|Venue:||Ikon Park, Carlton.|
|Date:||Saturday 6th February, 2022 (3.10 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 39 points.|
|Goalkickers:||G. Gee 1.1, M. Hill 0.1, C. Jones 0.1, A. McKay 0.1, Rushed 0.2.|
|Umpires:||Leigh Fisher, Andrew Mitchell, Jordyn Pearson.|
|Injuries:||B. Vickers (ankle).|
Match ReviewClass tells as unbeaten Crows cruise past Blues
Adelaide was once again at its imposing best on Sunday afternoon, eventually cruising past an improved Carlton and keeping its undefeated start to the season intact with a comfortable 39-point victory at Ikon Park. The Crows were made to battle for long periods of their 7.9 (51) to 1.6 (12) win, but ultimately scrapped past both the increased effort of the Blues and some wasteful kicking of their own to grind out their fifth straight victory of the season. The dynamic duo of Ebony Marinoff (31 disposals, 10 tackles) and Anne Hatchard (25 disposals, one goal) were predictably involved in everything, combining superbly through the midfield to emerge as the architects of Adelaide's victory. Carlton's fight was spearheaded by youngster Mimi Hill (25 disposals, four tackles), who returned from a year-long stint on the sidelines recovering from an ACL injury to spark the side's spirited first-half performance.
Stung by successive disappointing defeats heading into the match, the hosts produced a competitive opening but lacked a cutting edge in attack. It meant Carlton's beleaguered backline was again left to feel the heat when Adelaide eventually clicked into gear. Hatchard struck early and Caitlin Gould late in the first half, with only some wayward kicking – particularly from superstar Erin Phillips, who kicked four behinds to half-time – stopping the Crows' lead from being greater than 16 points at the main break. There were times when the visitors looked like they might be made to pay for their profligacy, especially when Georgia Gee eventually kicked the Blues' first goal thanks to a fine bullet pass from Darcy Vescio. But a steadier from Ailish Considine calmed Adelaide nerves just before three-quarter time, before back-to-back goals from Danielle Ponter and Lisa Whiteley early in the final term eventually ended Carlton's resistance. A mighty snap from the classy Eloise Jones and a second on the run from Considine put the finishing touches on the win – and added a much-needed boost in percentage – as the Crows stormed home. - Riley Beveridge / Cristian Filippo.
It was very nearly the fairytale start for the Game Changers, as Mimi Hill - in her first game in nearly a year - produced a flying shot on goal which went narrowly wide inside the opening minutes. However, the young midfielder continued to be the highlight of the first term from a Navy Blue perspective, racking up possession after possession on the wing. After conceding the opening goal, the Game Changers dominated the territory and inside 50s in the latter part of the quarter, but in a frustrating trend, were unable to put the pressure on the scoreboard when it counted.
Adelaide dialled up the pressure in the second term, registering repeat inside 50s and keeping the Blues’ backline - led by the returning Gab Pound - under constant and consistent pressure. Despite putting just the one major on the board, it was their forward pressure which had the Blues struggling to make meaningful ground, recording 9-1 forward-50 tackles at the main break. First-year Blue Brooke Vickers didn’t return for the rest of the afternoon after sustaining an ankle injury in the closing stages of the second term.
Speaking at half time, forwards coach Kade Simpson spoke of the need for the Blues to get reward for effort on the scoreboard: Georgia Gee obliged with a goal from close range to give the home side some momentum. It was nearly two in a matter of minutes when Brooke Walker stepped through traffic inside 50, but the finish was lacking. The Blues brought the pressure on the back of the main break, but an Adelaide goal from a set shot took some of the wind out of the Game Changers’ sails: Hill continued to motor along with 20 disposals at the final change.
The Blues were knocking on the door as they looked to cut back the three-goal deficit at the final change, but could only manage a couple of behinds before the Crows completely iced the game. Kicking the final four goals of the game uninterrupted, the margin ballooned out to 39 points come the final siren. Hearts were in mouths when Hill was helped from the ground and limped off, but it was just a case of cramping after an impressive solo performance following a year out of the game.
Moment of the match
We’re counting each of Mimi Hill’s 25 disposals as the moment of the match for Round 5. In her first game since featuring Geelong at IKON Park last year, Hill returned to the field and made up for lost time against one of the competition’s frontrunners. Her final stat line read 13 kicks, 12 handballs, 340 metres gained, eight intercepts, four tackles and three clearances.
Playing her first game in 11 months after suffering an ACL tear in March last year, Carlton youngster Mimi Hill left no doubts as to the quality she can provide when fully fit. Hill added speed, run and carry to finish with 25 disposals, four marks and four tackles. Although she tired late, Hill's performance was certainly the day's big positive for the Blues.
As ever, Adelaide's victory was inspired by the heroic efforts of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard out of the middle. Marinoff was prolific, finishing with 31 disposals, 10 tackles and eight marks to perhaps emerge as the game's best player. Hatchard was just as influential, winning 25 disposals, seven marks, six tackles and kicking the game's first goal. Put them down for votes, come best and fairest time.
Sliding doors moment
Carlton had all of the momentum late in the first quarter and looked set to finally profit on that when Courtney Jones ran into an open goal. Enter Sarah Allan. The stand-in Adelaide captain produced a fantastic chase-down tackle, arriving from virtually nowhere to thwart the Blues' efforts and help the Crows take a six-point lead into the first change. It was indicative of Adelaide's brilliant defensive performance throughout the afternoon.
"What we produced from an intent and an effort perspective today was a bit different to the last month. It's a step forward for us. It's certainly not where we want to be, but it's a step forward." - Carlton coach Daniel Harford
"It was great to get some reward (in the last quarter), but right across the game I was really happy with how we played. I just thought Carlton played pretty well as well. It was great to hang in there, then in the last quarter it went our way a bit." - Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke
Best: M. Hill, G. Pound, P. Trudgeon, G. Egan, M. Prespakis.
|B:||26 Paige Trudgeon||20 Charlotte Wilson|
|HB:||8 Vaomua Laloifi||9 Kerryn Harrington (c)||6 Gab Pound|
|C:||2 Jess Dal Pos||46 Elise O'Dea||32 Natalie Plane|
|HF:||3 Darcy Vescio||22 Courtney Jones||21 Nicola Stevens|
|F:||13 Lucy McEvoy||7 Brooke Walker|
|Ruck:||15 Jess Good||4 Madison Prespakis||5 Abbie McKay|
|Interchange:||1 Grace Egan||19 Georgia Gee||10 Mimi Hill|
|24 Brooke Vickers||23 Daisy Walker|
|Emg:||17 Charlotte Hammans||18 Maddy Guerin|
In: Grace Egan, Jess Good, Mimi Hill, Gab Pound.
Out: Breann Moody (AFL Health and Safety Protocols), Keeley Sherar (hand), Lauren Brazzale (omitted), Poppy Schaap (omitted), Annie Lee (omitted)
MilestonesAFLW Rising Star Nominees: Mimi Hill
AFLW Coaches Votes10 - Ebony Marinoff (ADEL)
7 - Anne Hatchard (ADEL)
6 - Eloise Jones (ADEL)
3 - Mimi Hill (CARL)
2 - Sarah Allan (ADEL)
1 - Montana McKinnon (ADEL)
1 - Erin Phillips (ADEL)
AFLW Team of the WeekInterchange: Mimi Hill
AFLW Best and Fairest Votes3. AFLW Ebony Marinoff (Adel)
2. Anne Hatchard (Adel)
1. Montana McKinnon (Adel)