Saturday 11th of July 2015, Domain Stadium
Words: Tiana Bergmans – Photography: John Despott
Saturday night at Domain Stadium started off with no team songs and no team banners. Instead, there was a minute of silence and every player adorned a black armband in order to pay respects to Phil Walsh, who was the coach of the Adelaide Crows. It was an emotional night for all involved, especially the Crows players, who were playing their first match since the tragic passing of their coach.
After an eerie start to the emotional match, the Eagles started off with a burst of energy. This saw a copious amount of entries into their forward 50, which translated into goals from LeCras, Yeo and 2014 Brownlow Medalist Matt Priddis. Suddenly the Eagles were up by 3 goals, leaving Crows players completely astonished. Despite their inability to gain control of the football, Adelaide were fantastic in defence, preventing West Coast from capitalising upon many entries into their 50.
Adelaide’s luck turned after a poor kick from Yeo was intercepted, providing an opportunity for Charlie Cameron to slot Adelaide’s first goal, eliciting excitement from Adelaide fans across the stadium. An excellent display of teamwork then saw a second goal from Adelaide. Tom Lynch, who was playing his 50th game, had an excellent vision, which allowed Cameron to kick his second.
The Crows continued to be powerful, with a sensational goal from superstar and crowd favourite Eddie Betts, as well as fantastic goals from skipper Tex Walker and a goal from Jenkins, who was beautifully set up by Crows Star Patty Dangerfield.
Adelaide were dominant in the second half of the first quarter, scoring 6 goals. Three were from stoppages and three were from turnovers, showcasing the hard work of the Adelaide defence. The kicking in the first quarter was incredibly accurate, with both teams working extremely hard. Dangerfield was outstanding, with 13 touches in the first quarter alone (gathered 36 by the end of the match). The Eagles were also fantastic as a whole, with 17 entries into their forward 50. The Crows however were up by 14 points at the end of an inspiring and powerful quarter.
The second quarter saw the Eagles go on a goal rampage, scoring 8 goals and 7 behinds, leaving Adelaide utterly bewildered. LeCras was prolific this quarter, being involved in goals and assists. This culminated in LeCras finishing on a spectacular 2 goals and 23 touches.
Gaff, Darling, Selwood, Wellingham and Hill were also responsible for the Eagles’ second quarter success. Adam Simpson’s men were looking dangerous, racking up 116 disposals in that quarter alone. Their use of the ball was phenomenal, with their second quarter carnage contribute to their domination of the disposals 453-331.
Despite their spirit, Adelaide were kept to a mere 1 point in this quarter, creating a 40 point deficit for the Crows. The Eagles were so dominant that Adelaide’s only score, a behind from Douglas, didn’t come until the 29th minute.
The Eagles continued their high powered demolition of the Crows into the third quarter. West Coast carried on kicking a plethora of goals. This included imperative goals from Shuey, who played his 100th game, as well as Gaff, who kicked a stunning 3 goals in the math.
The Eagles’ defence was also sensational, with McGovern and Schofield playing particularly well. 100th gamer Luke Shuey was brilliant, collecting 31 disposals as well as 2 goals.
Adelaide captain Tex Walker was inspirational for his side. Not only did he kick 3 goals, one of which was in the 3rd quarter, but he was also a fantastic leader for his grieving side. Following Walker’s goal, Brodie Smith and Riley Knight, also improved their side’s score, as did Wright earlier in the quarter.
With a 29 point lead coming into the last quarter, the home side continued to preponderate the scoreboard, piling on another 7 goals, compared to only 3 from the visitors. Despite their hard working brand of footy, the gallant Crows were unable to keep up with West Coast.
Gaff was potent for the victors, with 36 disposals (equal to Patrick Dangerfield) and 3 goals. HIs teammates were also influential with Priddis and Masten gathering 35 and 33 touches respectively. The Eagles now continue to sit comfortably in the top 4, alongside fellow West Australian team, first placed Freo. The Crows however, will now be fighting for a position in the top 8, and will be looking to getting back into form in order to achieve that.