AFL Round 22 – Adelaide v Melbourne: Crows depart with little pizzaz

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

Our Votes:

3.S.Thompson (Ade)

2 B.Crouch (Ade)

1 S.Jacobs (Ade)

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Ben Footner says

    Could not agree with you more Bob. Although the final margin was 68 points, the first half in particular still served as a reminder of why we are not playing finals this year (pending the mathematical posibility this weekend).

    It’s not even been a week since, and the only enduring memory I have of that game is the mexican wave.

    An unremarkable game – but perhaps that is fitting as I’ve always felt Football Park was an unremarkable ground. It has been the site of some great football moments, but ultimately it is a concrete bowl with poor facilities and absolutely no character.

    Bring on Adelaide Oval I say!

  2. Ben Footner says

    Oh – and lets not forget the far flung nature of it’s location deep in the burbs.

    Any lingering sentiment for the place was well and truly wiped out while negotiating the traffic snarl home.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Totally agree with Bob re The Game even the so called Highlights were diabolical the lack of pressure on the ball carrier in the last quarter was a disgrace by Melbourne he’ll when Fitzroy were finishing at least they played with some passion . I no I am in the minority but I like Footy Park catching the Footy Express The car park Barby and then the concrete colosseum rocked especially earlier on in the Crows Time and especially at SANFL Grand Finals watch the Highlights of 84 GF as a Norwood Supporter it is exhilarating I will miss Footy Park .

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