Adelaide outlasted a persistent Central District outfit, finishing much stronger in a 25-point win at X Convenience Oval.
Trailing at the opening two changes, the Crows didn’t take the lead until Darcy Fogarty kicked truly nearly 10 minutes into the third term.
By the time the visitors had kicked the next two in succession, through Harry Schoenberg on the run from 50m and athletic forward Jack Lewis, they had suddenly opened up a 15-point advantage.
In such a tightly-fought contest, it proved to be a defining period in the outcome of the match as Adelaide went on to kick 4.8 to the Dogs’ 2.1 in the final term.
Even with key forward Riley Thilthorpe sidelined for much of the second half – spotted on crutches at three quarter-time – the Crows finished full of running.
There was no better evidence of this than midfielder Luke Pedlar’s impressive one-two goal deep into time-on of the fourth quarter, sealing a third victory for the season.
Crows’ marquee player Nathan Freeman was much better for the run in his second outing for the season, finishing with 31 disposals and two goals while Pedlar’s supreme conditioning was evident in the last term before tallying 23 disposals and two goals.
Fogarty worked hard up the ground to find more of the ball with 21 possessions and two goals while Crow Josh Worrell was solid in defence with 22 disposals.
Central’s Kyle Presbury was constructive with his game-high 33 disposals and 10 marks while teammate Travis Schiller had 32 touches and nine tackles.
Prized recruit Billy McCormack was another positive for the hosts in the ruck against Adelaide’s Kieran Strachan, the former registering 19 disposals, nine marks and a goal while Aiden Grace and Luca Whitelum kicked three goals each for the Bulldogs.
North Adelaide withstood a sudden second-half comeback from South Adelaide to hold on for an 11-point win at Prospect Oval.
Dominating the first half on the scoreboard, the Roosters appeared headed for a percentage boosting win when they headed into the changerooms with a 35-point advantage.
The Panthers were yet to kick a major after remaining goalless through the opening two quarters but it didn’t deter them from making a genuine run at the Roosters through livewire Eamon Wilkinson.
Wilkinson, returning to the side after missing last round with Health and Safety Protocols, bobbed up to kick his four goals for the game to start the third term.
In a flash, North’s lead was trimmed to just eight points when the Meadows FC product kicked his fourth for South 22 minutes into the third quarter.
A steadying goal from North premiership forward Sam McInerney stretched his side’s advantage back out to 14 points at the last change but South wasn’t done yet.
Consecutive goals to debutant Sam Gaden and Richmond recruit Ryan Garthwaite cut the deficit to just three points nearing the 10-minute mark of the final term.
But McInerney again found a timely goal for North five minutes later, in what proved to be the last goal of the game as the hosts wound the clock down nicely.
Developing North midfielder Harrison Magor racked up 32 possessions and 10 marks in a breakthrough performance while experienced left-footer Harrison Wigg collected 31 possessions and 10 marks.
Important leader Andrew Moore made a welcome return from a hamstring strain to tally 26 touches while Magarey Medallist Campbell Combe had 23 and a nice snap from close range to open his team’s account.
Combe also did an admirable job of largely keeping fellow Magarey Medallist Bryce Gibbs quiet, restricting South’s star to eight disposals.
Former Crows development player Oliver Davis in turn found more of the ball for the visitors with 32 possessions and 11 marks while teammate Fraser Turner had 27 possessions and 11 marks.
Wilkinson had 13 disposals and four marks to go with his four goals as he pushed his claim for a berth in the West End State Squad.
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