by six points at the long break but blew the match open with three straight goals in the third quarter before cruising to an all-important victory.
Fremantle was gallant but ran out of puff and it was unable to score goals in the second and third quarters when the game was up for grabs.
The visitors were led superbly by co-captain Erin Phillips (18 possessions and a goal), Chelsea Randall (17 touches) and Sarah Perkins (10 tackles and a goal).
Ebony Antonio (21 possessions) and Dana Hooker (20 touches) fought valiantly for the Dockers against the odds.
Kicking with the aid of a strong wind, the Dockers dominated the first quarter, highlighted by a 21-4 advantage in tackles. The ball was almost exclusively played in the Dockers’ forward half with the home team’s efforts being rewarded with early goals to Ashley Sharp and Amy Lavell.
Fresh off her match-winning heroics last week against Carlton, Phillips, who plays professional basketball in the WNBA, kicked a remarkable snapped goal near the boundary to finally get the Crows on the scoreboard early in the second quarter.
The match was an arm-wrestle for the remainder of the quarter before Adelaide stamped their authority on the contest after half-time when Jenna McCormick levelled the scores with a goal within the opening minute of the third quarter.
It was one-way traffic after that as the Crows continue to be the team to beat.