A BRAD Crouch midfield masterclass has helped Adelaide to a 33-point triumph against a depleted Richmond in Thursday night’s AFL game.
Crouch collected a game-high 43 disposals as the Crows rose to fourth on the ladder with a 15.11 (101) to 9.14 (68) win.
The injury-hit Tigers were gallant – they led by 11 points at halftime and were just six points down early in the final term at Adelaide Oval.
But they ultimately paid the price for separate slumbers when they conceded five unanswered goals in both the third and final quarters.
Crouch was instrumental, recording 11 clearances, six inside 50s and 18 contested possessions while his brother Matt had 35 touches and defender Rory Laird 32 disposals.
Adelaide key forward Josh Jenkins kicked four goals but suffered a serious knee injury in the final minute, while Taylor Walker booted three majors and his co- captain Rory Sloane two.
Richmond, with 17 players unavailable due to injury or illness, were superbly served by acting captain Dustin Martin (32 disposals, two goals).
Tiger stalwarts Bachar Houli (23 touches), Dion Prestia (29 disposals) and Nick Vlastuin (24 possessions) were also prominent while Tom Lynch and Daniel Rioli booted two majors each.
But Richmond slipped to a third consecutive loss despite a bright start which defied their undermanned status.
The Tigers stunned Adelaide early, with second-gamer Mabior Chol – a late call- up for the ill Ivan Soldo – soccering the opening goal.
Teammates Lynch and Martin soon goaled and the visitors had an 18-point lead inside 17 minutes.
The sluggish Crows pegged one back with a 55m set shot from Jenkins but trailed by 13 points at quarter-time and had lost small forward Lachlan Murphy (concussion) for the game.
Adelaide momentarily hit back in the second stanza, taking the lead after majors from Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts, only for the Tigers to respond with late goals for an 11-point halftime advantage.
The Crows then went on a game-defining scoring spree, booting seven goals to three – including five in a row – in a commanding third quarter.
Adelaide turned into the final term with a 13-point break but their lead shrunk to six points when Tiger Josh Caddy goaled.
The Crows rallied with another stretch of five unanswered goals – the last coming from yet another freakish Betts snap from the boundary line.
© AAP 2019
ADELAIDE 1.1 3.7 10.10 15.11 (101)
RICHMOND 3.2 5.6 8.9 9.14 (68)
Goals: Adelaide: J Jenkins 4 T Walker 3 E Betts 2 R Sloane 2 B Smith H Greenwood P Seedsman R Atkins. Richmond: D Martin 2 D Rioli 2 T Lynch 2 D Butler J Caddy M Chol.
Umpires: Robert Findlay, Mathew Nicholls, Leigh Haussen, Nathan Williamson.
Official Crowd: 40,837 at Adelaide Oval.