Sport AFL Emotional wins for Crows, Tigers in AFL
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Emotional wins for Crows, Tigers in AFL

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Adelaide pipped arch-rival Port Adelaide by three points in a classic to climb back into the AFL’s top eight.

The Crows prevailed 18.8 (116) to 17.11 (113) in an emotionally-charged match dedicated to their slain coach Phil Walsh.

Before a bumper 54,468-strong crowd – the largest for any sporting event at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval – Crows pair Sam Jacobs and Scott Thompson dominated in a win which leaves Port’s finals hopes hanging by a thread.

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The Power are anchored in 12th spot, some 10 premiership points behind the eighth-placed Crows.

Nick Riewoldt
Nick Riewoldt leads the Saints out against Richmond. Photo: Getty

Adelaide held a six-goal lead midway through the third term but Port stormed home only to ultimately fall short.

After both clubs ran through a joint banner in honour of Walsh, who also spent 11 years as an assistant coach at Port, Jacobs imperiously ruled the rucks.

Jacobs recorded 51 hit outs and fed a hungry midfield led by Thompson (36 disposals), Richard Douglas (27) and Patrick Dangerfield (27).

The on-ballers offered gold-plated service to an attack featuring captain Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins, who both kicked three goals, and Eddie Betts and Tom Lynch, who each booted two.

Port, with just six wins in a season when they were touted as flag fancies, were overwhelmed despite forwards Jay Schulz, Chad Wingard and Paddy Ryder kicking three goals each.

Power skipper Travis Boak (32 disposals) and Hamish Hartlett (25) were gallant but Port paid for a sluggish start.

Adelaide kicked the first three goals and 20 minutes into the second term held a 36-point lead.

That advantage came despite the Crows losing backman Daniel Talia, who was crunched in a marking pack and concussed midway through the second stanza.

Jesse Hogan was impressive up forward for the Demons. Photo: Getty
Jesse Hogan was impressive up forward for the Demons. Photo: Getty

Port staged a courageous late fightback but the Crows just hung on for a stirring win, despite not scoring a goal in the last quarter.

Meanwhile at Etihad Stadium in another emotion-filled match, Richmond staved off a brave St Kilda fightback to win by 16 points.

The Saints kicked six goals to nil in the final term, but Richmond held on to win 13.11 (89) to 10.13 (73).

A loss would have been disastrous for the Tigers, who remain one game outside the top four.

The game was promoted as Fight Like Maddie, a tribute to Nick Riewoldt’s sister Madeleine, who was only 26 when she died in February of bone marrow failure.

Riewoldt and his cousin Jack, the Richmond spearhead, extensively promoted the clash as a fundraiser for the foundation set up in her name.

The match attracted a bumper Sunday twilight crowd 45,772, the biggest crowd at Etihad Stadium this season, and $34,500 was raised for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision.

Earlier, Melbourne ground their way to a scrappy 8.12 (60) to 4.12 (36) win over the Brisbane Lions at the MCG.

The Demons managed just one goal in the second half of a scrappy, error-riddled contest that reflected the lowly ladder positions of the two sides.

Jesse Hogan played a lone hand up forward, kicking four goals for Melbourne, including three in the first quarter.

That helped Melbourne to a 26-point lead at the first change and they extended it to 33 at the main break.

The Lions, who have now lost eight games in a row, battled hard in the second half but still fell well short.

Daniel Cross (26 disposals), Jack Viney (23) and Jeremy Howe (22 and 13 marks) were Melbourne’s best.

Dayne Zorko and Allen Christensen won plenty of the ball for the Lions, who lost Pearce Hanley to a hamstring injury before half-time.

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