Adelaide chalked up its first win of the season after a barnstorming 10-goal final term put them 56 points in front of Port Adelaide at Kadina Oval on Sunday.
After losing their first 12 matches in succession, the Crows turned the tables on their arch-rival after losing the first SANFL Showdown of the season by 95 points at Alberton in Round 1.
Ryan O’Keefe’s charges – who have been battling a lengthy injury list – set their first victory since Round 16 last year up with an efficient first quarter into the wind.
A strong gale was blowing to the sporting complex end of the ground but that didn’t deter the Crows in the opening term as they kicked three set shot goals to Elliott Himmelberg, Matt Signorello and Myles Poholke.
At the other end, Port Adelaide was far from clean in front of goal as they booted seven behinds in succession before BankSA Rookie Harry Morgan kicked his first Macca’s League major for the Magpies in the 23rd minute.
The Crows skipped out to a 32-point lead at half-time as midfielders Pat Wilson (32 disposals) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (25 disposals) did plenty of grunt work in the centre square.
Stinging from a stern message from coach Matt Lokan at the main break, the Magpies’ intensity lifted several notches in the third term as they began to run in numbers and use the weather conditions to their advantage.
Restricting Adelaide to just one behind, Port piled on six goals for the premiership stanza to lead by eight points at the final change after Kyle Crompton snapped truly from 20m in play.
But that was to be the last score for the Pies as Adelaide went on a last quarter rampage to ensure they wouldn’t join Sturt’s class of 1995 as the last team to go winless through a whole season.
Powerful Crow Darcy Fogarty and emerging midfielder Myles Poholke kicked two of their three goals in the blitz while development player Jordan Boyle capped of a fine outing in his second Macca’s League game by adding a goal to his 30 disposals.
Matt Signorello was also creative in attack for Adelaide, kicking 2.2 from his four shots on goal and 19 disposals while Paul Hunter made a successful comeback from a serious ankle injury in the ruck to finish with 15 disposals, a goal and 29 hit outs.
Port was stifled by exciting forward Todd Marshall being stretchered from the field midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury, leaving it a rotation shot for the last quarter and a half.
Marshall – who kicked an eye-catching set shot goal from the boundary line just 10 minutes earlier – told Channel 7 he sensed the injury could be just a sprain ahead of his official diagnosis from club medicos.
Experienced midfielders Jack Trengove and Steven Summerton combined for 49 disposals but the Magpies didn’t have a multiple goal scorer for the afternoon as several players struggled to have an impact.
ADELAIDE 3.2 7.9 7.10 17.14 (116)
PORT 1.7 2.7 8.12 8.12 (60)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Adelaide: Wilson 32, Boyle 30, Gibson 27, Ellis-Yolmen 25, Marini, Signorello 19, Poholke, Davey, Irlam, Tharladsen 17.
Port: Trengove 26, Summerton 23, Lienert, Pittard 22, Snelling 20, Toumpas 19, Barry 16.
GOALS – Adelaide: Poholke, Fogarty 3, Signorello, Himmelberg, Ellis-Yolmen 2, Boyle, Davis, Wilson, Hunter, Launer.
Port: Barry, Patmore, Crompton, Summerton, Marshall, Lienert, Johnson, Morgan.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER