On the 22nd march 1991 the Adelaide Crows commenced their AFL Crusade with an 86 point victory against powerhouse Hawthorn.
22 years and 280 games later they concluded their crusade at Football Park with a 68 point thumping of perhaps the worst side ever in the competition Melbourne. It would go down as one of the drabbest ever wins this 180th. If it was to be a celebration it failed as the crowd had to resort to a lengthy Mexican wave in the final quarter and a lengthy kick-to-kick after the final siren to gain any laughs. Memories there would be but a few after a dismal finale.
If you ever went to a game that should be forgotten then this was one of them. I really admire people who can make a story out of nothing. I can’t.
I went to the ground with Great Expectations but like many of Charles Dicken’s works it was miserable.
After a drab first quarter that had fans asking “when does the entertainment start?” the home side settled down and never looked like being beaten. Melbourne was deplorable after quarter time and in fact gave away five goals with 50 metre penalties. I have never felt sad or even depressed by the performance of an opposition club but I was on Saturday and more so for Neil Craig
If former Adelaide coach and interim Demon leader Neil Craig was keen to coach the Dees he probably changed his mind after their lack of effort against a depleted Crows line-up. Take out Nathan Jones and Lyndon Dunn who tried hard all day and you would be hard pressed to find a consistent player in their line-up.
The highlight of the day was produced by the oldest man on the ground Scott Thompson. Given his form this year there had been question marks against Thompson’s future. He put the fears to rest with a best-on-ground effort that netted him 33 disposals and an indisputable 3 Brownlow votes. His display was vintage Thompson brutally winning the ball in stoppages and hammering a weak Melbourne opposition. A tradesman’s display if ever I saw one.
From a supporters point of view the season has been one of disappointment to put it mildly. Injuries have played a major part with the likes of Walker, Reilly, Jenkins all being missing for many matches and four games being given away with poor play.
I guess the real problem with playing a team like Melbourne at the moment is that they bring you down to their level.
Other than Thompson’s efforts the one redeeming factor was the continuing good form of the younger brigade who to the outside world and in particular Melbourne are unknown. Brad Crouch continues to impress and the more I see of him the more he reminds me of a larger version of Greg Williams (even wears his number). He rolls rather than runs but has the strength to get the ball away at all times. If those in the know looked at work rate rather than glamour he would walk the” Rising Star” in.
Mitch Grigg, Sam Kerridge and Luke Brown along with Brodie Smith would be unknowns in Victoria centric Melbourne but they have been showing outstanding promise. When you compare them with Melbourne’s young tyros only Jimmy Toumpas and Viney are in their league. Former swan Lewis Johnston finished with 6 goals but most of them came in the last term when the Demon resistance was at its lowest ebb.
As I said earlier the game lacked everything that we have come to love about the game and therefore there was very little to write home about.
I was bitterly disappointed and my writing has been in the same vein. Bring on 2014!
ADELAIDE: 1-2. 7-4. 11-8. 18-12-120
MELBOURNE 2-3. 4-3. 5-9. 7-10-52
Best :Adelaide: S.Thompson, B.Crouch,S.Jacobs, L.Johnston, A.Otten
Best: Melbourne: N.Jones, L.Dunn, J.Toumpas
Goals: Adelaide: L.Johnston 6, I.Callinan 2, R.Douglas 2,P.Dangerfield, M.Grigg, S.Kerridge, D.Talia, S.Thompson, N.VanBerlo,A.Otten, S.Jacobs,
Goals: Melbourne: J.Howe 2, C.Sylvia 2, J.Watts 2, L.Tpscott
Umpires: C.Fleer, S.Hay, J.Armstrong
Crowd: 34,653 at WestLakes
2 B.Crouch (Ade)
1 S.Jacobs (Ade)